Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev UFC Fight Reportedly Booked for Dec. 19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2020

Closeup of a glove and the UFC logo at Ultimate Fighting Championship 73 on Saturday, July 7, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev will headline the final UFC card of 2020 on Dec. 19, according to ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

The event, which will be known as UFC Fight Night 186, is expected to be held at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The Edwards vs. Chimaev bout will take place at 170 pounds, per Helwani.

Edwards, 29, owns a career record of 18-3 and is on an eight-fight winning streak, while the 26-year-old Chimaev is 9-0 and has won each of his first three UFC bouts.

It has been over one year since Edwards' last fight, when he beat Rafael Dos Anjos by unanimous decision in July 2019, although the long layoff wasn't for a lack of trying.

There were plans for Edwards to face Tyron Woodley in March; however, Edwards had to pull out of the fight amid the COVID-19 pandemic since the event was going to be moved from London to the United States.

Ultimately, the UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Edwards event did not occur.

Unlike Edwards, Chimaev has been active in 2020 with three bouts. He beat John Phillips in his UFC debut on July 16, defeated Rhys McKee just 10 days later and beat Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley in September.

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Helwani noted that the Dec. 19 contest between Edwards and Chimaev could be huge because of the implications for both fighters.

He suggested that a win for Edwards should lead to a title fight, while a Chimaev victory would legitimize him and possibly put him in line for a title fight as well.

Edwards is ranked third in the UFC welterweight division behind Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns, while Chimaev is unranked.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman was scheduled to face Burns at UFC 256 on Dec. 12, but the fight was called off because of Usman's need for additional time to recover from injuries.

Since Burns may be next in line for a title fight, it is possible that the winner of Edwards vs. Chimaev will have to wait his turn until Usman vs. Burns happens.