Bo Nickal: Khamzat Chimaev tougher fight for Leon Edwards than Islam Makhachev — ‘He would probably beat him up’

Bo Nickal: Khamzat Chimaev tougher fight for Leon Edwards than Islam Makhachev — ‘He would probably beat him up’

  • MMA News
  • décembre 27, 2023
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Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev was unfortunately never meant to be.

Before Edwards received his long-awaited Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight title shot, one of the promotion’s big plans was to have “Rocky” collide with “Borz.” First booked for a showdown in December 2020, Edwards fell ill with COVID-19, which canceled the bout and led UFC to rebook the match up in the following January and March 2021 with Chimaev instead plagued by COVID to cancel the occasions.

Edwards, 32, went on to face and defeat Nate Diaz via unanimous decision at UFC 263 in June 2021 to earn his eventual title shot, which he made good on with a fifth round head kick knockout of Kamaru Usman (watch highlights) at UFC 278 in August 2022. Chimaev has since left Welterweight to make Middleweight his primary division, leaving fans wondering what could have been, including rising 185-pound prospect, Bo Nickal.

“I think there are guys that are going to be able to give him some resistance and stuff,” Nickal said on his YouTube channel (h/t MMA Junkie). “If Khamzat goes back down, that’s a freaking tough fight for him. Islam [Makhachev] would be a tough fight for him, as well, but I think that’s really competitive.

“I feel like Khamzat comes down, he would probably beat him up,” he continued. “But Islam coming up, even though he’s a big 55’er, Leon’s big. Leon can freaking strike. Colby [Covington] was able to hold him down a good amount, so who knows? And Leon’s smart, he keeps his cool so, I don’t know.”

Nickal, 27, has had his eyes on a future Chimaev showdown since his arrival in UFC at UFC 285 in March 2023. The undefeated 5-0 wrestling standout has been as dominant as they come in his early career thus, but before he can get his hands on Chimaev, he’ll have to keep gaining experience, continuing with Cody Brundage at UFC 300 in April 2023. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Lightweight champion, Makhachev, has expressed interest in a champion vs. champion clash with Edwards. Both titlists appear to be headed for their third potential defense, however.

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