If Khamzat Chimaev stops Leon Edwards in the same way that he has finished all of his fights in the UFC so far, could the UFC actually send the fast-rising star straight into a UFC Welterweight Championship bout against Kamaru Usman?
Order UFC 270 on ESPN+
Watch Ngannou vs. Gane fight live this Saturday night on ESPN+
Of course, Chimaev would need to beat Edwards first. And he’d need to do so without taking any serious damage. If he manages that, there’s a chance that the UFC could put Gilbert Burns on the sidelines for a moment while Khamzat Chimaev jumps right to the top of the division. Well, that’s according to both The Body Lock’s Patrick Auger and Matthew Wells.
Wells says he’d put nothing past the UFC at this stage. He says “everyone and their mother loves them some Chimaev right now” and that “UFC would absolutely jump on the opportunity to put him into a title fight as soon as possible.”
With Usman vs. Burns currently scheduled for sometime in February, could the UFC really afford to leave Chimaev sitting out until the winner of that fight is ready to go again in June/July? The UFC has created this situation by sending Chimaev all the way up the #3 ranked fighter with such speed.
Auger is on board with it, too. He says it makes a lot of sense for Chimaev to skip the line and looks to how Gilbert Burns actually skipped the line when he jumped past Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards after wins against Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley.
What do you think? Would you like to see Khamzat Chimaev earn a title shot if he beats Leon Edwards? Let us know in the comments below.
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.