Bo Nickal believes reigning welterweight world champion Leon Edwards would get pummeled by Khamzat Chimaev but expects a potential clash between ‘Rocky’ and Islam Makhachev to be fairly competitive.
Edwards is coming off a solid five-round performance against Colby Covington at UFC 296 to retain his title. Next on the docket for ‘Rocky’ should be a rematch with No. 2 ranked contender Belal Muhammad, but it seems like everyone outside of the welterweight division is chomping at the bit to get their hands on Edwards.
Immediately following the final fight of 2023, Islam Makhachev called for a clash with Leon Edwards in 2024, claiming he could finish both Edwards and Covington.
Khamzat Chimaev has also suggested moving back down to 170 in hopes of claiming his first world title at the expense of Edwards
Rising middleweight prospect Bo Nickal believes a fight between Edwards and Makhachev could be fairly competitive. However, the former three-time NCAA Division I National Champion suggested that ‘Rocky’ would get thoroughly manhandled by the undefeated Chechen monster.
“I think there are guys that are going to be able to give him some resistance and stuff,” Nickal said of Edwards on his YouTube channel. “If Khamzat [Chimaev] goes back down, that’s a freaking tough fight for him. Islam 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. But Islam coming up, even though he’s a big 55’er, Leon’s big. Leon can freaking strike. Colby 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” (h/t The News & Observer).
The Impressive Win Streaks of Edwards, Chimaev, and Makhachev
Khamzat Chimaev kicked off his UFC career scoring three finishes in eight weeks. Since then, his pace has slowed, though his success inside the Octagon has been nonetheless impressive. Chimaev has earned victories over Gilbert Burns, Kevin Holland, and former welterweight world champion Kamaru Usman in his last three appearances.
Chimaev is currently rumored to be in talks for a fight with two-time middleweight champ Israel Adesanya at UFC 300 in April, though no official announcements have been made.
As for Islman Makhachev, the reigning lightweight king is coming off an impressive first-round knockout of Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294. ‘The Great’ stepped in on 11 days’ notice to run back their instant classic from February and ultimately paid the price, suffering a vicious head-kick KO.
“And Islam, he’s not 100 percent grappler,” Nickal continued. “He tries to strike a lot with all the guys he’s fought pretty much.”
Islam Makhachev and Khamzat Chimaev are both on a 13-fight win streak while Leon Edwards has bested his last 12 opponents in a row.