Stephen Thompson on Khamzat Chimaev Fighting Leon Edwards

Khamzat Shimaev


Chechen athlete Hamzat Chimaev celebrates a KO victory over Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight match at the UFC Nightfest in APEX on the 19th. September 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Stephen Wonderboy Thompson, the number 5 in the UFC heavyweight division, has made it clear that he doesn’t think the momentum of Russian Hamzat Chimaev deserves to crack the top candidate. And as far as Wonderboy can tell, if Borz fights Leon Edwards, Edwards will knock him out.

Chimaev, 15th in the league, was originally scheduled to play on the 17th. December at the UFC Vegas to number 3 Edwards. But Edwards has responded positively to COVID-19 and the CFU is currently working to move the fight to January.

Thompson is number 1 in the world and will have to deal with number 11 Jeff Neal via ESPN+ on Saturday night.

Chimaev only fought three times in the UFC. He made his debut in July and defeated all his opponents with a dominant final. Thompson has been around since 2012 and he doesn’t like the fact that Borz fought with Edwards. A victory against the rival with number 3 would bring the winner one shot closer to the title, and Wonderboy thinks he should have been so lucky.

I had to fight my way through the ranks of assassins to get where I am now, just like Leon Edwards, says Thompson through MMA Junkie. He was well on his way to where he was. I’ve had to fight a lot of guys, I mean, tough guys… to get where I am, and then this guy jumps all over them. I think it’s a slap in the face for everyone who’s worked like crazy.

In a recent interview with Heavy, Wonderboy shared his thoughts on the case of Edwards v. Chimaev. Thompson praised Borz, but said he didn’t see enough of his game in general.

The boys had three fights and all three smoked at 170 and 185, Wonderboy said. I know he’s pretty good, but I haven’t seen enough of him strike yet. I know he has good fighting skills, like Khabib [Nurmagomedov], very good control.

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From what he saw, Thompson declared that Edwards would face Chimaev in theirfight.

UFC president Dana White recently told the media that he is trying to get Chimaev and Edwards to participate in the 20th round. January 2021. And when they meet in the Octagon, Wonderboy thinks Rocky will beat the rising star.

On paper, Leon Edwards certainly spent the day with Wonderboy. Edwards faces some of the best opponents in the league and has a seven-game winning streak. I’ve been watching him since he joined the unit and he’s proven himself. Khamzat didn’t see him much, though. He’s taking these guys down in the first round.

I haven’t seen much to really compete with him yet, Thompson continues, but at this point Leon Edwards is going to kick his ass. I think Leon Edwards has him.

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Wonderboy likes to give Neil the chance to fight a very capableopponent.

When Heavy Thompson asked him about the possibility of fighting the No. 11 ranked Neal instead of a fighter near his No. 5, Wonderboy replied that he was happy to give Handz of Steel the chance he had been given.

I was in Jeff Neal’s shoes not too long ago, especially when I had the chance to fight Jake Ellenberger, Wonderboy said. I think he was ranked lower than Neil. So these guys gave me this chance, and I want to give Jeff that chance, too.

It’s obvious I wanted someone above me, sue Thompson. But that didn’t happen. You know, I ridiculed Leon Edwards on Twitter, [but] he didn’t have it. But it doesn’t bother me at all, because no matter who I’m fighting against, whether they’re behind me or in front of me, they’re very, very good, and that’s why I’m in the game, fighting the best fighters in the world.

Thompson told Heavy that he doesn’t think an impressive victory against Neal will do much good for the welterweights, but it will show the UFC fans that I’m ready. You’ll see I’m ready for a top-five opponent.

Thompson praises Neil’s skills, but is willing to test hisskills.

Stephen Thompson and Vicente Luke...

GettyStephen Thompson (R) fights Vicente Luke in the welterweights at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden on 02. November 2019 in New York.

Miracle Boy has nothing to say about Neil’s skills, but Thompson is willing to fight any battle.

Neil is known for his strikes, but he has a good fighting spirit, Wonderboy said. He’s very strong. Good teamwork. He keeps his right foot in front of him most of the time, and has a good left head shot [and] a very powerful left arm, which puts people to sleep with it. He maintained a very good position throughout the fight.

Wonderboy continued:

He’s considered one of the best supporters in the league, so I think it’s pretty cool. Keeping him at a distance and using my powers at a distance will play a big role. That means that wherever the fight is, whether it’s a decommissioning, a fight, I’ll be ready. Even if you see my level of karate in the octagon, I practice wrestling, boxing and even man to man combat. So I’m done, no matter where the fight takes place. He’s very, very tough. And his hands are heavy. But I’m the one at the front, and I’m going to test those skills this Saturday. I know he’s very good, but he must be better than me.

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