In what feels like an age, Leon Edwards will be finally stepping back inside the UFC octagon. His last bout came in July 2019 against Rafael dos Anjos, with COVID-19 scuppering plans to fight Tyron Woodley back in March.
Originally planned for this card to go ahead in the Brit's home nation, this could have been Edwards' 'coming out party'. It feels strange to describe a fighter that is on an 8 win streak in this way, but it is the brutal truth. Rocky is a respected figure inside the cage, but he is yet to hit stardom outside of it.
On the contrary, his upcoming opponent in Khamzat Chimaev is the hottest prospect in the organisation right now. The Russian-born Swede went viral over summer, registering the quickest back-to-back wins in UFC history - 10 days. He then went one better in September too, claiming the fastest three fight winning streak in modern UFC history. At 66 days, this record is likely to stand for some time.
Three explosive fights have inevitably got fans excited, and both the fighter and UFC are ticking all the right boxes in the marketing field. Chimaev has publicly stated that he simply wants to 'smash everybody', and Dana White is giving him the platform to do exactly that. The 26-year-old's interview with Dan Hardy amassed over 600,000 views on YouTube - no UFC fighter after their first three fights has ever drawn in these kind of numbers, and spectators are simply loving Chimaev's persona, but also his skills inside the cage.
Edwards could well be feeling shades of Nate Diaz v Conor McGregor - the quote 'You're taking everything I've worked for' is a rather fitting one. Ahead of this highly-anticipated bout, we've had a look into the opening odds.