But not everyone is rejoicing as Khamjat Chimayev now has to put an end to his title hopes in the form of an eagerly awaited trilogy fight against Usman looms.
UFC Hall of Fame inductee Daniel Cormier, speaking on his YouTube channel, labeled Chimaev the “biggest loser” in the aftermath of Edwards’ latest success, insisting that the Swedish fighter’s future is up in the air.
Khamzat Chimayev has been named ‘the biggest loser’ by UFC Hall of Fame’s Daniel Cormier
Leon Edwards (left) will now rematch Kamaru Usman after his surprise championship win
The Russian-born Chimaev is currently training for a main event fight with veteran Nate Diaz at UFC 279 next month, a fight that should he win, would have put him in line for a divisional title shot.
But fight commentator Cormier is unsure what the next step is for Chimaev, with an Osman-Edwards rematch expected later this year meaning a championship shot is more distant than ever.
“I think last weekend he didn’t realize he was the biggest loser in the Usman vs Lyon situation, because he was on the line,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel.
Russian-born Chimayev (right) may now face fellow title contender Colby Covington (left)
‘All he had to do was get ahead of Diaz. All he had to do was go ahead of Diaz, you fight for the championship, but with Leon Edwards now winning, we’ve got a trilogy and rightly so.
‘This raises the question: what is this fight for? I think for Diaz, this fight is for the legacy.
‘I think for Chimaev, it’s just another scalp on his resume, because I don’t know if this win is necessary given that he’s already close to a championship fight.
‘And, because of last weekend’s result, he’ll need another one. I wonder who else he’s going to come up against. If he beats Diaz, will he get the next Covington?’
Cormier questions who Chimaev fights next if he beats Nate Diaz at UFC 279 in September
Colby Covington, 34, may represent an arbiter stepping stone that will undoubtedly challenge Chimaev for a shot at the welterweight title.
Covington, however, will have his hopes of securing a third title after having lost twice earlier to former champion Usman and will give Chimaev his toughest test yet inside the Octagon.