Khamzat Chimaev will reportedly not fight against Leon Edwards. This is the second time the fight has fallen through after Edwards had to pull out of their main event fight in December. The UFC will now look to replace ‘Borz’ for the third scheduled card on their return to Fight Island.
While no official announcement has been provided by the UFC, the rumors first floated after MMA Island reported that changes were being made to the card, including to the main event.
“Khamzat Chimaev is rumored to be out of his Jan. 20 fight against Leon Edwards. Chimaev has been replaced as ‘TBD’ on the UFC production prompt. The UFC has also removed the booking from their website,” MMA Island’s Twitter account reported. They would further confirm that the rumors to be true as FrontKick broke the news officially.
This was not an easy break for Leon Edwards, who was unable to compete during 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. ‘Rocky’ was seen as the #1 contender to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman’s title. However, with him being stuck in the UK, Gilbert Burns was pushed up to the #1 contender’s spot, and Jorge Masvidal got a title shot as well.
Since then, Edwards had to be content with accepting the next fight that was offered to him. The opponent was Khamzat Chimaev, the Swedish star who had a surreal rise to fame in the UFC after fighting thrice in the second half of the year. Edward’s who is ranked #3 would face Chimaev, who had just broken into the UFC’s top 15. Initially, Edwards showed some resistance to the match up but was removed from the UFC rankings altogether.
Welterweight is one of the top divisions in the UFC. With the likes of Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, all in the mix, it could very well be one of them who steps in to face Edwards.
The fans would love to see Jorge Masvidal face Leon Edwards. A fight against Masvidal would boost Edward’s star power, but ‘Gamebred’ could already have his hands full with Colby Covington. Additionally, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see names like Neil Magny or Stephen Thompson step in.
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