Leon Edwards Releases a Statement After Khamzat Chimaev Withdraws From Fight

Published 12/29/2020, 11:40 PM EST
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – JULY 20: Leon Edwards of Jamaica stands in his corner prior to facing Rafael Dos Anjos in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at AT&T Center on July 20, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards took to Twitter and expressed his willingness to stay on as the headliner for January 20, 2021. ‘Rocky’ has had a trouble-filled 2020, and it seems like his fortune is not set to change anytime soon. Edwards was matched up with consensus ‘Breakout Fighter of the Year’ Khamzat Chimaev to headline Fight Island 8, but the fight has now fallen through.

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Chiefly, this is the second time the bout is being scheduled after the original date of December 19, 2020 fell apart. Leon Edwards came down with a brutal case of COVID-19 that ensured he wouldn’t be able to compete. With over a year of inactivity under his belt, ‘Rocky’ Edwards seemingly can’t wait to scrap, regardless of the opponent.

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The Brit last fought all the way back in July 2019 and has easily been the most unlucky fighter on the UFC roster through 2020. Moreover, it’s not clear why Chimaev pulled out of the fight; however, Edwards’ tweet seems to point to a health scare. ‘Borz’ has proven himself to be an ‘anytime-anywhere’ fighter, and he’ll be itching to return to action.

What’s next for Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards?

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The well-established welterweight is on an 8 fight win streak and has accrued wins over top-ranked divisional fighters. His last loss came to the current 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman, and fans are excited to see them run it back. Under normal circumstances, a fighter on an 8-fight streak would have certainly fought for gold.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – JULY 20: Leon Edwards of Jamaica reacts after defeating Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil by unanimous decision in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at AT&T Center on July 20, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Edwards has a few options before him since it’s clear he wished to stay on the fight card. Chiefly, Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny are set to scrap on the same card and were placed as contingency replacements. In fact, Magny was keen on inserting himself into the mix when the first bout between Edwards and Chimaev fell out.

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The aforementioned fight between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev has been one that fans have been pining for. With the recent cancelation, it seems as though the UFC will move past this booking as Edwards needs to get back to action. A marquee main event win could help push ‘Rocky’ straight towards a rematch against Kamaru Usman.

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Darryl Pinto

1478 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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