Leon Edwards Says He Was Turned Down for a Main Card Fight Despite Being Ready

Published 01/05/2021, 6:54 AM EST
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – JULY 20: Leon Edwards of Jamaica is interviewed 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)


UFC welterweight Leon Edwards is back in the headlines as his narrative to secure a fight continues to evolve. Edwards came in to face Khamzat Chimaev on January 20, 2021, however, ‘Borz’ pulled out due to post-COVID-19 related issues. Chiefly, this wasn’t the first cancelation, the first came back in December 2020.

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ESPN’s Ariel Helwani has been vigorously posting on the bout as Edwards has been out of competition since July 2019. Through Helwani’s latest post, a new source of information regarding ‘Rocky’ Edwards has come to light. Leon Edwards revealed that he was keen to fight another welterweight who was on the same January card in place of Chimaev. Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny were the 170-pounders who were highly ranked and placed on the same fight card against each other.

Leon Edwards writes he offered to fight Chiesa or Magny on 1/20 and Chimaev right after but was denied. https://t.co/6H7Msu7B6v pic.twitter.com/Qsco4akSl6

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 4, 2021

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It seems as though the UFC is hell-bent on making the match-up with Chimaev work as they refused Leon’s offer. Additionally, the general consensus is that Edwards has already been inactive for long enough and that securing a match-up is of utmost importance.

Leon Edwards: Spiraling out of control

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2020 hasn’t been easy to navigate for a large majority of people, however, Leon Edwards has had an especially rough go of things. The Brit has had multiple fight cancelations against notable opponents who would have greatly bolstered his profile. The biggest case comes in the bout against Tyron Woodley that fell through due to the pandemic. Not to mention, that happened to be the very first UFC event that fell apart.

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)

Moreover, the UFC removed him from the rankings temporarily. This was seen as a ploy to get him to initially accept the Chimaev fight. All in all, it’s safe to say that he’ll be keen to get on track and get to a title shot in quick order. He’s on an 8-fight win streak and certainly deserves to get in line to fight for gold.

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Edwards is now on the shelf presumably till February where he’ll hopefully fight Chimaev and close that chapter. Despite the delay, ‘Borz’ Chimaev’s massive profile will be extremely beneficial to Leon Edwards who needs the visibility.

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Darryl Pinto

1409 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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