UFC president Dana White was a guest on The Jim Rowe Show and announced that the promotion has come to agreement on a fight between Chimaev and Leon Edwards.
Check out Dana White announcing the bout live in the video above.
UFC welterweight Leon Edwards was reportedly taken off the UFC rankings because of inactivity. So it seemed anyway.
UFC officials have told Leon Edwards’ team that he is being removed from the UFC rankings, sources say. This comes following frustrations surrounding not being able to book his next fight. No comment yet from Edwards or UFC. Of course, they can do this since it is their rankings.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 22, 2020
On Friday, UFC president Dana White was a guest on The Jim Rowe Show and announced that the promotion has come to agreement on a fight between Chimaev and Leon Edwards, they are officially set to dance on December 19th at the UFC APEX, the welterweight scrap will be headlining the event.
“We just got a deal done [Thursday] for Leon Edwards vs. Chimaev,” White stated. “They will fight. It will be a great fight and he can stop calling everyone out on Twitter now. He’s got an opponent.”
ESPN reporter, Ariel Helwani was the first one to break the news for Edwards x Chimaev with an official date.
Leon Edwards x Khamzat Chimaev is a done deal, sources say. Main event. 170. Dec. 19.
Edwards is back in the rankings, too. No. 3.
Dana White first revealed that they came to terms with both guys earlier today on @jimrome.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 23, 2020
After becoming a overnight sensation, Chimaev is perfect 3-0 since July, finishes of John Phillips, Rhys McKee and, most recently, a 17-second, one-punch knockout of Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11 in September. Creating history in the meantime, becoming the first fighter to hold wins in two different divisions in 10 days. Not a bad way to kick off your UFC tenure. He’s produced all of his three victories inside of the UFC promotion, all by stoppage and in a span of 66 days.
According to White, In what will be the toughest test of his nine-fight pro mixed martial arts journey, a possibly Chimaev win over one of the top title contenders in the 170-division would catapult him into another level, more so then he is already.
Depending on who you ask, the official UFC rankings either mean nothing or everything. The MMA community often heavily downgrade the UFC ranking system, although some fighters believe they’re nothing or everything, others point to their value as a negotiating tool for more money or better fights.
Edwards’ last fight inside the octagon was a win over Rafael Dos Anjos back in July 2019. He was set to face former champ Tyron Woodley in March 2020 in his home country, but that fight was canceled as the coronavirus shut down borders internationally. Meanwhile, the UFC have reportedly offered him several opponents, none of which were worthy enough for “Rocky” to agree.
According to Ariel Helwani:
“After the Woodley fight fell through in March, the next offer came on short notice to fight Usman in July, then Covington when Woodley fight was iffy, then Geoff Neal and then Khamzat Chimaev on 12/19. Edwards didn’t agree to those fights.”
This news should come as a bit of a surprise to the MMA community, considering Edwards was just removed from the official UFC welterweight rankings earlier this week due to “inactivity.” The English contender showed little interest in fighting an up-and-coming name like Chimaev, but a deal was ultimately finalized. Just one day later, though, White announced he’s back in the rankings at number #3.
The Brit, who has put together an eight-fight winning streak at 170 pounds, campaigned for a title shot at one time. Now he will take on unranked Khamzat Chimaev at welterweight, after he shot himself into UFC stardom.
In Conclusion, UFC on ESPN+ 44 now holds up like:
Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev – Main Event
Antonio Braga Neto vs. Deron Winn
Sean Brady vs. Belal Muhammad
Tafon Nchukwi vs. Jamie Pickett
Rob Font vs. Marlon Moraes
*not the official lineup*