It will not be the third time’s the charm for the UFC’s effort to book a welterweight fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards, two of the top rising contenders in the division. According to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Chimaev has been forced to withdraw from his March 13 fight against Edwards due to complications he’s experiencing after suffering from COVID-19 last year.
The fight was most recently scheduled to take place this past January but Chimaev was suffering from COVID-19 and was unable to get his body into physical condition to take the fight. In their first scheduled booking back in December of this past year, Edwards was the one who had to back out of the fight due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Chimaev has taken the welterweight division by storm after three dominant performances to start his UFC career 3-0, and improving his professional MMA record to 9-0. While there have been some in the division, like Edwards, who believe that the UFC has hyped up Chimaev too quickly and placed him higher than he deserves, the UFC seemed intent on making this fight happened. The bout received some extra spice to it after Edwards got into a public dispute with the UFC and he was removed from the rankings until he accepted the fight against Chimaev.
Following the removal of Khamzat Chimaev from the fight on March 13, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson offered to step in and take a fight against Leon Edwards, but Mike Heck of MMA Fighting reports that March would be too soon for Thompson and May would be idea for him to fight Edwards.
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) February 12, 2021
Leon Edwards is 18-3 in his professional MMA career and is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak with his last loss coming to Kamaru Usman back in 2015. Due to injuries and COVID-19, Edwards has not fought since July of 2019 when he defeated former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos.
The UFC will surely look to book a new opponent for Edwards, with Thompson already offering his services and Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington lining up as potential options as well.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
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