Much like Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson, Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev is a fascinating stylistic matchup that is fast becoming a cursed one.
On Thursday, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the Edwards – Chimaev fight scheduled for 13 March had fallen through for a third time in a few months.
Chimaev was forced to pull out of the fight due to the ongoing and persistent issues he is enduring after contracting COVID-19.
The contest was first booked to take place in December before being postponed when news emerged that Edwards tested positive for the coronavirus.
It was then re-booked for January, but that was then nixed once Chechnya’s Chimaev caught COVID-19. Those lingering effects of catching COVID-19 in December continues to prevent Chimaev from fighting.
Like us, White was also eagerly anticipating this bout. “I’m so bummed out. I was so excited. That was one of my favorite fights this year,” White told ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto. “The one thing you have to look at right now is health. Let’s make sure this guy is healthy, get him the best care we can and make sure he makes a full recovery.”
As there is an undetermined time for Chimaev to make a full recovery, the UFC is moving on from this matchup.
That doesn’t mean Edwards and Chimaev won’t fight later, but White said they’re already on the hunt for a different opponent for Edwards on that same 13 March date.
“[Matchmaker Sean Shelby] is literally in the other room right now working on a new fight for Leon Edwards,” White told Okamoto.
Edwards is eager to return to the Octagon in 2021 after not competing at all last year. The Birmingham native is on an eight-fight win streak, defeating the likes of Rafael Dos Anjos, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Vicente Luque on that run.