With uber-prospect, Khamzat ‘Borz’ Chimaev out of his first promotional headliner on January 20 against perennial welterweight contender, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards — some notable suitors have offered their services on short notice to meet to the Birmingham native at the ‘Fight Island’ event.
Streaking fan-favourite, Kevin ‘The Trailblazer’ Holland, and one-time opponent of Edwards, Vicente ‘The Silent Assassin’ Luque have both offered Edwards the opportunity to feature at the Flash Forum, Abu Dhabi, UAE showcase.
With reasons for Chimaev’s withdrawal still undisclosed, this marks the second time in just over a month a pairing of the two has been shelved. Originally scheduled to headline the promotion’s final event of the year at UFC Vegas 17 on December 19 — Edwards was forced to remove himself from the card after he was struck down with a particularly hampering case of the novel coronavirus.
The winner of five on the trot in 2020 alone, Travis Lutter Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Holland has been chomping at the bit at a quickfire return to the Octagon following his shocking, innovative finish of former world champion, Jacare Souza at UFC 256 earlier this month.
Luque, of course, shared the Octagon with the Team Renagade BJJ & MMA mainstay, Edwards back at UFC Fight Night London back in March of 2017, on his way to a unanimous decision defeat. Edwards would go on to compile an eight-fight win streak which he’s still currently riding.
The 29-year-old New York-born finish, Luque has won two-straight this year — knocking back Niko Price again before an August knockout of Randy Brown.
Taking to his official Twitter account this afternoon, Holland claimed he would draft in on January 20 against Edwards, urging the promotion to “call big mouth“.
“Hold up, so am I hearing the #UFCFightIsland hotel has a vacancy and needs a real man to come in and do work on January 20th? #callbigmouth
Hoping to avenge his 2017 decision loss to Edwards, the above mentioned Luque also threw his name into the hat in the hopes of securing a rematch.
“I’m ready to get that rematch with @Leon_edwardsmma I know MMA fans would love to watch it! Let’s go @ufc @seanshelby @AliAbdelaziz00“
Whilst both Holland and Luque have offered their services on short notice, the promotion had recently penned a matchup between The Ultimate Fighter 15 victor, Michael ‘The Maverick’ Chiesa and longtime welterweight contender, ‘The Haitian Sensation’ Neil Magny for the same UFC Fight Island 8 event, with that matchup viewed as a possible backup to our now scrapped main event.