After multiple rebooking attempts the highly anticipated matchup of welterweights Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards has once again been canceled due to COVID-related effects plaguing Chimaev.
When speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, UFC President Dana White broke the news sharing that the COVID has caused an issue will Chimaev’s lungs that will require him to be put on medication.
“There’s something wrong with his lungs they’re putting him on medication again and he’s out of that fight so Shaun is literally in the other room right now working on a fight for Leon Edwards,” White said.
Edwards and Chimaev have been booked to face one another three times, first in December of 2020, secondly in January, however, due to both athletes getting COVID these fell through. After these bookings were postponed White was adamant that the UFC would rebook the matchup, but this time it appears the organization will move on and give Edwards a different opponent.
“I was so excited, that was one of my favorite fights this year,” White said. “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.”
Since entering the organization in July of 2020, Chimaev has been on a rocket to the top fighting twice within 10 days and absorbing only two strikes between both matchups. Following this, Chimaev returned to knock out Gerald Meerchaert with the first punch of their fight later in 2020. after these wins, the UFC was looking to book the unranked Chimaev against the number two ranked Welterweight Edwards, in a fight that would surely be a number one contender bout.
Now for Edwards, it is not clear exactly who the UFC will replace Chimaev with, however, it will likely be a top-five opponent as Edwards attempts to continue his massive unbeaten streak and set himself up for the next title shot following UFC 258.