Well, it seems all may not be lost for perennial UFC welterweight contender, Leon Edwards. Seeing his UFC Vegas 21 matchup against Khamzat Chimaev fall to the wayside yet again, the Birmingham native may be lined up for a short-notice replacement, in an even higher-profile pairing.
Speaking with media ahead of UFC 258 this weekend at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada — UFC president, Dana White detailed how the organization are currently attempting to put together a potential title-eliminator tie between former interim gold holder, Colby Covington and the above mentioned, Edwards.
Whilst hopeful of seeing Covington draft in on the original March 13th. Fight Night date, White remained optimistic, although noted the matchup may have to be pushed back further — with talks still at a preliminary stage as of writing.
Forced to withdraw from a matchup with Edwards, captivating AllStars force, Chimaev is still dealing with lingering health issues stemming from a positive COVID-19 test late last year, which forced him from a UFC Fight Island 7 headliner with Edwards in January.
Failing to feature despite his best efforts since UFC Fight Night San Antonio back in July of 2019 — Edwards was forced to withdraw from a UFC Vegas 17 matchup with the #15 ranked Chimaev following a particularly debilitating COVID-19 contraction of his own.
Taking headlining honours at the AT&T Center main event in Texas, Edwards took home a unanimous decision win over one-time undisputed lightweight gold holder, Rafael dos Anjos — notching his eight consecutive victory following his 2015 loss to current champion, Kamaru Usman.
Forever linked with a matchup against former friend and American Top Team teammate, Jorge Masvidal, Covington seems to be on the brink of a return himself, just not against the Floridian.
Rebounding from his UFC 245 title tilt loss to rival Usman back in December of 2019, Covington dropped a fifth-round knockout defeat in an instant classic title fight. Returning at UFC Vegas 11 in September, Covington took on former champion, Tyron Woodley in another grudge-match — overcoming the St. Louis native in the fifth round via a rib injury after a one-sided display for the prior four frames.
Whilst the promotion have yet to officially book Covington and Edwards in a sure to be anticipated matchup, it’s clear the organization look to restore some order to the division and offer the duo a clear path to either respective rematches against Usman, or this weekend’s challenger, Gilbert Burns if he emerges victorious.