Well, it won’t prove to be third time lucky for a much-anticipated welterweight pairing of surging perennial contender, Leon Edwards and the captivating emerging challenger, Khamzat Chimaev.
According to a report from ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto tonight, Chechen-born finisher, Chimaev has once more been forced to withdraw from a matchup with Team Renagade BJJ & MMA trainee, Edwards on March 13th. at UFC Vegas 21 — citing more physical issues amid his positive COVID-19 test result late last year.
AllStars MMA trainee, Chimaev was slated to headline his first promotional event at UFC Vegas 17 on December 19th. — until a particularly debilitating case of COVID-19 forced Edwards’ withdrawal. Chimaev was subsequently removed from the event entirely in favour of a rescheduling against the Birmingham native.
Rebooked for UFC Fight Island 8 on January 20th. — lingering lung issues stemming from Chimaev’s positive test result prevented him from being medically cleared to compete and prepare for his fight with Edwards. The #3 ranked contender was also removed from proceedings as the UFC reworked the tie.
As per Okamoto’s report, per UFC president, Dana White — the promotion is expected to move on from the attempted matchup of Edwards and Chimaev whilst the latter recovers, with the former likely in line to match with a new opponent, possibly on a new date.
An exciting prospect, Chimaev had blasted through the trio of John Philips, Rhys McKee, and Gerald Meerschaert between the months of July and September — while Edwards has embarked on a stunning eight-fight unbeaten run, most recently taking home a unanimous decision win over former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night San Antonio back in July of 2019.