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Khamzat Chimaev out of Leon Edwards Fight

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 19: Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya prepares to fight Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Khamzat Chimaev, the highly anticipated UFC middleweight and welterweight prospect, is out of the fight with Leon Edwards. Their battle was originally planned for January 20th, at UFC Fight Island 8. But the undefeated Chechen-Swede has pulled out, for as yet undisclosed reasons. This marks the second time the fight has been called off. They were previously booked to fight on the 20th of this December. But after Edwards suffered a particularly nasty case of COVID-19 that caused him to lose large amounts of weight, the fight was scrapped.

Khamzat Chimaev comes off of three stoppage victories in the UFC, over John Phillips, Rhys McKee, and Gerald Meerschaert. Despite these impressive victories, a chance to face the #3 ranked welterweight Leon Edwards still surprised most. It is a tough ask for the relatively inexperienced Chimaev. The discussion has been raised whether it would be wiser for him to fight a less elite opponent first.

Khamzat Chimaev Out – Who will replace him?

Leon Edwards has since tried to find another opponent. The Jamaican-British fighter has found a lot of success in the UFC, defeating experienced fighters like Gunnar Nelson, Vicente Luque and Rafael dos Anjos. However, he has not fought in over a year since the fight with dos Anjos in July of 2019. A potential title eliminator bout with Tyron Woodley was canceled due to travel restrictions, and he has been on the shelf since.

Edwards has vocally called out current #4 ranked welterweight Jorge Masvidal. This marks the culmination of a grudge that began when, after words were exchanged at a UFC card, Masvidal suddenly struck Edwards several times. Masvidal has not yet responded to the callout. Fellow welterweights have begun chiming in for a shot at Edwards. These include #8 ranked Vicente Luque, thirsty for a rematch, and #9 Neil Magny. #10 middleweight Kevin Holland has also offered to fight Edwards, though it is unclear if he is offering a catchweight or not.

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