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Leon Edwards on UFC Vegas 17 withdrawal: ‘Another setback’

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Welterweight contender Leon Edwards spoke about his unfortunate withdrawal from UFC Vegas 17.

UFC Fight Night 147 Saturday 16th March 2019 Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

2020 has not been a kind year to No. 3 ranked UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards.

From losing a scheduled main event slot against former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in March to being temporarily removed from the UFC rankings because of inactivity, Edwards has surely been through a lot in such a short period of time. His bad luck seemed to be turning around after he returned to the rankings following his acceptance of a fight against fast-rising prospect, Khamzat Chimaev for the main event of UFC Vegas 17, but that has since taken a turn for the worst.

On Tuesday, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reported that Edwards had tested positive for COVID-19 in what was described as a severe case that saw him lose 12 pounds over the span of four days. Edwards is now said to be recovering, but his fight against Chimaev has been called off. He took to social media on Wednesday to respond to the unfortunate news.

“Another setback, but when you come from the mud you learn to put everything in perspective. This virus has affected many lives and families much worse than mine. Looking forward to getting this rebooked soon, thank you all for the well wishes,” wrote Edwards.

His opponent, Chimaev, responded to the message by extending his well wishes and hope for a fast recovery.

Per the initial report from Helwani, the plan is to have Edwards versus Chimaev rebooked for a date in 2021, but that has not been confirmed at the time of this writing. Edwards was hoping to use this fight as a way to lobby for a long-awaited title shot, but that will have to wait until he is fully recovered.

Edwards is currently on an impressive eight-fight win streak, besting names like Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson and Rafael dos Anjos.