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Dana White still loves the idea of Edwards vs. Chimaev despite recent hurdles

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“We’ll turn that around as quick as we can. Just want to make sure both guys are healthy; both guys had COVID.”

UFC president Dana White response to Jake Paul’s threat. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Despite two failed attempts at booking a welterweight matchup between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev, UFC president Dana White is determined to get both fighters to the cage — hopefully by the end of the year.

The fight has been scrapped on two separate occasions due to both fighters testing positive for COVID-19, with Chimaev pulling out of their most recent booking at UFC Fight Island 8 citing lung issues.

White plans to get the fight rebooked as soon as possible with both fighters 100 percent healthy.

“That’s the fight to make,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a recent interview. “I love that fight. They both already agreed to it, so we’ll get it figured out. We’ll turn that around as quick as we can. Just want to make sure both guys are healthy; both guys had COVID.”

Edwards is on an impressive eight-fight win streak but hasn’t fought since his decision win over Rafael dos Anjos in July 2019. He had numerous fight cancellations in 2020 due to no fault of his own. Chimaev, 26, is unranked at welterweight but one of the most promising fighters in the division. The 26-year-old is undefeated at 9-0 with three straight finishes in the UFC. White believes he is ‘something special’, singing Chimaev’s praise following his 17-second demolition of Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11.

“One punch. 17 seconds. This kid is special. He’s different than any fighter I’ve ever seen. I’ve been in the business for a very long time, I’ve seen a lot of greats come and go. This kid is absolutely special and I’ve never seen anything like it.”