It seems as though top ranked UFC welterweight Leon Edwards will have to wait even longer before making his return to the Octagon. ‘Rocky’ last fought all the way back in in July 2019, when he dominated former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Santos at UFC on ESPN 4.
Edwards was supposed to be fighting hot prospect Khamzat Chimaev in the main event of what is now UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny on January 20th. However, a COVID-19 infection, which reportedly did a number on Chimaev’s lungs, forced the Chechen-Swede off the card.
The January 20th date for the fight was made after Edwards was forced out of match-up with Chimaev set for December 19th due to his own struggle with coronavirus.
After Chimaev withdrew from their upcoming contest, it was at first fought the UFC might seek a new opponent for Edwards., their third ranked welterweight, and keep him on the card.
However, Dana White has now announced that that’s not going to happen.
“He won’t (be headlining the card),” said White on The Schmozone Podcast (per Cole Shelton and bjpenn.com). “What we are doing is we are going to push that fight back.”
Before seeing two bouts with Chimaev postponed, Edwards was booked to face former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in a bout that could have paved the Brit’s way to a title shot.
Although, that fight was scheduled for March 21 2020, right when COVID-19 began causing chaos for sports across the world.
As the pandemic grew in severity the UFC scrambled to keep their events going. Part of that scrambling was, as Edwards tells it, telling the fighter to get their passport and be ready to board a plane for a mystery US location. Edwards declined that request, citing uncertainty about international travel and quarantine protocols.
During the long hiatus that has followed Edwards saw his name removed from the UFC’s official rankings. Edwards was only reinstated in the rankings after he accepted a fight with the UFC’s prized project Chimaev (who is 3-0 in the promotion and 9-0 overall).