Leon Edwards has gone well over a year without a fight, and despite his desire to still compete on the UFC’s January 20th show, it is not happening.
Edwards (18-3) was supposed to face Khamzat Chimaev last month in Las Vegas, only for “Rocky” to test positive for COVID-19 and pull out of the fight. This month, it’s Chimaev who can’t make it due to his own coronavirus battle, so the UFC has opted to reschedule this matchup and bump up Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny to main event status.
According to Edwards, he actually wanted to face either Chiesa or Magny — both higher ranked than Chimaev but with much less hype surrounding them both — and then fight Chimaev afterward, but the UFC shot that down.
“I offered to fight Neil or Chiesa in the main event Jan. 20 and Chimaev straight after, but the UFC decided against it,” Edwards wrote on Instagram.
One can only wonder if his double-booking attempt was what the UFC wasn’t keen on, or if they’re just dead set on him fighting Chimaev specifically and no one else.
The English welterweight contender is riding an eight-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming against Rafael dos Anjos in July 2019. Since then he’s had multiple scheduled fights cancelled all as a direct result of the pandemic, and he was briefly removed from the rankings due to inactivity before a quick reinstatement when he accepted the Chimaev fight. Guess he’ll have to wait a little longer to make his return to the Octagon, and against someone who’s clearly the A-side despite zero top-15 wins to his name.