They say the third time’s a charm, but that isn’t the case for Khamzat Chimaev vs Leon Edwards. On Thursday, UFC president Dana White told ESPN that the March 13 fight has been called off.
Per a report from Brett Okamoto, White says Chimaev had to withdraw from the bout because of the “lingering physical effects” caused by COVID-19. The undefeated UFC prospect caught the virus in December, forcing him off the second booking of the fight for Jan. 20.
Prior to the January booking, it was Edwards who had to be removed from their anticipated December bout due to his own battle against the coronavirus.
Along with the report of this latest fight cancellation, ESPN notes that the UFC will now be moving on from the matchup. The promotion plans to find a replacement opponent for Edwards, potentially for a different upcoming card.
Chimaev (9-0, 3-0 in the UFC) had a stellar 2020. After a successful debut against John Phillips in July, he made the quickest turnaround in company history ten days later to defeat Rhys McKee. He went back in two months later to knockout Gerald Meerschaert inside 17 seconds.
Edwards (18-3, 10-2 in the UFC) has not competed since July 2019 when he defeated former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. He is currently on an eight-fight win streak.