For the second time in just over a month, the anticipated welterweight pairing of perennial contender, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards, and prospect, Khamzat ‘Borz’ Chimaev has been shelved from it’s originally scheduled main event slot.
According to a report from Swedish outlet, Front Kick, Chimaev has been forced to withdraw from the main event clash with reasons still undisclosed — following an initial report from RT Sport who detailed how the fight had been cancelled. The promotion has also removed the pairing from their official website.
This marks the second such occasion a matchup of Edwards and Chimaev has been cancelled, after the former was forced to remove himself from proceedings at UFC Vegas 17 on December 19th. after he had contracted a particularly debilitating case of COVID-19.
The promotion instead ended their 2020 schedule with a welterweight main event of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and Geoff ‘Handz of Steel’ Neal, with the former scoring a comfortable unanimous decision win.
The winner of eight straight since his 2015 decision defeat to current champion, Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman, Team Renegade BJJ & MMA trainee, Edwards last featured at UFC Fight Night San Antonio in July of last year, taking home a unanimous judging win over former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos.
Exploding onto the Octagon scene in July at ‘Fight Island’ — undefeated AllStars mainstay, Chimaev debuted with a kimura finish of John Phillips, before returning to the Octagon just ten days later with a first-round ground-and-pound stoppage of Rhys McKee.
Debuting in Las Vegas in September, Chimaev took on Gerald Meerschaert, notching a highlight-reel one-punch knockout in just seventeen-seconds against the Roufusport staple.
As of writing, it is unknown if the promotion will attempt to book Edwards vs. Chimaev a third time, however, recently added to the card was another welterweight matchup of grappler, Michael ‘The Maverick’ Chiesa, and division mainstay, ‘The Haitian Sensation’ Neil Magny — which was expected to serve as a potential backup.