After testing positive for the COVID-19, Leon Edwards was pulled from the UFC Vegas 17 main event, and without a replacement fighter being selected, conventional wisdom is that the fight between Edwards and Chimaev would be rescheduled. The only dribbles of doubt were 1) Neil Magny volunteering to fill in for Edwards and 2) If Edwards would have a change of heart about fighting Chimaev. After all, Edwards had turned down Chimaev in the past and had insisted on either getting a title shot or a fight against a top-5 opponent, preferably in a grudge match against Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal.
It has been reported that the UFC would like to have the bout rescheduled, which voids Neil Magny’s offer or anyone else being chosen to take Leon Edwards’ place. And as for Edwards having a change of heart, he put that notion to bed in a statement released soon after the fight cancellation.
“Another setback, but when you come from the mud you learn to put everything in perspective. This virus has affected many lives and families much worse than mine. Looking forward to getting this rebooked soon, thank you all for the well wishes,” Edwards wrote.
If the UFC (and fans) has their way, “soon” will be very early in 2021. Leon Edwards himself has to be chomping at the bit to return to the cage. He has not competed since July 2021 in what was a unanimous decision win over Rafael dos Anjos. Edwards is currently ranked #3 in the welterweight division.
How do you think Leon Edwards will look when he finally returns to action against Khamzat Chimaev?