The highly-anticipated welterweight scrap between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev will have to wait a bit longer.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that Edwards vs. Chimaev is off the UFC Vegas 17 card scheduled for December 19. That’s because Edwards tested positive for COVID-19. It’s quite the twist as some reports had surfaced claiming Chimaev was the one who tested positive. Chimaev’s team denied those reports but unfortunately, the bout has indeed been pushed back.
Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev isn’t happening on Dec. 19, per sources. Unfortunately, Edwards recently tested positive for COVID.
UFC is hoping to re-book the fight in early 2021, sources say.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 1, 2020
“Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev isn’t happening on Dec. 19, per sources. Unfortunately, Edwards recently tested positive for COVID. UFC is hoping to re-book the fight in early 2021, sources say.”
Many predicted that the UFC would get hit hard this winter with COVID cases. Those predictions were correct. The UFC had recently lost a main event fight on weigh-in day for UFC Vegas 15 as Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19. Kevin Holland also tested positive, forcing him out of a planned December 5 bout against Jack Hermansson.
The bout with Edwards is by far the biggest test of Chimaev’s young pro MMA career. Chimaev has been building a ton of hype. If he can knock off Edwards this early in his career, he’ll likely receive a UFC Welterweight Title opportunity. It would be hard to argue at that point as Edwards holds the number three spot on the official UFC welterweight rankings.