Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev is official, again. Third time’s a charm, right?
MMA Fighting reports that the top ranked British welterweight will take on the Swedish-Chechen super prospect in the main event of a UFC show scheduled to take place on March 13. A location for this card has not yet been announced.
After a long break on the sidelines, which saw him booted from the UFC rankings, Edwards was initially booked to face Chimaev on December 19. However, Edwards had to bow out of that contest after testing positive from COVID-19. Edwards reportedly experienced serious symptoms of the virus, which resulted in him losing 14-pounds of weight.
The fight with Chimaev was pushed back to January 20th, to headline a Fight Island card. But Chimaev then tested positive for the virus. Chimaev, too, suffered from symptoms. In his case, his lungs were damaged from his bout with the illness and this was apparently exacerbated by an early return to training.
If Edwards enters the cage on March 13 it will mark 602 days since his last fight; a convincing decision victory over previous UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. The win over RDA was Edwards’ eighth win in a row and it took his overall record to 17-3. That streak includes victories over Gunnar Nelson, Donald Cerrone and Vincente Luque.
The last time Edwards lost was in 2015, versus future champion Kamaru Usman. The only other loss on Edward’s UFC record is a split decision to Claudio Silva in his promotional debut.
Chimaev enters a bout with Edwards with just nines fights to his name, albeit all wins. He made his UFC debut on Fight Island last summer. There he beat John Phillips with a second round d’arce choke. After that he reeled off back-to-back striking finishes over Rhy McKee and Gerald Meerschaert.
Despite his lack of UFC experience, Chimaev has been feted as the next big thing in the welterweight (and middleweight) division. UFC president Dana White, former champion Daniel Cormier, and former (?) champion Khabib Nurmagomedov have all singled out Chimaev for praise and said they expect him to be a star in the sport.
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