Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev has been canceled yet again.
The highly anticipated UFC welterweight bout was initially scheduled to take place on Dec. 19 at the UFC APEX but a positive COVID-19 test for Edwards forced him out of the fight.
The promotion then rebooked the fight for Jan. 20. But this time, Chimaev has reportedly contracted coronavirus and is unable to fight in January, therefore shattering the chances of Edwards vs. Chimaev happening in the near future or any time at all. The news was first reported by Front Kick Online.
On a video posted to The Body Lock’s YouTube channel, Patrick Auger and Matthew Wells discussed the news and shared their takes on what could happen next for each fighter.
Wells comments that the pandemic has screwed up everything good with MMA this year. Interestingly, like many fans, Wells wasn’t particularly interested in the bout at first considering Chimaev was clearly skipping the line at welterweight. But as we got closer to the fight, he warmed up to the idea and eventually became excited about it.
Auger, too, comments that this was sure to be an exciting fight and it’s a shame that we’ll miss out on it again. Auger says a third attempt at booking the fight is possible, but he wouldn’t count on it.
In the meantime, Edwards has called for a fight with Jorge Masvidal on Twitter.
Where that bitch Jorge at?
— Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) December 29, 2020
But that fight seems unlikely, as well, considering that Masvidal would need to take yet another fight against a top welterweight on short-notice.
Who should Leon Edwards fight?
Wells says that if Edwards can fight and he can head to Fight Island without issue, then the UFC should look at booking a fight for him vs. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Alternatively, the fight with Masvidal just sells itself.
Auger feels like the Masvidal fight makes more sense from a business perspective. If Edwards wins, he gets some of the superstar rub from Masvidal. Auger also likes the “Wonderboy” fight and believes that to be the better fight to make, but the business-side of thinking would definitely be leaning to Masvidal.
And what about Khamzat Chimaev?
Wells says that Chimaev needs to be scheduled with a guy around or close to the top-five in the UFC welterweight rankings. The promotion can’t just book him against Edwards (#3) and then immediately jump back to booking him against a much lower-ranked fighter.
Auger calls for a “business is booming” show with Masvidal. If Chimaev beats Masvidal, he’ll be on the way to becoming a true superstar and a Masvidal win would be a fantastic way for him to rebound after losing to Kamaru Usman.