The highly anticipated December 19th bout between #3 UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards and the highly touted prospect and #15 ranked contender Khamzat Chimaev has been cancelled after Edwards contracted COVID-19. The story was broken by ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani. The UFC is hoping to rebook Edwards vs. Chimaev early next year. It comes on the heels of false news that the fight was off because Chimaev had contracted COVID-19, but this was later shown to be false.
Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev Canceled
Edwards has not fought since July of last year, when he defeated former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. Chimaev has fought three times this year in the UFC. He has defeated John Phillips, Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschart, earning Performance of the Night bonuses for all three bouts. In addition, the ten day turnaround between the Phillips and McKee fights represents the fastest time between two fights in the history of the modern UFC. The fight against Edwards represents a significant leap in competition for Chimaev. Prior to the announcement of the bout, Chimaev was not yet ranked at any division.
It is expected that the new main event for UFC Fight Night 183 will be #5 ranked welterweight contender Stephen Thompson versus #11 ranked contender Geoff Neal. Thompson comes off of a decision win over Vicente Luque. Neal comes off of a first round TKO victory over Mike Perry.
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