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Leon Edwards reveals UFC stopped him from fighting in January after Khamzat Chimaev pulled out

Leon Edwards says he wanted to fight Michael Chiesa or Neil Magny
Leon Edwards says he wanted to fight Michael Chiesa or Neil Magny
Modified 05 Jan 2021, 13:28 IST

Leon Edwards has revealed that he was willing to fight either Michael Chiesa or Neil Magny on the day of his originally scheduled bout which was supposed to take place on January 20, 2021. However, UFC didn't seem convinced with his proposal.

Edwards recently left a comment on one of the Instagram posts, suggesting that the UFC didn't want him to fight Chiesa or Magny.

Leon Edwards
Leon Edwards' comment

Edwards was initially set to face Khamzat Chimaev on UFC's last event of 2020 on December 19. However, the British fighter tested positive for COVID-19 and the much-awaited fight was called off.

UFC rescheduled their bout to a later date of January 2020, but the fight was canceled for the second time after Chimaev ended up contracting COVID-19 a few weeks before the event, seemingly making him unfit to train for the fight. Following that, UFC pushed the Chiesa vs. Magny fight to the main event slot.

Speaking to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Ali Abdelaziz, who is Chimaev's manager, said that the Swedish fighter's lungs haven't recovered fully.

"Khamzat had coronavirus and when he went back to gym, his lungs did not recover 100 percent. He needs time for his lungs to recover, and right now, it's about taking that necessary time," said Abdelaziz.

When was the last time Leon Edwards competed in UFC?

UFC welterweight Leon Edwards
UFC welterweight Leon Edwards

Leon Edwards last competed in UFC on 20 July 2019, against former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.

'Rocky' was riding on a seven-fight win streak going up against dos Anjos, and although the fight went the distance, Edwards comfortably defeated his Brazilian opponent.

Since then, Edwards' potential fight against the likes of Tyron Woodley and Khamzat Chimaev has failed to transpire. Undergoing a long hiatus, Edwards - the No.3 ranked Welterweight - was also removed from the division rankings owing to his inactivity. However, UFC reinstated him back on to the rankings following the announcement of his clash opposite Chimaev.

As of now, it is not yet clear when UFC is once again planning to pit the star Welterweights against each other. Still, given that both the fighters have garnered enough star power, they are likely to headline a non-PPV event in the first quarter of this year.

Published 05 Jan 2021, 13:28 IST
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