A highly anticipated welterweight bout between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev on Jan. 20 is now off, after Chimaev was forced to withdraw for undisclosed reasons, sources confirmed.
The 170-pound matchup was scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night on Jan. 20 in Abu Dhabi. The UFC has not formally announced the cancellation or a potential backup plan. Multiple welterweights have offered to replace Chimaev against Edwards; however, the UFC could also choose to reschedule the original bout.
This is the second time in two months a fight between Edwards and Chimaev has fallen through. Edwards was forced to pull out of a meeting on Dec. 19 due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Edwards (18-3) has had a miserable string of luck as of late. The British welterweight was scheduled to face former champion Tyron Woodley in March, but that event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 29-year-old, who owns an 8-fight win streak, has not fought since July 2019.
This matchup against Chimaev (9-0) offered Edwards a big chance at gaining some notoriety, as Chimaev was a breakout star for the UFC in 2020.
The fight being called off was first reported by FrontKick Online.