UFC Vegas 17 has lost it’s much-hyped main event.
Although it was Khamzat Chimaev originally being reported as having contracted COVID-19, rumors that he had withdrawn from his main event fight against Leon Edwards were recently debunked. However, on Tuesday, ESPN reported that Edwards himself has contracted the disease, and suffered severe symptoms that left him unable to train.
As a result, their welterweight main event fight is off the December 19 card. It will likely be pushed back to sometime in early 2021, depending on the recovery process for Edwards.
Per the ESPN report on Tuesday, Edwards lost 12 pounds over a period of four days while battling the illness. He is currently completing his recovery at home.
The Edwards fight was a big step up in competition for Khamzat Chimaev (9-0), the hottest prospect to enter the UFC in recent years. The Swede has dominated every opponent he has faced, winning three fights in under five minutes — combined. His last outing was a 17 second knockout of Gerald Meerschaert at middleweight.
Having set the record for the shortest period of time between wins in the UFC, defeating John Phillips and Rhys McKee just ten days apart, the Allstar Training Center fighter has certainly made a splash. With a plan to juggle divisions, Edwards was set to be his second welterweight fight under the UFC banner.
Leon Edwards (18-3) is currently the #3 ranked welterweight in the UFC. With an eight-fight win streak, the Brit was flying under the radar until he picked up wins over Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, and Rafael dos Anjos. A highly-publicized confrontation with Jorge Masvidal didn’t hurt things either.
Edwards, however, has been unable to compete since July of 2019. While he was lined up for a headlining fight against Tyron Woodley at this year’s UFC London card in March, the entire event was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. The UFC briefly pulled him from their official rankings, only to reinsert “Rocky” almost immediately.
Needless to say, the entire MMA community is hoping Edwards makes a speedy recovery.