Leon Edwards off UFC Fight Island 8, Chiesa vs. Magny Promoted to Main Event

Michael Chiesa UFC 239
Michael Chiesa Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

The UFC Fight Island 8 card on January 20 has a new main event. And it does not involve Leon Edwards.

The Fight Night event was expected to feature Edwards vs. breakout star Khamzat Chimaev atop the marquee. However, after being pushed back from December 19 after Edwards contracted COVID-19, the bout was hit by the coronavirus again — this time with Khamzat Chimaev contracting the disease.

With Chimaev out of the card, the UFC has opted to pull the fight entirely, and reschedule it for a third (and hopefully final) date later in 2021. UFC President Dana White confirmed the news to “The Schmo” in an interview on Wednesday.

“What we’re doing is, we’re going to push that fight back,” said White, who questioned why Chimaev didn’t tell people he had COVID-19. “I guess he was having problems with his lungs, Khamzat was, so they told him to take some time off and not start training until early January.”

In its place, the co-main event of Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny has been bumped up to the headlining spot.

In addition to Chiesa vs. Magny, UFC Fight Island 8, which takes place at the Flash Forum on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, boasts the following match-ups:

Viviane Araujo vs. Roxanne Modafferi
Tyson Nam vs. Matt Schnell
Francisco Figueredo vs. Jerome Rivera
Dean Barry vs. Mike Jackson
Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera
Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit
Zarrukh Adashev vs. Jeffrey Molina
Lerone Murphy vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade
Vinicius Moreira vs. Ike Villanueva
Manon Fiorot vs. Victoria Leonardo