Bellator light heavyweight Christian Edwards was expected to return to the cage this weekend at Bellator 274, looking to bounce back from the first loss of his professional career.
That fight will now have to wait.
Edwards (5-1) had been paired up against the returning Kevin Haley (6-6), a.k.a. “The North Woods Nightmare,” who last competed for the company in 2015, and has been fighting on the regional circuit since. A positive COVID-19 test from Edwards, however, has resulted in the fight being scratched.
Cageside Press confirmed the news Monday, following an initial report by MMA Junkie. Both fighters are expected to be rebooked at the earliest opportunity.
Just days ago, Edwards gave Cageside Press some insight into the fight, and his mindset following an upset loss at the hands of Ben “Big Tuna” Parrish.
“He’s coming to win, and I definitely want the best version of him in this fight. But I just believe my skill set will be too much for him,” Edwards told us regarding Haley. “I feel like once he feels my pressure and feels my pace, it’s gonna make him fold, and I do plan on exposing that aspect.”
As far as the lesson he took away from his knockout loss to Parrish, “in this sport, everybody comes to win, especially at the level that we fight at,” Edwards told us. “Everybody comes to win, and everybody has a puncher’s chance.”
He expressed some relief, meanwhile, in the loss coming when it did. “If I was to make a mistake like that in my career, it was meant to happen at this stage in my career. Like early in my career; that was only my sixth pro fight and I would rather make a mistake like that now than way later in my career when I’m like 18-0, and all I know is winning and I have my first loss and just don’t know how to handle it.”
“That was the Stefan Struve to my Stipe Miocic, or the Ryo Chonan to my Anderson Silva. It just had to happen, but I’m still going to be a world champion one day. Sooner or later, people will see that.”
Bellator 274 now moves forward with 13 fights on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The card is headlined by a welterweight match-up between former title challenger Neiman Gracie, and top-flight wrestler Logan Storley. The card as it stands breaks down as follows:
- Neiman Gracie vs. Logan Storley
- Andrey Koreshkov vs. Chance Rencountre
- Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Adam Piccolotti
- Davion Franklin vs. Said Sowma
- Mandel Nallo vs. Nick Browne
- Brennan Ward vs. Brandon Bell
- Jaylon Bates vs. Chris Disonell
- Aviv Gozali vs. Bobby King
- DeAnna Bennett vs. Justine Kish
- Jordan Newman vs. Cody Herbert
- Justin Montalvo vs. Corey Samuels
- Isaiah Hokit vs. Theodore Macuka
- Orlando Mendoza vs. Jonathan Di Lorenzo