Report: Khamzat Chimaev Withdraws from Jan. 20 UFC Fight vs. Leon Edwards

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2020

Closeup of a glove and the UFC logo at Ultimate Fighting Championship 73 on Saturday, July 7, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The Jan. 20 welterweight fight between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev has been called off after Chimaev withdrew for unknown reasons, according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.

That fight was set to be the headliner for the UFC Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi, and Edwards is still hoping to fight on the card:

As Okamoto noted, this is the second time an Edwards-Chimaev fight has fallen through. Edwards withdrew from their Dec. 19 bout because he had COVID-19.

Edwards (18-3) last fought in July 2019, as a scheduled matchup against Tyron Woodley in March was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chimaev (9-0) has had quite a different 2020, emerging as a breakout star with wins over John Phillips (submission), Rhys McKee (TKO) and Gerald Meerschaert (KO). His legend is growing, and UFC middleweight Darren Stewart added to it with a recent story about training with him.

Stewart told AbzTalks (h/t MMA Junkie):

"I know people sit there and say he hasn't fought certain people. He hasn't yet. But look here, bro, the guy took a filling out of my tooth, just by cranking my neck.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

"He's so strong, bruv. You could sit there and say, 'It's not about strength,' and this. Brother, he's so technical and so strong. ...

"I was grappling with him, and my ear ripped. Then, he had to come put tape around my head. It was mad."

His legend could have grown further with a win over Edwards, but that highly anticipated matchup will have to wait.