UFC's Khamzat Chimaev Withdraws from Leon Edwards Fight Due to COVID-19

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2021

A worker wipes down the padding on the octagon between bouts during a UFC 249 mixed martial art event Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

UFC is removing Khamzat Chimaev from the UFC Fight Night 187 card because the 26-year-old continues to experience effects from having been diagnosed with COVID-19.

UFC President Dana White confirmed to ESPN's Brett Okamoto the promotion is looking to line up a new opponent for Leon Edwards. Edwards might be moved off the show, with his next fight to come at a later date.

Chimaev and Edwards were originally supposed to cross paths at UFC Fight Night 183 on Dec. 19; however, Edwards announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. UFC Fight Night 185 on Jan. 20 was the next target until Chimaev's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, said the fighter had yet to make a full recovery from the coronavirus.

This was supposed to be a way to test Chimaev against one of the top welterweights. He sits 15th in UFC's rankings, with Edwards up in third behind champion Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns and Colby Covington.

The 26-year-old sports a 9-0 professional record. His last two victories required just three minutes and 26 seconds combined. He knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds at UFC Fight Night 178.

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KHAMZAT CHIMAEV JUST DID THAT 😳 (via @ufc) https://t.co/Y0LJDQb3rR

It's unclear if UFC will look to book Chimaev vs. Edwards down the road when they're both available to step inside the Octagon.