Khamzat Chimaev Out of UFC ‘Fight Island’ Headlining Bout vs. Leon Edwards

By Tristen Critchfield Dec 29, 2020

Khamzat Chimaev will have to wait to build upon his breakout campaign on 2020.

Chimaev has been forced out of a welterweight headlining matchup with Leon Edwards at UFC on ESPN 20 on Jan. 20. Multiple outlets confirmed the news on Tuesday following an initial report from Frontkick. A reason for Chimaev’s exit is currently unknown.

Chimaev and Edwards were initially slated to meet at UFC Fight Night 183 before the Englishman withdrew from the contest due to a severe bout with COVID-19 that saw him lose 12 pounds.

UFC on ESPN 20 takes place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and also includes a 170-pound clash between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny. It is unclear if Edwards will remain on the card against a replacement opponent.

Chimaev emerged as one of the rising stars of the sport after compiling a 3-0 campaign this past year. The Allstars Training Center representative turned heads with finishes of John Phillips and Rhys McKee within a 10-day span in July, and he returned to action at UFC Fight Night 178 on Sept. 19, when he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds. “Borz” is 9-0 as a professional, with all of his victories coming inside the distance.

Edwards has not competed since July 2019, when he outpointed Rafael dos Anjos in the UFC on ESPN 4 headliner. “Rocky” was slated to meet Tyron Woodley on March 21 in London before that event was canceled due to the pandemic. Edwards has been victorious in his last eight Octagon appearances.

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