The third time was not the charm for the welterweight showdown between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards.
On Thursday, UFC President Dana White confirmed to ESPN that Chimaev has been forced to drop out of his scheduled fight against Edwards at the upcoming event on March 13. According to White, Chimaev is still dealing with lingering issues after contracting COVID-19.
This is now the third attempt to schedule a fight between Chimaev and Edwards, and it appears the promotion will now move on from the matchup.
The first time the fight came together this past December it was Edwards who was forced to drop out after he experienced severe symptoms as a result of contracting the coronavirus. The fight was rebooked for January, but then Chimaev was suffering from his own battle with COVID-19, and he had to pull out of the rescheduled bout.
Sadly, it appears Chimaev is still trying to recover, and his return to action will have to wait until later in 2021.
As for Edwards, White expects to book the British welterweight against a different opponent and potentially move him to a later date than the March 13 card.
Edwards is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak in the division, but he hasn’t competed in over one year after the ongoing pandemic and his own bout with COVID-19 prevented him from competing in 2020.