Leon Edwards vs Jorge Masvidal cancelled as Khamzat Chimaev offers to step in

Masvidal has withdrawn from the welterweight bout due to an undisclosed injury

Alex Pattle
Thursday 11 November 2021 13:48
Comments
UFC 4 - Prime Icon Fighters Update Trailer PS

Jorge Masvidal is out of his scheduled bout with Leon Edwards at UFC 269 on 11 December, with the American having suffered an undisclosed injury.

UFC’s Chief Business Officer, Hunter Campbell, revealed the news to ESPN on Wednesday night, adding that no decision has yet been made on whether a replacement opponent will be found for Edwards.

The planned welterweight clash between Jamaican-born Briton Edwards (19-3, 1 no contest) and American Masvidal (35-15) has been long awaited since the pair were involved in a backstage altercation at UFC London in March 2019.

While many fans expected a fight between the rivals to be booked in the aftermath of the incident, Masvidal went on to fight Ben Askren, knocking out his compatriot in five seconds – a UFC record – before beating Nate Diaz via doctor stoppage.

Masvidal then suffered back-to-back defeats by welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, outpointed by the Nigerian-American in July 2020 after stepping up on six days’ notice, before losing to the title-holder via second-round knockout this April.

Edwards, meanwhile, is riding a nine-fight win streak, having last tasted defeat in December 2015 – against Usman, no less.

In the wake of Masvidal’s withdrawal from UFC 269, Edwards – who has long called for a rematch with Usman with the title on the line – tweeted: “Disappointed but honestly I knew this fraud didn’t want to fight me anyway. He was just a stop off on the way to the title.

Leon Edwards (right) outpointed Nate Diaz last time out

“The goal remains the same. Much needed family time now, @usman84kg i will see you soon.”

Despite his impressive win streak, Edwards has suffered a spell of bad luck over the last two years, seeing numerous scheduled bouts cancelled.

The Birmingham native was set to face former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the main event of UFC London in March 2020, but the card was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Edwards, 30, was then due to face rising star Khamzat Chimaev in December 2020, but the Russian-Born Swede withdrew from that contest, and the fight failed to come to fruition in early 2021 despite two further attempts to book it.

After nearly two years out, Edwards finally returned to the Octagon this March, impressing against Belal Muhammad in the first round before the bout was ruled a no contest early in Round 2 due to an accidental eye poke by Edwards.

Edwards then fought Nate Diaz in June, after the fight was delayed by a month, beating the fan favourite on points despite a late scare. That clash was the first ever UFC bout to be scheduled for five rounds despite not headlining a card or seeing a title contested.

With Masvidal now withdrawing from a planned meeting with Edwards, Chimaev was quick to offer his services, tweeting: “Let’s go bro we do it @Leon_edwardsmma.”

Chimaev (10-0) was last in action at the end of October, submitting Li Jingliang in the first round to enter the top 10 of the UFC’s welterweight rankings.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in