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The
Ultimate Fighting Championship
event on March 13 is under
assault on Thursday.

Hours after the news broke that Ryan Hall
would no longer be competing in his significant
UFC Fight Night 187
main card tilt with Dan Ige, the
March 13 event has taken another massive hit.
ESPN
announced on Thursday that Khamzat
Chimaev
(9-0) has been forced out of his welterweight pairing
with Leon
Edwards
(18-3) due to persistent symptoms and issues after
contracting COVID-19. The two were originally booked against one
another in December, but Edwards pulled out after coming down with
the coronavirus. Their meeting in January was similarly nixed due
to the virus, only this time it was Chimaev that tested positive
for it.

UFC President Dana White told
ESPN
that the organization is looking to move on from this
matchup instead of re-booking it for the fourth time. Edwards may
receive a new opponent atop this card, but White also mentioned
that “Rocky” may face a new opponent on a different date
instead.

Edwards was looking to return to action for the first time since
July 2019. Several bouts have fallen out since that time for a
variety of reasons mostly related to COVID-19. “Rocky” is still on
an impressive eight-fight win streak that has seem him defeat the
likes of Rafael dos
Anjos
, Donald
Cerrone
and Vicente
Luque
on his way to the top of the 170-pound division. The
Brit’s last loss in over five years came against current champ
Kamaru
Usman
.

One of 2020’s more successful combat sports stories came for
Chimaev, who burst on to the scene with a dominant win over
John
Phillips
in July 2020. “Borz” went on to knock out Rhys McKee,
and then returned to middleweight to scorch Gerald
Meerschaert
in 17 seconds. Unbeaten as a pro since his debut in
2018, the Swedish-Chechen fighter has yet to reach the third round
in his career, with all nine wins by stoppage. In comparison,
Edwards has fought to the third round in each of his last 10
appearances.

The struggling UFC Fight Night 187 event is still expected to take
place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, although it does not currently
have a headliner nor a clear co-main event bout. While it did

gain
a lightweight bout of Nasrat
Haqparast
vs. Don Madge on
Thursday, it
lost
Ryan Hall’s
return at featherweight against Dan Ige.
Ben
Rothwell
will take on Philipe
Lins
at heavyweight, and Eryk Anders
is still facing Darren
Stewart
at middleweight.

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