Word has emerged that one of the UFC’s brightest rising stars Khamzat Chimaev is unfortunately still battling the effects of long Covid, and it means that his jinxed fight with Leon Edwards has now officially been scrapped.
Dana white received the news on Chimaev’s condition during an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and afterwards gave him his immediate reaction to the development.
“I’m so bummed out,” White admitted. “I was so excited. That was one of my favorite fights this year. The one thing you have to look at right now is health. Let’s make sure this guy is healthy, get him the best care we can and make sure he makes a full recovery.”
This is now the third time the fight has fallen through, and with almost exactly a month to go until the UFC Fight Night 187 on March 13th, the promotion are now having to come up with alternative plan for the main event.
“[Matchmaker Sean Shelby] is literally in the other room right now working on a new fight for Leon Edwards.”
For now though the bigger concern has to be Chimaev’s health, having first contracted the virus back in November, yet almost four months later still suffering from it.
What’s most troubling is that the medical community has yet to fully understand why some people are left battling symptoms of Covid-19 long after others have recovered.
In Chimaev’s case it appears to be his lungs that have been affected according to White, and he’s now undergoing more scans as they attempt to pinpoint the problem and find ways to treat it.
It’s a cruel blow for the 26-year-old, who had quickly gained a reputation for being someone who would fight anyone, any time, any place, bursting onto the UFC scene with two wins in eight days on Fight Island last July, before extending his unbeaten record to 9-0 with a swift KO win against Gerald Meerschaert in September.
Chimaev quickly became a fan favorite and also caught the eye of Dana White, who had declared him to be one of his ‘fighters to watch’ in 2021, but now it’s unclear when he will finally be fit enough to compete again.