It has now been confirmed that Khamzat Chimaev did withdraw from his main event fight with Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night 185 next month due to Covid-19.
“Khamzat had coronavirus and when he went back to gym, his lungs did not recover 100%,” Chimaev’s manager Ali Abdelaziz wrote in a statement. “He needs time for his lungs to recover, and right now it’s about taking that necessary time.”
The news further demonstrate the fact that though many younger people experience only mild or indeed no symptoms after catching the Covid-19 virus, that there are still a significant percentage of others who do suffer a prolonged battle to return to full health afterwards.
In fact, Chimaev’s opponent Edwards already had to cancel the originally planned fight booking between the two earlier this month after he revealed that he had lost 12lbs in four days after his own battle with coronavirus.
Chimaev and Edwards are not the only stars to have publicly acknowledged their struggle to shake the virus, with Cody Garbrandt and Gilbert Burns having both had to cancel title fight opportunities for the same reason.
The longer-than-intended layoff will be a disappointment for the 26-year-old Chimaev, who had been on a roll inside the Octagon in 2020, rising to prominence by winning his first three Octagon outings against John Phillips, Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschart in a combined time of less than five minutes over a three month spell.