The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s March 13 event looks like it will have some pivotal bouts at the top of the card.
The highly-anticipated welterweight clash between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev has been rescheduled for that date after twice falling through due to positive COVID-19 tests. MMAjunkie.com was first to report the booking. Edwards and Chimaev were initially supposed to square off at UFC Fight Night 183 on Dec. 19 before the Englishman tested positive for COVID-19, and they were rebooked for UFC on ESPN 20 on Jan. 20, but on that occasion Chimaev fell victim to coronavirus. Edwards vs. Chimaev will serve as the headliner for the event.
Meanwhile, a heavyweight showdown between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane is also in the works for March 13. La Sueur was first to report that verbal agreements were in place for the matchup. The UFC card does not yet have an official venue or location.
Edwards did not compete at all in 2020 due to having proposed bouts against Tyron Woodley in March and vs. Chimaev in December fall through as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The 29-year-old Team Renegade product is currently on an eight-bout winning streak in the Las Vegas-based promotion that includes a five-round verdict over Rafael dos Anjos in his most recent outing at UFC on ESPN 4 in July 2019.
Chimaev emerged as a breakout star last year following dominant victories over John Phillips, Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert in his first three UFC appearances. The 26-year-old Allstars Training Center representative is 9-0 as a professional, with all of his victories coming inside the distance.
After suffering his first career defeat at the hands of Francis Ngannou at UFC 249, Rozenstruik rebounded to score a second-round TKO win against Junior dos Santos in his last appearance at UFC 252. “Bigi Boy” has won five of six UFC bouts — including other notable KO wins vs. Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski.
Gane earned a signature win at the expense of dos Santos at UFC 256, winning via second-round TKO on December 12 to improve to 7-0 in his young professional tenure. The Frenchman has also bested Raphael Pessoa, Don'Tale Mayes and Tanner Boser in the Octagon.