UFC Fight Island 8 was supposed to feature the much anticipated welterweight matchup between Leon Edwards (18-3) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). While their rankings wouldn’t suggest it, it was the perfect fight for both men.
Edwards is ranked third while Chimaev is ranked 15th. However, Chimaev has become a massive star and Edwards need to get the rub from someone with so much hype. In my opinion, it would have been good either way for the UFC.
The fight was originally supposed to take place in December, but it was scrapped after Edwards tested positive for COVID. They rescheduled for Fight Island 8, but that was cancelled after Chimaev couldn’t train properly after he came down with COVID.
The UFC kicked the tires with leaving Edwards on the card. “Rocky” hasn’t fought since July of 2019. He’s riding a eight-fight winning streak and he’s clearly one of the best fighters in the world.
At this point, Edwards just needs to get back in the octagon. However, the UFC decided to take him off the card and try to book the Chimaev fight a third time. While I love that matchup, did the promotion make a mistake?
Did the UFC make a mistake?
The UFC‘s reasoning for trying to rebook the fight is simply they feel it’s a fight that everyone wants to see. Another thing that goes into it is the fight that the promotion has had a helluva time booking either man for a fight.
It seemed nobody wanted to fight either Chimaev or Edwards outside of Neil Magny (24-7). Magny offered to face Chimaev after Edwards fell out then he said he would fight Edwards in the main event of UFC Fight Island 8.
Of course, Magny is already scheduled to take on Michael Chiesa (17-4). Edwards told the promotion that he would fight either Chiesa or Magny if it meant that he could stay on the card since he hasn’t fought in so long.
In the end, the UFC said no. They want to keep the potential matchup with Chimaev together. However, while I definitely see their reasoning, I can’t say that I agree with it. I think they should have kept Edwards on the card.
Magny and Chiesa is now the main event and Chiesa is already promising it’s not going to be exciting. Not really want you want in your second main event of the year. The slot is great for both men, but it’s not a fight that promises action.
More importantly, Leon Edwards just needs to fight. We don’t know when Chimaev will be ready, but Edwards is pushing two years without a fight in the UFC. I know you don’t want to lose the Chimaev fight, but I think it was a mistake to bump Edwards from that slot next Wednesday.