BREAKING: UFC headliner between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev is off

Leon Edwards

Right now, COVID-19 is having it’s way with the UFC and now it’s struck down one of the more anticipated matchups of the winter. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that Leon Edwards has tested positive for COVID-19 and the December 19th fight is off.

Edwards was scheduled to face rising star, Khamzat Chimaev. The fight was supposed to be a real test for Chimaev to see where he’s at in his development. The fight was also the first UFC action of 2020 for Leon Edwards.

According to Helwani, the UFC is looking to rebook the matchup for early next year. However, this is now the third UFC main event that’s been altered by COVID-19 just in the last week.

Last weekend’s main event was supposed to be Curtis Blaydes – Derrick Lewis. However, Blaydes tested positive and the fight was called off. This weekend’s main event was supposed to be Jack Hermansson – Kevin Holland.

However, Holland tested positive and Marvin Vettori stepped in for the main event. Now, the most anticipated matchup of all has been cancelled with the Chimaev – Edwards matchup being called off.

UFC’s December 19th Card

Fortunately for the UFC, the card on December 19th is absolutely stacked. Fighters on the card include: Stephen Thompson, Geoff Neal, Jose Aldo, Chito Vera, Marlon Moraes, and Rob Font.

The card is still good enough to go on as is, but this is still a big blow to fight fans. You have to feel bad for Leon Edwards. Edwards has been impacted more by COVID in terms of his UFC career than perhaps anyone else.

His fight with Tyron Woodley back in March was cancelled due to COVID. Then he wasn’t able to accept a title shot at UFC 251 because England was closed down and now he tested positive for COVID which will cancel his UFC main event.

As mentioned above, the promotion will look to keep this fight together. However, there’s no telling on when the fight will be booked as of now.

UFC books Manel Kape – Alexandre Pantoja

One of the best flyweights in the world will finally make his UFC debut on December 19th. Manel Kape (15-4) will make his promotional debut against Alexandre Pantoja (22-5) on the main card of the UFC’s fight night.

Kape is known as one of the best flyweights in the world. He enters the UFC after he was the Rizin bantamweight champion. There were questions around which weight class Kape would fight in whenever he made his debut with the UFC.

However, months ago, he stated that he feels like he can be champion at 125 pounds. Kape is extremely well rounded and he definitely has the skills to be a problem for anyone in the UFC‘s flyweight division. However, his first fight is not going to be an easy one.

Pantoja is currently ranked fifth in the UFC‘s flyweight rankings. In 2019, it appeared that Pantoja was well on his way to a title shot. That is before he ran into current flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo. Pantoja is now 1-2 in his last three fights inside the octagon.

UFC’s Fight Night

The UFC is putting together quite the show for their December 19th card. It was also announced this week that Stephen Thompson would be taking on Geoff Neal on that card. The card is already being headlined by Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards. 

However, Kape’s UFC debut is something that fight fans should really pay attention too. Kape is a very exciting addition for the UFC and this is brilliant match making. For hard core fans, they know that Kape is one of the best guys in the world.

Pantoja is an exciting fighter who’s already shown his worth inside the UFC. This should be a tremendously exciting matchup that’s the perfect way to introduce Kape. Either Kape wins and gets a huge boost to start his career in the octagon or Pantoja gets back on track with a massive win over the highly touted Kape.

UFC books Marlon Moraes – Rob Font (Report)

Magic Marlon Moraes (23-7-1) is looking to quickly right the wrong that happened at UFC Fight Island 5. After getting dominated by Cory Sandhagen, Moraes is hopping right back into the saddle taking on Rob Font (17-4) on December 19th.

The fight was first reported by MMA Junkie. Moraes has arguably lost three fights in a row dating back to his title shot at UFC 238. Moraes looked like a world beater before that fight and many believed that he would defeat Henry Cejudo.

Through one round of their fight, it appeared that Moraes would capture UFC gold. However, Cejudo started turning things around in the second round. Entering the third round, Moraes started to fade and Cejudo finished him before the fight got to the fourth round.

From there, Moraes fought and defeated Jose Aldo at UFC 245. However, most people who watch that fight believe that Aldo won the fight. Aldo was actually awarded a title shot despite the judges giving the fight to Moraes. Then of course Marlon was dominated by Sandhagen.

Great UFC bantamweight contest

For Rob Font, it will be the first fight for him inside the UFC‘s octagon in 2020. Font is on a two fight winning streak with impressive wins over Sergio Pettis and Ricky Simon. However, Font hasn’t been the most active due to injuries.

This will only be Font’s third fight since December of 2018. If Font is able to win this contest, it would vault him into contention given his winning streak and caliber of victories. If you’re in Moraes’ camp, this fight is truly a do or die situation.

It is important for Moraes to try to get back in the win column quickly. However, if he loses again, you could make the argument that he’s lost four in a row. He wouldn’t be in danger of being cut, but it would be a steep climb back to the top.