A mini controversy began brewing on Thursday after it was revealed that England’s Leon Edwards, the previously third-ranked welterweight in the world who is in the midst of an eight-fight win streak, had been removed from the official UFC rankings.
The reason was cited as being due to ‘inactivity’, given that Edwards hasn’t competed in the cage since a July 2019 win against Rafael Dos Anjos. Furthermore, Edwards was intended to fight Tyron Woodley in London earlier this year but the bout was nixed on fight week due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Edwards also missed out on a potential title bout with Kamaru Usmabn for similar reasons.
Edwards has spent much of the past year calling out the likes of Colby Covington, Usman and Jorge Masvidal but seemed slightly more resistant to the options presented by the UFC, reported to be Stephen Thompson and Khamzat Chimaev.
However, after previously dismissing the potential of a fight with the unranked Chimaev, Edwards now appears to have warmed to it somewhat.
I’m still in the rankings. Fuck all the inactivity, the only reason I havent fought is because all these so called top guys turned me down.
Khamzat want to fight then?
— Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) October 22, 2020
I’m always ready to fight. Let’s go. Rock’n’roll baby 🤪
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) October 22, 2020
“I’m still in the rankings,” Edwards declared on Twitter. “Fuck all the inactivity, the only reason I havent fought is because all these so called top guys turned me down. Khamzat want to fight then?”
Chimaev didn’t take long to respond. “I’m always ready to fight. Let’s go. Rock ‘n’ roll baby,” he wrote.
Chimaev, the rising welterweight/middleweight star who has won his first three UFC fights in the span of just 66 days, is tipped to headline a UFC event on December 19 in Las Vegas. Judging by his recent tweet, Edwards appears interested in being the other man in the cage that night.