Leon “Rocky” Edwards, 29, of Erdington, Birmingham, England and Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev, 26, of Stockholm, Sweden are set to battle it out in the welterweight division. They were originally set to headline “UFC Fight Night 183,” which is also known as “UFC on ESPN+ 41” or “UFC Vegas 17.”
However, Edwards tested positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19) more than two weeks before the fight night. He will still fight Chimaev in a future event after he recovers from the virus.
Taking place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States on December 19, 2020, “UFC Vegas 17” will now feature 13 bouts only. The new main event is a welterweight bout between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, 37, of Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA and Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal, 30, of Texas, USA.
Thompson holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 15 wins and 4 losses while Neal has 13 wins and 2 losses. Edwards has 18 wins and 3 losses.
Competing in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions, Chimaev is one undefeated MMA fighters currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He has 9 wins and 0 loss.
Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman, 33, is the reigning UFC Welterweight Champion. He is fighting out of Nigeria by way of Delray Beach, Florida, USA.
Colby “Chaos” Covington, 32, of Miami, Florida, USA currently ranks as the number one contender in the welterweight division of the UFC. At number two is Gilbert “Durinho” Burns, 33, f Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Edwards is at number three while Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, 35, of Miami is at number four. Thompson ranks fifth while Neal is at number 11 and Chimaev is at number 15.
Among them, Chimaev is the newest in the UFC. It was on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where Chimaev earned his first two wins in the promotion.
Chimaev he submitted John “The Welsh Wrecking Machine” Phillips, 35, of Wales on July 16, 2020 and knocked out Rhys “Skeletor” McKee, 25, of Northern Ireland on July 26, 2020 on Yas Island. On September 19, 2020, Chimaev earned his third UFC victory by knocking out Gerald “GM3” Meerschaert, 32, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.