Leon Edwards decided to pull out from the match against Tyron Woodley after all the turmoils that struck UFC London. The entire Coronavirus situation disturbed this event and forced a lot of changes. In the end, Edwards couldn’t go against all of them and revealed his decision earlier today.
“We have been working with the UFC on possible solutions to keep the fight alive, but unfortunately, with such a short window of time, nothing was viable,” the Englishman wrote on his Instagram account.
View this post on Instagram
Last night I went to sleep still with some hope that UFC London would continue next week. I woke up this morning to the news that it won't be. We have been working with the UFC on possible solutions to keep the fight alive, but unfortunately with such a short window of time, nothing was viable. Myself and my team are all fathers, husbands, sons and brothers, and not all of us can leave our families right now. I wish we could have found a way for the fans, I truly do. I have been dreaming of headlining a UFC show in my home country since I started this sport. This cancellation is truly heartbreaking. I have never worked harder and never been more prepared for the biggest moment in my career. But I know that the whole world is hurting right now and this is bigger than me, this is bigger than sports. All I can hope for is that all of you stay safe and look after each other as we get past this and move forward. I am humbled by the thousands of messages of support I have received in the hours since the announcement, I truly appreciate you all and feel a lot of love right now. I look forward to this event being rebooked when it is safe to do so, so Tyron and I can put on the show that you all deserve. Please take care, we will all get through is. Rocky
After UFC president Dana White decided to move the bout from London to somewhere in the USA, Edwards founded himself in a lot of trouble. This development demanded a lot of improvisation, and it opened a lot of questions also. First of all, some of Edwards’ cornermen didn’t have all the needed paperwork to fly to the USA. Second, the recent negative trends with COVID-19 spreading might provoke the British government to bring some radical measures and to close the borders. It means that Edwards and his companions couldn’t get back home, or even if they could, they would need to spend two or three weeks in quarantine.
“Myself and my team are all fathers, husbands, sons and brothers, and not all of us can leave our families right now,” Edwards said.
The entire combat world anxiously anticipated this fight, because these two guys really didn’t like one another. Also, this was practically a title-eliminator, and whoever won this bout, would probably meet Kamaru Usman and have a chance to take the belt. Edwards was waiting for something like that for a long time, while on the other side, Woodley craves to get even with Usman, who took the belt from him at the UFC 235.
Dana White wanted to relocate the entire event, due to the safety of the fighters. Two possible destinations were in option – Alabama, and California. After many cancelations by the fighters, White and the UFC are quickly finding the replacements. It seems that one of the possible rivals for Woodley might be Colby Covington.
These two guys should have met earlier and they even had an arranged match. Still, Colby backed out as he had to undergo a nasal surgery at the time. Then champion, Woodley, fought Usman instead and lost the belt. Now, according to the latest statements from this Sunday, Colby is ready for the fight this time, and he even publicly offered to replace Edwards.
“Word on the street is ‘Leon Scott’ is out,” Covington wrote on Twitter. “The UFC and America need a hero. Who wants to see America’s Champ put the MAGA cape on and beat the f*ck out of Tyron Woodley live on ESPN next week for your entertainment and my own personal pleasure?”
Word on the street is @LeonScott is out. The @ufc and America need a hero. Who wants see America’s Champ put the #MAGA cape on and beat the fuck out of @twooodley live on @ESPN next week for your entertainment and my own personal pleasure? 🇺🇸🦅🇺🇸
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) March 15, 2020
Colby needs to come back as soon as possible, following the loss to Usman at the UFC 245. Winning what was supposed to be a title-eliminator would most definitely put him back on top of the challengers’ list.
There is one more person, interested in fighting Woodley, and that is Gilbert Burns. The 33-year old Brazilian knocked out Demian Maia yesterday at UFC Brasilia, and he too wants a shot at the former champ.
“Come on Dana White, I said yesterday I’m saying again I fight Woodley Saturday!” Burns wrote on Twitter. “Put me in WOODLEY X BURNS!”
This is definitely going to be a tough call for White, who is already under massive pressure to not only cancel the fights, but also to pick all the replacements for the upcoming event.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.