Leon Edwards hits out at UFC for removing him from rankings before booking of cancelled Khamzat Chimaev fight

LEON EDWARDS believes the UFC's decision to briefly remove from him the welterweight rankings was 'childish', but he understands the reasoning behind the shock move.

MMA's premier promotion removed the Birmingham 170-pounder from their rankings last October, much to the surprise of fight fans across the world.

But the No.3-ranked Rocky was restored the rankings a few days later after agreeing to face the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev.

Officially, Edwards – who hasn't set foot inside the octagon since July 2019 -was removed from the 170lb rankings due to 'inactivity', although he believes there was an ulterior motive behind the move.

The Team Renegade standout told SunSport: "I was in negotiations for a fight. [And] for some reason, they took me out of the rankings.

"I think to help with the negotiations. And then they put me back in straight away. It's like childish, right?"

Edwards, like many others, was surprised to see his name disappear from the rankings.

He said: "I was like, 'What are you doing? I've got the most wins in the division.' How do you even do that?"


As stunned as Edwards was by his brief disappearance from the rankings, the pride of Birmingham has no ill will towards his employers.

He said: "It's business. And that just showed me that it's a business that we're in and that's all it is.

"It is what it is. I take it for what it is and that's it. We're in a business.

"There's no friends in this, right? It proved to me what it was. And that's all it was."

Edwards' clash with Chimaev was set to take place on December 19 but ended up being postponed until January after he tested positive for Covid.

Their January showdown, however, fell through when it emerged Chimaev was still dealing with the lingering effects of the coronavirus.

And the long-lasting effects of the virus, which has wreaked havoc across the globe, forced the undefeated Russian to withdraw from their latest scheduled meeting on March 17.

Edwards, however, will still fight on that date as Belal Muhammad has stepped up on short notice to take on the slick southpaw.

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