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UFC 244: Leon Edwards won’t be replacing Nate Diaz in New York — ‘UFC said no’

Nate Diaz rocked the combat sports world on Thursday night when he announced his withdrawal from the UFC 244 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, after United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) flagged him for “elevated levels.”

That said, the promotion has yet to make an official announcement and a recent report from ESPN suggests the fight is still moving ahead as scheduled. Either way, top-ranked welterweight contender, Leon Edwards, won’t be coming off the bench.

“Bad news regarding Nate,” Edwards wrote on Twitter. “I did offer when the fight was made to stay ready but the UFC unfortunately said no. So I won’t be making the trip to NYC. But I will be ready for December 14th.”

Edwards (18-3) is the winner of eight straight and has not tasted defeat since his unanimous decision loss to current champion, Kamaru Usman, back in late 2015. “Rocky” is expected to remain on standby in case something happens to the UFC 245 main event.

No question UFC is working hard to keep Diaz in the Nov. 2 headliner, since the “Baddest Mother Fucker” belt was created specifically for him and opponent, Jorge Masvidal. I guess at this point all we can do is wait and see.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 244 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 244: “Masvidal vs. Diaz” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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