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Leon Edwards responds to UFC rankings removal, calls for fight against Khamzat Chimaev, who promptly accepts

It was recently reported that top Welterweight contender Leon Edwards was removed from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rankings because of inactivity. At the time of removal, “Rocky” was ranked No. 3 in the world.

While Edwards hasn’t competed since July 2019, he was in line to return this past March against Tyron Woodley before COVID-19 prompted the promotion to go on a two-month hiatus. On that front, it’s impossible to blame Edwards for a world-wide pandemic.

The reason Edwards was reportedly bounced from the official UFC rankings had to do with him rejecting fight after fight once UFC got the wheels rolling again. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, among the fights “Rocky” allegedly turned down were against Geoff Neal and Khamzat Chimaev.

“After the Woodley fight fell through in March, the next offer came on short notice to fight Usman in July, then Covington when Woodley fight was iffy, then Geoff Neal and then Khamzat Chimaev on 12/19. Edwards didn’t agree to those fights,” Helwani wrote on Twitter.

Now, Edwards is responding to his removal from the rankings, as well as issuing a challenge to Chimaev.

“I’m still in the rankings. F—k all the inactivity, the only reason I haven’t fought is because all these so called top guys turned me down. Khamzat want to fight then?” he wrote on Twitter.

Edwards isn’t the only man to have allegedly turned down a fight against Chimaev — Chris Weidman and Stephen Thompson reportedly also shut down UFC matchmakers when “Borz” was presented as an option. Weidman, however, competed last August and said he’d be willing to fight Chimaev in January.

And while Thompson hasn’t fought since Nov. 2019, he actually called for a fight against Edwards just last month. “Rocky,” however, shut that down as well, though it’s unclear if UFC ever actually officially offered him the fight. Nevertheless, it seems Edwards does indeed want the fight against Chimaev and vice-versa, as Khamzat offered a quick response.

Since a couple of UFC’s cards in December could use a little bolstering, it only makes sense for the promotion to book this 170-pound scrap now ... right?

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