Tyron Woodley vs. Leon Edwards scrapped after UFC London card moved due to coronavirus outbreak

UFC 204 Ceremonial Weigh-in Photos

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The main event at the upcoming UFC card that was supposed to happen in England has now been scrapped.

Former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was expected to face Leon Edwards in the five round main event, but now that fight has been cancelled. Edwards broke the news on social media with additional sources confirming the news to MMA Fighting on Sunday.

“Last night I went to sleep still with some hope that UFC London would continue next week,” Edwards wrote on Instagram. “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.”

The news doesn’t exactly come as a surprise after the UFC was forced to scramble to move the event following a travel ban issued by the U.S. government on top of an expected ban for mass gatherings throughout the United Kingdom due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.”

The spread of COVID-19 has infected tens of thousands across the globe with more than 5,800 deaths to date.

Numerous fights that were previously scheduled for the show on March 21 have already been cancelled, but the UFC was still trying to make it work by moving at least some of the fights back to the United States.

The main event was expected to serve as a potential No. 1 contender’s bout as Edwards was seeking to build on his eight fight win streak while Woodley was getting back in action for the first time since losing the welterweight title to Kamaru Usman last year.

Edwards said in his original post that he still hopes to face Woodley in the future once the fight can be rescheduled.

“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,” Edwards wrote.

At this time, the UFC hasn’t made any announcement about the card being cancelled now that the main event has been scrapped. But the promotion has been scrambling to find any available talent with several fights on the card scrapped due to the virus pandemic. On Sunday, the promotion sent out an email, first reported by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, to managers across the industry seeking talent – only U.S. based or with a valid travel visa – for the March 21 event.


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