“Gamebred” was scheduled to fight Leon Edwards during the UFC 269 main card on December 11, 2021. However, Masvidal has pulled out of the fight due to an undisclosed injury, UFC chief business operator Hunter Campbell told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on November 10, 2021.
“Jorge Masvidal (@GamebredFighter) vs. Leon Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) is off UFC 269 on Dec. 11, UFC’s Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell tells ESPN,” Okamoto tweeted on Wednesday. “Undisclosed injury for Masvidal. No word yet on whether it will be rebooked or UFC will move on.”
This story is still developing.
UFC 269 was going to mark Gamebred’s first fight since his brutal KO loss to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in April 2021. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak, dropping a unanimous decision to Usman in July 2020 as well.
Masvidal currently holds the No. 7 ranking in the UFC’s 170-pound division and a professional MMA record of 35-15.
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Could We See Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev?
As for Edwards, it’s unclear where the No. 3-ranked fighter will go from here. As per Okamoto’s report, it’s still not known if the UFC will pursue a replacement for “Rocky.”
Usman recently defended his title against Colby Covington at UFC 268 on November 6, 2021, so the Englishman may decide to hold off from accepting another bout in hopes of receiving a title fight.
Another option, although potentially not the most calculated one, would be for Edwards to take a fight with No. 10-ranked welterweight Khamzat Chimaev. The two have been scheduled to fight three times and Chimaev is one of the hottest fighters in the sport right now.
Okamoto spoke with Chimaev’s manager after breaking the news to see if the 10-0 fighter would be down for a scrap. And to no one’s surprise, he is.
“Spoke to Khamzat Chimaev’s (@KChimaev) manager Majdi Shammas,” Chimaev wrote. “Too early to know what is going to happen, but Khamzat has been asking him for a fight every day since UFC 267. Just texted him when he saw news of Masvidal’s withdrawal. ‘Call UFC now, we travel tomorrow.'”
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Does This Open the Door for Covington vs. Masvidal?
During the UFC 268 post-press conference, Covington told the media that he plans to work his way to becoming a champion. And if he could pick his next fight, it’d be his bitter rival Jorge Masvidal.
Covington said via Sportskeeda.com:
I will see him again. I am not done with him. I’ll fight whoever it takes to get back there. I think the heated rivalry with me and my old roommate ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal. He should probably pull out of that fight with Leon Scott and we should just run it first quarter of the first part of the year. Let’s do it, that’s a heated rivalry. He’s talked so much s*** in the media and said so many things about me. Look at what happened when he fought Marty, he got dusted… If he goes ahead with that Leon Scott fight, then Hunter Campbell I just pray to you, please don’t cut him after that third loss in a row. Save him around, let me be the one that ends his career.
Covington suffered a foot injury during the fight with Usman, which should take around five weeks to heal, Covington told the media. So if Masvidal’s injury isn’t too serious, the UFC could look to match the rivals up in the first quarter of 2022.