It's three strikes and an out for what had been an anticipated UFC welterweight fight that is snakebitten and off again.
ESPN's Brett Okamoto confirmed on Thursday that the bout between Khamzat Chimaev (9-0-0) and Leon Edwards (18-3-0) scheduled to take place on March 13 is canceled because Chimaev is still dealing with lingering physical effects caused by COVID-19.
The two were originally set to face off on Dec. 19, but Edwards became unavailable after he tested positive for COVID-19. UFC boss Dana White rescheduled the contest for Jan. 20, but Chimaev withdrew from that card in late December after he tested positive for the virus. While Okamoto offered no timetable for when Chimaev may return to the octagon, he wrote that White is moving on and will book Edwards to fight a different opponent.
The date for that matchup is unknown, as Edwards may not compete on the March 13 card.
Edwards, 29, remains at No. 3 in the official UFC rankings for the division but hasn't fought since he defeated Rafael Dos Anjos in July 2019.
Chimaev, 26, is ranked No. 15 and will be coming off three straight impressive wins that he notched in 2020 whenever he's able to resume fighting. He earned two victories in 10 days last July and then recorded a one-punch, 17-second knockout of Gerald Meerschaert on Sept. 19.