Leon Edwards and Tyron Woodley will have to wait to face off in the octagon.
Edwards announced on Instagram on Sunday that he’s pulling out of his fight with Woodley, which was scheduled to take place in London at UFC Fight Night 171 on Saturday, March 21. The fight has been moved to the United States, leaving Edwards and his team unable to travel there from the UK.
The UFC Fight Night 171 card was already in shambles before Edwards’ withdrawal. The event was supposed to take place in London in front of a live audience, but many fighters weren’t able to travel there due to the recent extension of COVID-19 travel restrictions. UFC president Dana White has said that the event will happen, but it will be moved to the United States — and he’s yet to announce an alternate venue. There will likely be no fans in attendance regardless of where it takes place.
Woodley is still committed to the fight, which has led a few fighters to volunteer to step into Edwards’s shoes. Gilbert Burns, who is flying back to the U.S. on Sunday after delivering a TKO against Demian Maia at UFC Brasilia, loves the idea of fighting Woodley on Saturday. He loves it so much that he’s tweeted about it four times this morning.
Wow no UFC London crazy! @danawhite if u need me I’m more than ready! I fight Leon Edwards or Woodley tomorrow if u need! My medical are already done! And I’m not kidding! Give me this fight! 🙏🏾 @AliAbdelaziz00 @seanshelby— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) March 15, 2020
Let’s go WOODLEY X BURNS! 😤😤— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) March 15, 2020
Colby Covington is also game to fight Woodley.
Word on the street is @LeonScott is out. The @ufc and America need a hero. Who wants see America’s Champ put the #MAGA cape on and beat the fuck out of @twooodley live on @ESPN next week for your entertainment and my own personal pleasure? 🇺🇸🦅🇺🇸— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) March 15, 2020
Just spoke to @TWooodley briefly.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 15, 2020
He wants to fight. And he is ready to fight, he said.
He has shut off all media and didn’t even know Edwards was 100% out.
He has told his management he is interested in a particular opponent: pic.twitter.com/nZsELKyjyJ
White is adamant that UFC Fight Night 171, and every other scheduled UFC event, will happen, regardless of COVID-19 recommendations. And with fighters dropping out left and right, he’s looking for anyone who can handle a fight to step up.
This is an email they are sending out to managers and reps about this new card next week. As you can see, they are even open to signing fighters who currently aren’t on the roster to fill it up, as well. pic.twitter.com/qYcYCDvdyo— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 15, 2020
Who knows who we’ll see fighting Woodley on Saturday — if the event even happens.
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