Leon Edwards Reveals UFC London Main Event Against Tyron Woodley is Cancelled

Leon Edwards announces on Instagram that UFC London is off
Leon Edwards announces on Instagram that UFC London is off

Dana White is intent on keeping the UFC operating as if nothing is going wrong amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it appears that mixed martial artists scheduled to enter the Octagon in the coming weeks are voluntarily taking themselves out of action to prevent spreading or contracting COVID-19.

Leon Edwards announced that he is taking himself out of the upcoming UFC clash against Tyron Woodley. The ranked welterweight clash was originally supposed to headline March 22nd's Fight Night in London before White looked into relocating the event, leading Edwards to withdraw.

View this post on Instagram

Last night I went to sleep still with some hope that UFC London would continue next week.  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. I am humbled by the thousands of messages of support I have received in the hours since the announcement, I truly appreciate you all and feel a lot of love right now.  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. Please take care, we will all get through is. Rocky

A post shared by Leon "Rocky" Edwards (@leon_edwardsmma) on

This announcement comes just one day after UFC Fight Night in Brasilia, in which Charles Oliveira defeated Kevin Lee in the main event before an empty arena. The move to hold the event as planned was highly criticized, as nearly every other major sports league operating in the United States has suspended operations in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Hopefully, the Edwards-Woodley bout happens at a later date, as the winner would have a strong claim at a 170-pound title shot against chamion Kamaru Usman. Until then, however, public health and safety absolutely must come first.

White might be determined to keep UFC running and bask in the ratings success by virtue of being the only show in town, but his own fighters appear to be taking matters into their own hands as they refuse to get in the Octagon.

If more follow suit, White could be forced to rethink his position.