Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
The UFC’s Jan. 20 event officially has a new headliner.
Following Khamzat Chimaev’s scratch from his scheduled UFC Fight Island 8 main event against Leon Edwards due to lingering effects of COVID-19, MMA Fighting confirmed with multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans that Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny’s welterweight matchup will now headline the card in Abu Dhabi.
UFC president Dana White subsequently confirmed the change in a recent interview with The Schmo.
In addition, White stated in the interview that the UFC plans to once again rebook the fight between Edwards and Chimaev to a later date in 2021.
Chiesa enters the bout with three straight wins since moving up to 170 from the lightweight division at the end of 2018. “Maverick” earned a second-round submission win over Carlos Condit, along with unanimous decision victories over Diego Sanchez and Rafael dos Anjos.
Magny is also riding a three-fight win streak with a trio of bouts taking place during 2020. The Elevation Fight Team standout started off the year with a win over Li Jingliang followed by decision victories against Anthony Rocco Martin and former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.