UFC has already been hit with a bomb for the opening week of 2021, as Dana White confirmed that Leon Edwards vs Khamzat Chimaev is once again scrapped while also confirming big plans for the first quarter.
Reports emerged a few days ago that Chimaev had been forced to withdraw from his hotly anticipated fight with Edwards due to failing to recover properly from COVID-19.
Edwards had publicly called for someone to step in on short-notice to fight him, having gone without a bout since July 2019 due to several fights falling out. Dana White however confirmed that Edwards would not be on the card anymore, instead with the fight against Chimaev being pushed back.
It means the co-main event of that event has been bumped into the headline slot, as Michael Chiesa will fight Neil Magny in the main event of UFC Fight Island 8 on January 20th, 2021.
The two welterweights are fighting to enter the top five of the rankings with a win and push for a potential 2021 title shot against the winner of Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns.
White also revealed that the UFC middleweight champion will move up to light heavyweight to challenge Jan Blachowicz on March 6th 2021 at UFC 259.
Blachowicz won the title at UFC 253 after Jon Jones vacated the belt to move up to heavyweight, the same night Adesanya defended his belt with a stunning performance and knockout against Paulo Costa.
Adesanya has already beaten Robert Whittaker, who is considered the number one contender, and has instead opted for a super-fight to become a double champion just over three years after making his debut with the company.
UFC president White also confirmed the company is keen to make Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 2 for the heavyweight championship for some time in the spring, while Michael Chandler will fight Dan Hooker in his first UFC fight too.
On top of that, White denied claims from Colby Covington that Jorge Masvidal has turned down a fight against him and said the company are working on a fight between the two for the new year.
It looks as though 2021 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years in UFC history, with a stack of top fights preparing to be made or already scheduled.