Reports: Three Fighters Declined Title Fight at UFC 300

Three Top Fighters Decline UFC 300 Showdown

The highly anticipated UFC 300 event has finally secured its main event, featuring Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira against former champion Jamahal Hill in Las Vegas. Despite this exciting matchup, UFC President Dana White revealed that Welterweight Champion Leon Edwards had offered to fight three different opponents, all of whom declined.

Sources close to the situation, including renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, have identified Khamzat Chimaev, Shavkat Rakhmonov, and Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev as the fighters who turned down the opportunity to fight Edwards for the welterweight title at this marquee event. Surprisingly, top-ranked Belal Muhammad, unbeaten in his last ten fights and ranked second, was not even considered for the title shot at UFC 300, despite his readiness.

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Chimaev, despite being the top choice for the UFC and having a victorious fight against Gilbert Burns in April 2022, is currently unranked in the welterweight division. It’s speculated that the selection of Chimaev, Rakhmonov, and Makhachev over Muhammad was due to the need for a headline match for the event, which is now filled by Pereira vs. Hill. Helwani and MMA personality The Schmo suggested that Muhammad might next fight for the title, despite not being offered the match at UFC 300.


Khamzat Chimaev cited religious reasons for his refusal, as competing during Ramadan, which overlaps with UFC 300, conflicts with his practice of fasting during this period. The reasons for Rakhmonov and Makhachev’s declinations remain unclear.

Khamzat Chimaev: “I will face anyone, Leon (Edwards), (Dricus) du Plessis, anyone, but not during Ramadan. I believe Ramadan is during UFC 300. Maybe someone in Saudi Arabia. I want to fight there. Not fight during Ramadan anymore.”

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