Belal Muhammad steps up to face Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night 187 on March 13

Welterweight Belal Muhammad has agreed to step in and face Leon Edwards in the UFC on ESPN+ 45 main event on March 13. Sources told ESPN of the development on Thursday.

Muhammad (18-3) is ranked No. 13 in the 170-pound weight class and just fought on Feb. 13, defeating Dhiego Lima by unanimous decision at UFC 258. He’s replacing Khamzat Chimaev, who was forced out of the event due to lingering effects of COVID-19.

Edwards and Khamzat has been booked three different times, and fell apart each time due to COVID-related issues.

TRENDING > Could UFC events have fans back by summer? Dana White is optimistic

Edwards (18-3) is riding an eight-fight winning streak and is ranked No. 3 in the division. His last loss was to current champion Karmau Usman back in 2015.

Chmimaev is in Las Vegas receiving treatment. He hopes to return by June, according to his manager Ali Abdelaziz.