The Pro Take: Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad Ruled No Contest Due to Eye Poke

Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad, UFC Vegas 21
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 13: (L-R) Leon Edwards of Jamaica kicks Bulal Muhammad in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After Kamaru Usman defended his welterweight championship at UFC 258 against Gilbert Burns, the remaining contenders in the division were salivating at an opportunity to stake their claim as number one contender for the welterweight title.

Enter the returning Leon Edwards.

Edwards, out of action 602 days, made his long-awaited return to the octagon at UFC Vegas 21 after a lengthy layoff. Edwards looked to make a statement back in 2019 (heading into 2020) that he was the rightful number one contender in the welterweight division, but unfortunately COVID-19 delayed that process until 2021. First, UFC London fell through. Then, Edwards contracted COVID-19 himself. After would-be opponent Khamzat Chimaev pulled out of their rebooked fight with continued complications from the virus, Edwards couldn’t wait any longer. Which led to him accepting a short-notice fight against Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 21.

Belal Muhammad was making quick turnaround after his victory against Dhiego Lima just weeks ago, entering the main event against Leon Edwards with a big opportunity ahead of him. A chance, potentially, to jump the line in the welterweight division and capture the contender status many believed Edwards possessed.

What played out in the UFC Vegas 21 main event, however, is not what fans wanted to see. Unfortunately, Leon Edwards landed an eye poke that left Belal Muhammad unable to continue, resulting in the main event being called off as a No Contest early in the second round.


Check out the pros’ reactions to the UFC Vegas 21 main event below.