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Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad declared no-decision after second-round eye poke.
Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad was declared no-decision after a second-round eye poke left Muhammad unable to continue fighting.
Edwards apologized to Muhammad after the fight, “I would have rather last, than that,” he told Daniel Cormier after the fight.
The head kick in round one was the precursor to what was to come, Edwards landed square and Muhammad was hurt, clearly. Blood was pouring out of the side of the face of Muhammad having eaten a shin to the cheek. An eye poke at the tail end of the round stalled the bout for a moment so Muhammad could recover then resumed with a minute left, the momentum still there for Edwards.
The round began with a massive eye poke to Muhammad and the pain was apparent as his eye swelled immediately and they called the fight off. Muhammad was sobbing on the canvas wanting to continue the bout.
Edwards was making his long-awaited return to the cage after nearly a year and a half away from the Octagon. Many had wondered if he’d suffer from ring rust or if he’d bounce back in his return like he’d never been away. He was originally slated to face Khamzat Chimaev but Chimaev withdrew from the bout and briefly retired from the sport due to COVID-19 complications.
Muhammad stepped in to face Edwards after a four-fight win streak that included victories over Dhiego Lima, Lyman Good, Takashi Sato and Curtis Millender.
This was the second fight at UFC Vegas 21 to be declared a no-decision.