Leon Edwards seemed to be on his way to victory in the main event of UFC Vegas 21, but then an eye-poke in the second round changed everything.
Referee Herb Dean waved the fight off at 18 seconds of the second frame, after Edwards’ second eye poke of the contest, which rendered opponent Belal Muhammad unable to continue.
In the post-fight press conference, Edwards said he was “heartbroken” about the result, but still affirmed that he deserved a title shot, much to the dismay of many fans.
Ryan Spann, Dan Ige, Matthew Semelsberger, and Davey Grant all earned performances of the night and a $50,000 USD bonus apiece. There was no Fight of the Night awarded.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.
In case you missed the prelims:
MATTHEW SEMELSBERGER DEF. JASON WITT VIA TKO (PUNCH) R1 0:16
JINH YU FREY DEF. GLORIA DE PAULA VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
J.J. ALDRICH DEF. CORTNEY CASEY VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
NASRAT HAQPARAST DEF. RAFA GARCIA VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
RANI YAHYA DEF. RAY RODRIGUEZ VIA SUBMISSION (ARM-TRIANGLE CHOKE) R2 3:09
CHARLES JOURDAIN DEF. MARCELO ROJO VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R3 4:31
ANGELA HILL DEF. ASHLEY YODER VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ERYK ANDERS VS. DARREN STEWART
— UFC (@ufc) March 14, 2021
WINNER: NO-CONTEST (ILLEGAL KNEE BY ANDERS) R1 4:37
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DARREN STEWART VIA UD
Andrews: Both guys needed a big win. And they didn’t.
MANUEL KAPE VS. MATHEUS NICOLAU
WINNER: MATHEUS NICOLAU VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: MATHEUS NICOLAU VIA UD
Andrews: Close fight.
DAVEY GRANT VS. JONATHAN MARTINEZ
WINNER: DAVEY GRANT VIA KO (PUNCH) R2 3:03
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JONATHAN MARTINEZ VIA TKO
Andrews: Full marks to Grant. That’s how you finish a fight – with a left hook.
DAN IGE VS. GAVIN TUCKER
WINNER: DAN IGE VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 1:11
ANDREWS PREDICTION: GAVIN TUCKER VIA UD
Andrews: Wow! I did not think Ige could do that. Tucker went out on his shield.
MISHA CIRKUNOV VS. RYAN SPANN
WINNER: RYAN SPANN VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 1:11
ANDREWS PREDICTION: MISHA CIRKUNOV VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: Misha got caught.
LEON EDWARDS VS. BELAL MUHAMMAD
WINNER: NO CONTEST (ACCIDENTAL EYE-POKE) R2 0:18
ANDREWS PREDICTION: LEON EDWARDS VIA UD
Andrews: Edwards was winning until the eyepoke. Run it back.