Leon Edwards’ comeback didn’t end up the way the Brit planned. His match against Belal Muhammad was decided no contest, following Edward’s unintentional eye-poking that caused the bout to stop.
With 18 seconds into the second round, “Rocky,” as the fans called him tried to attack Muhammad, but while doing so, one of his fingers ended up in the rival’s eye. Muhammad immediately stopped the bout as he got down and signalized an injury.
Pretty quickly, the blood appeared, and the referee in the ring, Herb Dean, called the doctors, who would only determine that there are no conditions for the fight to continue.
Up to that point, Edwards was far superior in the octagon, having a few harsh hits and combos that already damaged Muhammad’s face. One powerful head kick would shake the Palestinian, who recovered from it, but also earned a cut above his ear.
Edwards was constantly pressuring the rival, being very aggressive with jabs and plain one-two hits, not allowing Muhammad to get near and impose his wrestling gameplan. The only time the underdog managed to deliver a successful attack was once he got into a clinch situation, from which he struck Edwards with an elbow. Yet, that didn’t leave any consequence on the Brit.
Tonight’s closure complicates the situation a lot for Edwards. He was bound to challenge Kamaru Usman following this battle, and even Dana White confirmed that saying, that Rocky was on top of his list for a title fight if he would to beat Muhammad, which was pretty much expected.
This was yet another jinx for him in the recent year or more. His fight with Khamzat Chimaev was canceled three times due to various reasons, the COVID-19 pandemic previously stopped his rise, and Edwards was away from the ring for almost 20 months.
Following the match, both he and Muhammad said they want to have a rematch and a chance to sort things out properly. Edwards was visibly frustrated with the way things developed, which is understandable knowing his desire to attack the title, and get the opportunity to meet Usman.
Just to remind, Kamaru is the last man to defeat Edwards five and a half years ago, and since that bout, the Brit has won eight straight events up to tonight’s one.