This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 21, Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) finally got his chance to return to the octagon. Edwards was riding an eight-fight win streak, but hadn’t been able to compete since July of 2019.
Originally, Edwards was supposed to take on Khamzat Chimaev. However, after Chimaev pulled out due to COVID complications, Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) stepped in. Muhammad had just fought and won at UFC 258 about a month ago.
This was a golden chance for Muhammad to prove that he belonged with the elites of the division. Meanwhile, Leon Edwards was out to show that he was still one of the best in the UFC despite the lengthy layoff.
Early on in the fight, Leon Edwards looked fantastic. His striking was incredibly crisp and he looked very sharp. His pressure was also bothering Belal Muhammad who is normally the one that pushes the pace in his fights.
In the second round, Edwards went to throw a kick and accidentally poked Muhammad in the eye. It was a horrible poke that caused the UFC Vegas 21 main event to be ruled a No Contest. So after that long layoff, Edwards’ return ends with a No Contest.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 21?
Despite Belal Muhammad wanting the rematch, I don’t believe that’s what the UFC will do. This matchup was one of circumstance due to Edwards needing an opponent with just about three weeks time.
Now that the fight is done, I believe the promotion will pair Edwards up with someone near the top. To me, there is one opponent that is perfect for Leon Edwards. That opponent is former UFC interim champion, Colby Covington (16-2).
Covington needs an opponent right now and it doesn’t appear that he’s getting the next UFC title shot. Edwards isn’t getting that shot either so why not pair them up. These guys are number one and three in the world and it makes all the sense that they fight each other next.