After over 600 days of inactivity, Leon Edwards’ return to the octagon led to frustration.
The Jamaican-born Brit noticed his battle with Belal Muhammad waved off early within the second spherical for an eye fixed poke that prevented Muhammad from persevering with.
Edwards had seemed good within the first spherical. His final battle was 602 days in the past, whereas Muhammad’s was 27 days in the past. Nonetheless, it was Edwards who had the crisp putting and seemed like he was seizing management.
Then, simply 18 seconds into spherical two, Edwards caught Muhammad with a brutal eye poke and he didn’t get the victory he wanted to get the title shot UFC president Dana White promised.
Muhammad was upset with the no contest simply as a lot as Edwards and shed tears contained in the octagon because the consequence was introduced.
“First, I need to apologise to Belal Muhammad. An extended, lengthy 12 months for me and I prepped so exhausting. I want him effectively, I want him a full restoration,” Edwards stated on the UFC on ESPN+ post-fight present. “Going into it, I stated I didn’t consider in ring rust…I confirmed it tonight.
“I used to be simply entering into the stream of it. To have that freak accident occur, I’m heartbroken. It’s been a protracted 12 months and half. To return again to this, it’s upsetting you understand?”
Edwards had been out for therefore lengthy by no fault of his personal. The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled his probability of dealing with Tyron Woodley after which he wasn’t in a position to journey for a number of months.
When he lastly did get a date with Khamzat Chimaev, that battle was cancelled 3 times on account of each fighters contracting the virus.
After the third withdrawal, Muhammad stepped up and it’s a disgrace for each events the way it ended.
“It’s heart-breaking. It’s been a protracted, lengthy 12 months and half,” he stated. “Plenty of ups and downs — none of those high guys accepting the battle.
“Belal Muhammad stepped up and accepted the battle. I give him respect for that. I realized a lot for the final 12 months and a half that I wished to indicate.
“I used to be going into the battle with the mentality of desirous to battle for the belt subsequent,” he continued. “So now what’s subsequent? What do I do now?
“Is it a rematch, is it another person? I really feel like I deserve a title shot. That’s 9 fights in a row. I’ve fought everybody they offer me,” stated Edwards.
Edwards gained eight in a row earlier than dealing with Muhammad and is technically nonetheless unbeaten in 9. His final loss got here in opposition to now-champion Kamaru Usman and he believes he’s accomplished sufficient to face him once more.
“I’ve labored my approach again up from getting defeated by Kamaru Usman. I’ve fought all people, I’ve provided to battle all people, so I really feel I deserve a title shot now,” he stated. “Why ought to I do ten fights to get a title shot, you understand? I consider I deserve a title shot subsequent.”