Leon Edwards’ lengthy awaited return to the octagon has gone down like a lead balloon, together with his comeback battle towards Belal Muhammad ending with a “no contest”.
After easing his manner again in within the opening spherical, Edwards unintentionally poked Muhammad in the correct eye.
Instantly the referee stopped the battle, as Muhammad’s tears flowed and his proper eye swelled with blood.
The consequence has as soon as once more reignited the controversy over the gloves worn by fighters, with calls to increase the glove so fingers don’t protrude out.
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It was the second “no-contest” of the UFC Battle Evening, after controversy surrounded the sooner middleweight battle between Eryk Anders and Darren Stewart.
Anders – a former Alabama soccer participant – landed an unlawful knee whereas Stewart was grounded, with one knee and one hand on the mat, which noticed the referee Herb Dean intervene to pause the motion.
Stewart tried to proceed, just for the physician to reject his appeals as Dean waved the battle off at 4:37 within the first spherical. However the battle had not gone two full rounds, and Dean interpreted Anders’ unlawful shot as unintentional – that means the consequence was controversially deemed a no-contest, somewhat than a disqualification.
Edwards, in the meantime, was left “heartbroken” as his first battle in 18 months did not get the win he desperately craved.
Sadly, he’ll probably have to attend to get that likelihood following Sunday’s (AEDT) “no-contest”.
“Firstly I apologise to Belal, I didn’t imply to do [it],” Edwards mentioned.
“I went for the crosshead kick, he stepped into it and I actually apologise.
“I’d somewhat a loss than that, you understand. I’m heartbroken, I don’t know what to say.”
After a collection of postponements, UFC president Dana White had mentioned Edwards, who had climbed to 3rd within the welterweight rankings after his win over Rafael dos Anjos on July 20, 2019, would get the possibility at champion Kamaru Usman ought to he defeat Muhammad.
The place the no-contest leaves him is now anybody’s guess.
“Precisely. What now, what do I now?” Edwards mentioned.
“I went in there specializing in my subsequent chapter to be world champion; simply heartbroken. It’s been an extended, lengthy yr and a half and to return again to that.”