A 20-month layoff was the previous factor Leon Edwards wished but he couldn’t have ever imagined his long awaited return to the UFC would close in a no selection.
An accidental eye poke shipped by Edwards still left Belal Muhammad unable to keep on and the battle was stopped by the ringside health practitioner alongside with referee Herb Dean. With designs to generate a victory and then go on to problem for the welterweight title, Edwards was obviously crushed by the outcome on Saturday evening in the UFC Vegas 21 major occasion.
“First certainly would be apologize to Belal Muhammad,” Edwards claimed when talking on the write-up struggle display. “I came off a extended, extensive year and a fifty percent for me. I prepped so difficult. It is upsetting. I would like him nicely, desire him a whole restoration.
“[I was] heading into the fight with the mentality of I wanted to battle for the belt next. So now I’m like what is upcoming? What do I do now? Is it a rematch? Is it another person else? I sense I ought to have a title shot.”
Prior to the stoppage, Edwards looked improved than ever as he related with quite a few stinging mixtures although also opening up a reduce on the facet of Muhammad’s head courtesy of a 1st-round kick. It appeared that Edwards was truly out to make a statement about his standing in the division right after final competing in 2019 but then the eye poke transpired and the fight was stopped.
“I stated I do not believe that in ring rust,” Edwards reported. “I believe that if you prepare you thoroughly, then you will be great. I confirmed it tonight. I was just getting the movement of it and that freak incident occurred. I’m heartbroken. A long year and a 50 percent to arrive again to this. It’s upsetting.
“I felt like ordinary. All week, it felt organic when I arrived to Vegas. It just felt regular like I fought very last week. That’s the way I often technique it. Like I mentioned, if you prepare correctly in the health and fitness center and mentally you’re ready, you should really not feel ring rust. I was just receiving into the movement of it. I established him up for the cross head kick, we stepped into shorten my cross and which is how he acquired caught with my hand. I apologize.”
While it was an regrettable ending, Edwards doesn’t genuinely see any have to have to revisit the battle with Muhammad irrespective of the end result.
In his brain, Muhammad was a late replacement in the most important event just after Khamzat Chimaev dropped out owing to lingering difficulties experienced from contracting COVID-19 and the rest of the greatest at the top of the welterweight division did not settle for the prospect to face him at UFC Vegas 21.
“I don’t truly feel I need to struggle him yet again,” Edwards said. “I only fought him because all the other men turned me down. The creating was on the wall. I was successful the combat plainly. And I never really feel I require to battle him once again. I have to have to go forward.
“I’m on an eight struggle win streak. That’s the 3rd most in the promotion’s record. It’s me, [Kamaru] Usman and GSP (Georges St-Pierre). I experience like I’ve gained my way for a huge battle.”
Prior to the celebration, UFC president Dana White promised an remarkable gain from Edwards would result in the title shot he’s coveted for so very long.
The no-conclusion places that opportunity into dilemma but Edwards believes the end result in the struggle with Muhammad was by now determined in his favor and it is time for title shot now relatively than afterwards.
The exact can be reported for Edwards’ fascination in other contenders at 170 lbs . including former interim winner Colby Covington, who was to begin with rumored for the fight on Saturday evening.
“That’s there. I can do it but I belong in a title shot,” Edwards responded when questioned about Covington. “I’ve worked my way back again up from previous receiving defeated by Kamaru Usman. I have fought all people. I have offered to combat every person.
“I sense I are entitled to a title shot now. Why need to I go one more 10 fights to get a title shot? I believe that I deserve a title shot following.”