UFC Vegas 21 did not have a conclusion that anyone saw coming, including Belal Muhammad, who was blinded by a vicious (albeit unintentional) eye poke from Leon Edwards. The bout was called to an end prematurely in the second round, with Edwards escaping a disqualification despite being warned for the same foul committed earlier in the fight.
With absolutely no closure attached to the fight and such an unsavory outcome, it was widely expected that there would be a rematch to set things straight. That certainly is what Belal Muhammad was expecting and is continuing to call for in the days following the event. However, Leon Edwards has other plans.
In the post-fight press conference, Edwards called for a title shot for his next fight. And earlier today, it was reported that he is again interested in a fight against Colby Covington. Among those who noticed the conspicuously absent name of Belal Muhammad from Edwards’ plans was Muhammad himself and fellow welterweight Stephen Thompson.
“The eye pokes (were) just a shame, man. I was sad to see it happen. He was warned once, I think, about the fingers being out there and then the eye poke, it’s just not a way you want a fight to win. I know Leon Edwards was disappointed; Belal was disappointed, but you really can’t ask for the title after something like that,” Thompson told Submission Radio earlier this week.
“You poked the guy in the eye. Like, you get a title shot after that? Come on, man. You haven’t fought in almost two years? Nah, I’m kind of with Colby on that. You don’t deserve it. You gotta fight, and really show something, really do more than just eye pokes.”
Thompson Would Have Handled Things Differently With Father’s Guidance
Stephen Thompson also went on to say that if his coach, father, and mentor Ray Thompson wouldn’t have stood for it if his son responded to a no-contest the way Edwards has. In fact, “Wonderboy” joked that it would have even gotten physical between father and son in a one-sided altercation if he had replicated Edwards’ behavior.
“He would have definitely slapped me in the face, say, ‘No, you definitely need to run it back or fight somebody and really show out in order to get that title shot,” Thompson said with a smile. “So, yeah, he would have definitely slapped me if I would have asked for the title (shot), but then ended up poking the guy in the eye and the fight ended up being a no-contest. He’d be like, ‘No, you ain’t getting that shot that way.’
“So you gotta be honorable about it, either run it back or face somebody, like myself, to really prove it.”
There is currently no fight booked for Edwards or Thompson at the moment. Both men are actively trying to change that but are going about it in much less polarizing ways.
Do you agree with Stephen Thompson’s take on Leon Edwards’ calls for a title shot following the UFC Vegas 21 no-contest?