The eye poke was one of the nastier ones we’ve seen in recent time and nobody is questioning whether or not Muhammad could (or should) have continued fighting. The fight, which promised to offer either Edwards a route to the title shot or Muhammad a chance to springboard into the title picture, is now rendered a non-event.
Muhammad took to Twitter after the disappointing fight to share his thoughts (and a picture of his injured eye).
My heart is shattered my first main event ended like that but Gods the best of planners im sorry to the fans and the @ufc you deserved a full fight.. Alhamdillah the vision is coming back and no permanent damage to the eye I’ll be back and want to run it back @Leon_edwardsmma pic.twitter.com/5xsvhmZ5Uh— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 14, 2021
“My heart is shattered my first main event ended like that but Gods [sic] the best of planners im [sic] sorry to the fans and the [UFC],” wrote Muhammad. “You deserved a full fight.. Alhamdillah the vision is coming back and no permanent damage to the eye I’ll be back and want to run it back [Leon Edwards].”
Muhammad found himself in his first ever main event when Edwards’ original opponent Khamzat Chimaev withdrew due to lingering health problems associated with his battle with the coronavirus.
Before this no contest, Muhammad was riding a four fight winning streak with victories over Dhiego Lima, Lyman Good, Takashi Sato and Curtis Millender. The former Titan Fighting welterweight champion now has a record of 18-3 (1). ‘Remember The Name’ has been plying his trade inside the Octagon since 2016.
For Edwards this was his first fight since July 20, 2019, when he beat former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. The win over RDA was Edwards’ eighth straight victory. The last fight he lost in the UFC was to now champion Kamaru Usman back in 2015.