UFC Fight Night 187 Results: Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad Ruled No-Contest

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2021

Mirsad Bektic, left, defends the punch by Dan Ige during the third round of a featherweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 247 on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Michael Wyke/Associated Press

UFC Vegas 21 came to an unfortunate conclusion with Belal Muhammad and Leon Edwards ending in a no-contest after an accidental eye poke by Edwards left Muhammad unable to fight. 

It's the second week in a row that at least one main card fight ended with a foul. Petr Yan lost his bantamweight belt at UFC 259 after an illegal knee left Aljamain Sterling unable to continue. 

ESPN MMA @espnmma

"Sorry, Belal, brother. Sorry, brother." @Leon_edwardsmma apologized to @bullyb170 for the accidental eye poke that resulted in their #UFCVegas21 fight being declared a No Decison. https://t.co/f9JtRM7jA8

It was fair to wonder if there would be rust for Edwards. The British kickboxer hadn't fought since July 2019, but he showcased his striking early with a nice head kick that found a home in the opening round.  

UFC @ufc

No rust! 🇬🇧 @Leon_EdwardsMMA is on a mission early. #UFCVegas21 https://t.co/0YjDbWNSs6

In the second frame, Edwards was looking to stalk down Muhammad and continue to put in an impressive return to action when the poke occurred. Although it was ruled accidental, it left Muhammad writhing in pain on the ground and unable to continue. 

It was a disappointing end to a great night of fights. In all, three of the six main card bouts ended with knockouts as the competition for bonuses was fierce. 


Main Card

  • Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad ends in a no-contest (accidental eye poke) in Round 2
  • Ryan Spann def. Misha Cirkunov by TKO at 1:11 of Round 1
  • Dan Ige def. Gavin Tucker by KO at 0:22 of Round 1
  • Davey Grant def. Jonathan Martinez by KO at 3:03 of Round 2
  • Matheus Nicolau def. Manel Kape by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Eryk Anders and Darren Stewart ends in a No Contest (illegal knee) at 4:37 of Round 1


  • Angela Hill def. Ashley Yoder by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
  • Charles Jourdain def. Marcelo Rojo by TKO at 4:31 of Round 3
  • Rani Yahya def. Ray Rodriguez by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:09 of Round 2
  • Nasrat Haqparast def. Rafa Garcia by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • JJ Aldrich def. Cortney Casey by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jinh Yu Frey def. Gloria de Paula by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
  • Matthew Semelsberger def. Jason Witt by KO (punch) at 0:16 of Round 1


Ryan Spann def. Misha Cirkunov

Ryan Spann is far from a knockout artist, but you wouldn't have known that from his win over Misha Cirkunov in the co-main event. 

Spann initially had Cirkunov reeling from a straight right hand that floored him. While most fighters would have jumped on their opponent and given them an opportunity to hold on for dear life until they grappled their way back into it, Spann had a better idea. 

The 29-year-old forced Cirkunov to get back to his feet, where he quickly put him on the mat again and finished the job. 

ESPN MMA @espnmma

Hurt him early and then @Superman_Spann poured on the power shots 💥 #UFCVegas21 https://t.co/yVmCbb1RwJ

Spann is traditionally known for his submission game more than his knockouts. He has 11 taps in his career, while this is only his fifth career knockout. 

Thus far, Spann's only slip-up was against Johnny Walker. Cirkunov is no easy out, and Spann showcased an element to his game that we really haven't seen much of. 

That's reason to believe Spann could be capable of accomplishing more in the light heavyweight division than originally anticipated. 


Dan Ige def. Gavin Tucker

Knockout punches come in all shapes, sizes and arcs. After Davey Grant knocked out Jonathan Martinez with a looping left hand, Dan Ige reminded everyone the quickest way from Point A to Point B is a straight line. 

Ige landed a sharp straight right hand as Tucker was coming in, and it immediately turned out the lights. All in all, the proceedings took just 22 seconds. 

UFC @ufc

ONE AND DONE FOR 50K 🤑 #UFCVegas21 https://t.co/PLs7mkJ5Ez

This was a big way for Ige to bounce back from his loss to Calvin Kattar in July 2020. Ige isn't known for his power. This is his first knockout victory since a 50-second TKO win over Mike Santiago in 2018. 

For Tucker, this could just be a blip on the radar. He was on a three-fight win streak before stepping in to fight Ige on short notice. Flash knockouts are fun, but they don't always tell the whole story. If he's able to bounce back and win his next fight, it will do a lot to erase this memory.  


Davey Grant def. Jonathan Martinez

Davey Grant lived up to his "Dangerous" moniker in his fight against Jonathan Martinez. All it took was one massive left hook to end his opponent's night in the second round of their bantamweight bout. 

Despite an apparent foot injury, Grant continued to bite down on the mouthpiece and throw with bad intent. When he unleashed a right-left combination, it found a home and melted Martinez instantaneously. 

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WOKE UP FEELING DAN-GER-OUS 😳 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 @DaveyGrantMMA with a FLAWLESS connection. [ #UFCVegas21 - LIVE on #ESPNPlus ] https://t.co/lnN6yW2Hiu

The finish is actually rare for Grant but shows that his power might be a developing aspect to his game.

He only had three knockout finishes to his name as opposed to eight submissions. However, this is now back-to-back knockouts, as he took out Martin Day in his last fight. 

At 35 years old it's hard to believe that Grant has a lot of unlocked potential, but it's hard to deny he has looked pretty sharp after a 1-3 run in the UFC. 


Matheus Nicolau def. Manel Kape

The card got off to a controversial start with back-to-back head-scratchers. After Eryk Anders and Darren Stewart ended in a no-contest, Matheus Nicolau took a split-decision over Manel Kape that had the MMA community questioning the judges. 

Nicolau appeared to take the first round on account of his wrestling game, which successfully put Kape on his back. However, Kape adjusted in the second and third rounds and clearly landed the harder shots before the third round saw both fighters have their moments. 

ESPN MMA @espnmma

The sound of these @ManelKape knees 🤢 #UFCVegas21 https://t.co/x17M5yKSlT

Unfortunately for Kape, two of the three judges didn't see it that way. He has now lost back-to-back fights and lost considerable momentum. 

Nicolau, on the other hand, needed this win to establish himself in the UFC. His first run with the promotion ended with a 3-1 record. He was cut after a loss to Dustin Ortiz. However, he's won two fights outside of the UFC to get this chance and made the most of it.   


Eryk Anders vs. Darren Stewart—No-Contest

Eryk Anders apparently didn't watch UFC 259 a week before he fought. Just seven days after Petr Yan lost his bantamweight title because of an illegal knee to a downed opponent, Anders missed an opportunity for a win under the same circumstance.

Ya Boi and The Dentist put on a great fight for as long as it lasted. Stewart landed some serious shots early in the first round, but Anders seized control through his wrestling before turning up some heat of his own on the feet. 

UFC Canada @UFC_CA

Ya Boi drops him! These boys are SWINGING #UFCVegas21 https://t.co/DjFo1604Xk

Anders was landing heavy leather and well on his way to finishing the fight with Stewart on the ground. Instead of letting the fight play out with punches and drawing the finish, Anders made the risky decision to unleash a knee to the head. 

The cageside doctor then deemed Stewart unable to continue, and Herb Dean ruled the fight a no-contest. 

Given the fun nature of the fight before the foul ended things, it wouldn't be surprising to see these two run it back on a card as soon as Stewart is cleared to return to competition.