HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist

UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad was last night and it featured a horribly tainted main event. Let’s get to the rundown.

UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad
BAD- Eryk Anders vs. Darren Stewart ends in a No Contest
They traded punches early and often, with Anders dropping Stewart with a big left hand. Stewart recovers and they continue but they go down again and in the scramble, Anders catches Stewart with a big knee to the face as Stewart is grounded. The ringside doctor calls the fight off and it’s ruled a No Contest a little over four and a half minutes into the first round. Well, that sucks. Moving on…

GOOD- Matheus Nicolau vs. Manel Kape
They fought hard in the first round, trading strikes until Nicolau got a takedown. Kape took the second round as he outstruck Nicolau. They had another close round in the third. More of the judges leaned towards Nicolau so he won the split decision. Good win for Nicolau.

GOOD- Davey Grant stops Jonathan Martinez
They traded a lot of kicks in the first round. However, it was a nice left hand from Martinez that dropped Grant. He survived and the fight went to the second round, though. Grant landed some hard shots to the body in the second round, including a nice right hook to the body that was followed by a powerful left hand that ended the fight in brutal fashion a little over three minutes into the second round. Good win for Grant.

GOOD- Dan Ige stops Gavin Tucker
Tucker came out dancing but Ige caught him with a great counter right that flattened him twenty-two seconds into the first round. Good win for Ige, that was a beautiful counter.

GOOD- Ryan Spann stops Misha Cirkunov
Spann came forward early and are some shots, then delivered some heavy shots of his own. Spann dropped Cirkunov with a big right but Cirkunov was able to survive as Spann let him up. However, he then plastered him with an even bigger left and it was over about seventy-one seconds into the first round. Good win for Spann.

UGLY- Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad ends in a No Contest
They traded shots early before a big headkick from Edwards stuns Muhammad. Shortly after that, Muhammad gets poked in the eye. The first round finishes with Edwards getting a few more nice strikes in. The second round saw Muhammad take a horrible eyepoke and he’s unable to continue. He can’t even see and the fight is ruled a No Contest.
This is ridiculous. I’m sick of eyepokes ruining fights. My initial inclination is to say something like a large fine for the first eyepoke and a suspension for the second. At the same time, though, I understand that accidents happen. However, fighting with your fingers sticking out and pointing straight at your opponent’s eyes isn’t really an accident. I’m seen some people saying that getting knocked out is more dangerous than getting poked in the eye but no one’s saying to ban punches and kicks. There’s some validity to that but all fighters agree to that danger when they sign the contracts. There’s no clause in there about eyepokes, so I don’t think it’s quite fair to say that, though.
There’s different glove designs that could be used, rather than the standard one that’s used. Put them in mittens for all I care, I’m just tired of seeing fights end or get tainted by these eyepokes. That might be going a bit far but damn, this is ridiculous. What’s especially frustrating about it is that it’s avoidable. How many guys have fought and how many fights have there been, that haven’t been tainted by this stuff? It’s just not needed.
Edwards should have been disqualified for this. Why rule it a No Contest? Maybe if it was an accident, but this was his second eyepoke of the fight, that takes accident out of the equation for me. At that point, you’re done. Maybe if there was a large fine associated with these eyepokes or a suspension, then a No Contest wouldn’t be quite as bad. However, Edwards basically gets away with this and doesn’t even get a L on his record. That’s a load of junk. Maybe Edwards was winning the fight up until that point and maybe he would have won, but that’s a lot of maybes. In the meantime, he doesn’t really take a penalty for this. That doesn’t sit right. I hope the UFC does something about this, but I’m not going to hold my breath. One thing’s for certain, this leaves a bad taste in your mouth and taints a pretty damn good card. It’s very odd to have two No Contest’s bookend some really good fights. Hopefully this doesn’t happen again anytime soon.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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