clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Colby Covington says Leon Edwards should have been disqualified for eye poke on Belal Muhammad

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This past Saturday, Leon Edwards faced Belal Muhammad in the main event of UFC Vegas 21. The bout was Edwards’ first since July of 2019 and things did not go according to plan. After a good opening stanza, in the second round Edwards poked Muhammad in the eye, ending the fight and resulting in a no-contest. It was an unfortunate outcome for Edwards who had title aspirations with a win, but top welterweight contender Colby Covington believes that Edwards actually was very lucky.

Speaking with Submission Radio, Covington argued that Edwards should have been disqualified for the fight-ending eye poke instead of being gifted a no-contest.

“He still hasn’t fought in two years,” Covington said. “He has a no-contest which, by the way, that should have been a disqualification. He did poke the guy in the face in the first round and backstage I know that Herb Dean gave him the warning, ‘Hey, don’t poke anyone in the eyes,’ because that’s the instruction they give every time before you go out there and fight. He should have been disqualified. I don’t know how that was a no-contest. That being said, he still hasn’t fought in two years. How is he still in the rankings?”

Edwards was briefly removed from the UFC rankings last year due to inactivity but was restored when he had a fight booked against Khamzat Chimaev. That fight was delayed several times due to COVID-19 and ultimately, Chimaev was replaced by Muhammad, with the idea being that a win for Edwards might be enough to propel him into a welterweight title fight against Kamaru Usman. Theoretically, the no-contest this past weekend should end that idea but Edwards has stilled called for the next title opportunity anyway, something Covington thinks is absurd.

“It’s hilarious,” Covington said. “I had some people say, ‘Oh, it’s an accident!’ An accident is if one of the lights above the octagon falls in the octagon and hits one of the fighters in the head. An accident is if Herb Dean has a heart attack in the octagon and he’s not able to ref so they call the fight. That’s an accident. A second eye poke, a third eye poke, those aren’t accidents. That should have been a disqualification. The guy hasn’t won a fight in two years. He’s been turning down fights left and right with multiple people behind me that are nobodies. I’m the number one guy in the world, me and Marty Fakenewsman have unfinished business.”

Covington’s schtick in recent years has been to trash talk any and everyone in the welterweight division and Edwards is no exception to this. In fact, when Chimaev was forced out of the bout due to the lingering effects of COVID-19, Edwards called for a fight with Covington and since then, the two have been sniping back and forth at one another with Covington saying he wasn’t going to do “charity work” for Edwards.

Of course, Covington has another very personal reasons for Edwards not receiving a title shot. The UFC and Usman have strongly hinted at a rematch between Usman and Jorge Masvidal as next up for the 170-pound division, and if Edwards were to jump in there, then that would put Covington several spots back. That being said, Covington admits that if the UFC makes it worth his while, he’ll fight Edwards but unless that happens, he’s holding out for one of the bigger names in the division and Edwards can just run it back with Muhammad.

“They know what they can do to get me to show up for that fight but I’m not showing up for charity,” Covington concluded. “The guy still hasn’t won in two years. A no-contest, that’s not a win, that’s not a fight. He needs to rematch that ‘Bailey’ guy. They need to fight again... Rerun that Leon fight vs. ‘Bailey’ because nobody gives a s*** about it. Nobody wants to watch that hot garbage. The only fight to make is me versus Marty Newsman or me versus Street Judas Masvidal.”

Covington’s most recent fight was last September, a fifth-round TKO over former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.


Results. Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad ends in No Contest after eye poke in main event of UFC Vegas 21.

Leon Edwards not interested in Belal Muhammad rematch: ‘I believe I deserve a title shot next’.

Belal Muhammad shares image of eye poke injury, rips Leon Edwards for declining immediate rematch.

Derrick Lewis ‘for sure’ wants rematch with Francis Ngannou, but first needs to renegotiate contract.


UFC Vegas 21 Post Show.

UFC Vegas 21 post fight press conference.

Free fight.

Rogan talking about the Petr Yan fiasco.

MMA media picks Brunson vs. Holland.


On to the Next One. Matchmaking for the fighters after UFC Vegas 21.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC Vegas 21 and the return of Cage Warriors.


Rogan is a hell of an artist.

Fair question after that.

Good effort.


Apparently this is a pandemic among fighters.


That being said, this is just good Tweeting.





Cheyanne Buys (5-1) vs. Montserrat Ruiz (9-1); UFC Fight Night, Mar. 20.

Justin Tafa (4-2) vs. Jared Vanderaa (11-5); UFC Fight Night May 22.

Ilir Latifi (14-8) vs. Tanner Boser (19-7-1); UFC Fight Night, June 5.

Luigi Vendramini (9-1) vs. Fares Ziam (11-3); UFC 263, June 12.

Jake Collier (12-5) vs. Carlos Felipe (10-1); UFC 263, June 12.

Ed Herman (25-14, 1 NC) vs. Danilo Marques (11-2); UFC Fight Night, June 26.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



Should they run back Edwards vs. Muhammad?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    (702 votes)
  • 33%
    (361 votes)
1063 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting