Belal Muhammad faced the toughest challenge of his UFC career against Leon Edwards at UFC Vegas 21. The huge welterweight bout, however, resulted in a no-contest after Edwards accidentally eye poked Muhammad in round 2.
Immediately after the nasty eye poke, Muhammad burst into tears in pai. 'Remember the Name' had his right eye swollen up following the accident.
Muhammad was competing in the first main event fight of his career against Edwards. The no-contest ruling skies in as a huge setback for the 32-year-old Belal Muhammad who was looking forward to entering the title picture if he won.
With a potential win over Edwards, Muhammad could have possibly moved into the top 3 of the divisional rankings. The Chicago native is currently ranked No.13, who understands the huge setback he may face in the aftermath of the nasty poke to his eye.
The financial complications from the fight could have also affected Belal Muhammad. His father's store was looted during the Black Lives Matter protests last year, and unfortunately, they couldn't afford to rebuild the store.
"Unfortunately, we had to close the store. It was just going to be too hard, and too much money to put it back in. And just with the whole COVID thing, a lot of businesses in Chicago closed down because people weren't coming out," Muhammad told Sportskeeda during an interview.
What's next for Belal Muhammad and Leon Edwards?
Belal Muhammad is likely to receive a medical suspension that may sideline him for a significant period of time. He will now be hoping to mark his return with a fight against a top-ranked welterweight, ideally Leon Edwards again.
On the other hand, Edwards would want to get back into the octagon as soon as he can, and lay a strong claim to a welterweight championship shot.
After his no-contest bout against Belal Muhammad, Edwards said it is "heartbreaking" for him to see how the fight culminated.
"First of all, I want to apologize to Belal," said Edwards. "I'm just heartbrokem , I don't know what to say," he added.