UFC Vegas 21 – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

UFC Vegas 21
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 13: Bulal Muhammad reacts after he is unable to continue against Leon Edwards of Jamaica due to an accidental eye poke in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC Vegas 21 is in the books, and it was quite a night. There were two fights on the main card that ended as No Decisions, due to fouls. In the feature bout, Belal Muhammad received an ugly eye gouge at the finger or Leon Edwards. It was a scary moment and resulted in a No Decision. The co-main event ended in just over a minute as Ryan Spann knocked out Misha Cirkunov. It was a dramatic knockout and bodes well for Spann.

UFC Vegas 21 – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

UFC Vegas 21 – The Good – Dan Ige

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Dan Ige showed up at The Apex Center looking to redeem himself after losing an epic clash with Calvin Kattar back in July that saw him lose a decision. Redemption came in the form of a twenty-two-second knockout of Gavin Tucker. As the two fighters met in the center of the Octagon, Gavin Tucker leaned into a punch and caught a counter-punch that folded him up and ended the fight.

For Dan “50K” Ige it was a signature highlight and will move him up the crowded featherweight division. He’s ranked ninth in the division, and will likely draw a fighter in the top five in his next fight. It is certainly deserved for Ige who’s UFC record moves to 7-2 with the victory.

UFC Vegas 21 – The Bad – Judges, Judges, Judges…

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The UFC has a serious problem with judges. Twice on Saturday night, the judges blew what I believed to be pretty obvious decisions. First, Cortney Casey fought JJ Aldrich and it was clear to me that Casey clearly won the fight two rounds to one. I didn’t think it was a difficult decision at all to render. That said, the judges awarded a split decision to JJ Aldrich. The MMA Site MMADecisions.com where media members submit their scores had the fight scored 16 for Casey and 1 for Aldrich. The fact that the media can better determine a winner is sad.

Manel Kape squared off with Matheus Nicolau. Once again, the media members weighed in on the fight and 22 panelists scored the fight for Kape, and 0 scored it for Matheus Nicolau. Zero. ZERO! Not one member of the media who were viewing the fight scored it for Nicolau. However, two of three judges scored it for Nicolau and walks away with the decision. The judging situation needs to be addressed and fixed. It’s long overdue and fighters are losing sizeable amounts of money with these errors. It’s time to retire the old commission boxing judges and replace them with trained former MMA competitors.

UFC Vegas 21 – The Ugly – Leon Edwards Eye Poke

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It’s pretty rare given the violent nature of the mixed martial arts that I see something that makes me genuinely nervous and concerned. Saturday night was one of those moments. Leon Edwards extended his left hand and inadvertently dug his finger into the eye of Belal Muhammad who immediately collapsed in agony. Anyone who has ever been poked in the eye knows how much it hurts, and this was just brutal. I immediately worried that Muhammad might lose his eye or sight. As he sat on the canvas in tears I had butterflies at how serious the injury might be.

He has since commented on the fight via his Instagram. You can see it below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170)

The good news is there doesn’t seem to be any permanent damage and Muhammad will make a full recovery. Hopefully, at that point, the two can run it back and we will find out how it plays out. For Leon Edwards, a victory would likely mean a title shot. While not in any way intentional, the eye poke was certainly an ugly moment in a crazy night of fights.

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