After the back-and-forth between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington ahead of the former’s fight with Belal Muhammad, it was almost certain that “Chaos” would have something to say after the bout was ruled a No Contest at UFC Vegas 21.
Despite over 600 days on the sidelines, Edwards looked sharp and comfortably won the first round before the fight was stopped early on in the second round after catching Muhammad with a gruesome eye poke.
Referee Herb Dean ruled the offence accidental and declared the fight as a no-decision on Saturday night, leaving both men disappointed with the outcome.
Covington, a former interim UFC welterweight champion and top contender in the division, said he thinks that Edwards was lucky that he wasn’t disqualified for that fight-ending eye poke.
“He still hasn’t fought in two years,” Covington told Submission Radio [H/T MMA Fighting]. “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?”
After the fight, Edwards seemed determined to move on from this matchup with Muhammad and dismissed the thought of having a rematch – instead aiming for a title shot. Understandably, Muhammad has an issue with that.
Covington similarly has an issue with Edwards campaigning for a bout with either UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman or likely challenger Jorge Masvidal next.
The Oregon native doubled down that Edwards should have been disqualified and said he doesn’t think Edwards has done enough to warrant a title shot over him.
“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 [Kamaru Usman] have unfinished business.”
Covington’s latest Octagon appearance saw him dominate former champion Tyron Woodley en route to a fifth-round TKO victory last September; his first fight since an unsuccessful attempt to defeat Usman for the title at UFC 245 in December 2019.