Edwards – Muhammad ruled a No Contest following early eye poke

602 days in between fights, British welterweight prospect looked like a man on a mission against short-notice opponent Belal Muhammad on Saturday night.

However, things didn’t work out for Edwards nor Muhammad after the fight was ruled a No Contest in the second round.

Edwards showed no signs of cage rust as he aggressively took the fight to Muhammad. “Rocky” landed a head kick on his foe and had Muhammad wobbled, but “Remember The Name” did well to regain his faculties to fight on. Birmingham’s Edwards clearly had the first round, though Muhammad did have some success of his own.

Then came the second round. Just 18 seconds in, Muhammad took a gruesome, unintentional eye poke and fell to the floor in some serious pain.

The cage-side doctor ruled Muhammad was unable to continue and the fight was ruled a No Contest – a result neither man would have wanted.

 

Ryan Spann flattens Misha Cirkunov in co-main event

Ryan Spann’s punching power continues to be a problem for his light heavyweight counterparts as Misha Cirukunov found out in the UFC Fight Night co-main event.

Submission specialist Cirkunov start the fight off aggressively before he was planted with a right hand. The Canadian managed to survive the following assault on the ground until Spann let him get back to his feet.

Texas native Spann then floored his opponent with a chopping left hand and Cirkunov was unable to last through this second go of ground and pound.

Spann earned the quick TKO win in just 71 seconds.

 

Dan Ige makes quick work of Gavin Tucker

Dan Ige wasted no time in conducting his business in the Octagon against Gavin Tucker.

The featherweights both came out swinging, but Canada’s Tucker came off worse as Ige landed his right hand flush on his opponent’s jaw.

Tucker crashed to the canvas and there was no need to for Ige to follow up with any more strikes on the ground as he walked away the victor after just 22 seconds.

 

Davey Grant knocks out Jonathan Martinez

Davey Grant is growing a reputation as a knockout artist after his latest performance against Jonathan Martinez at UFC Fight Night 187.

Known more for his submission skills, Grant looked like he was coming off slightly worse in the striking exchanges with Martinez in the first round.

Martinez earned his success through a steady stream of thudding leg kicks and also scored a knockdown late on in the opening round.

England’s Grant looked determined to get one back against Martinez in the second round and his output significantly increased.

“Dangerous” had the edge over his Texan opponent in that second stanza up until he landed the perfect fight-ending combination he needed to walk away with a spectacular win.

Grant went body-head, landing a nice right hand to the body before launching a left hook that landed perfectly on Martinez’s jaw. Martinez crashed backwards to the canvas, before Grant delivered a series of blows on the ground to secure the TKO victory and his second knockout win in a row.

 

Matheus Nicolau gets split decision win over Manel Kape

In his first UFC fight since 2018, Matheus Nicolau did enough in the minds of two of the three judges to earn a split decision win over Rizin veteran Manel Kape.

Each round between these flyweights had a contrast to the previous one and/or the one following.

Nicolau hunted for the takedown in the first round and got it, doing some good positional work on the mat and stifling striker Kape. Portugal’s Kape did manage to eventually get back on his feet, but was taken down again towards the end of the round.

Kape clearly had the striking edge over Nicolau. He had the Brazilian hurt in the second round with a big uppercut. Nicolau survived the onslaught and did try to fire back, but it was now obvious why he wanted to get the fight down to the floor in that first round.

Nicolau recomposed himself in between rounds and out-worked Kape in the final five minutes of their contest. Nicolau threw strikes at a higher volume than his opponent, but Kape came on strong towards the end of the fight which made the final round a tough one to score.

Two of the judges scored the bout 29-28 in Nicolau’s favour, the other 28-29 to Kape.

 

Eryk Anders vs Darren Stewart ruled a No Contest after illegal knee

After the dramatic end to that UFC bantamweight title bout between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling, no one thought we’d see another fight ended prematurely due to an illegal knee a week later. Unfortunately for Eryk Anders and Darren Stewart, that was the case at UFC Fight Night 187.

This middleweight contest got off to a flying start. Stewart hurt Anders after an early striking skirmish, leading Anders to hunt for a takedown that Stewart rebuffed. In the resulting clinch, Anders started to find some success with his shots in the pocket.

The pair disengaged from the clinch to throw more leather at each other and Anders came off better this time round, dropping the Brit. Anders landed a series of strikes and it looked like referee Herb Dean was going to call the fight off at any moment as Stewart somehow rose to his feet while continually getting drilled with punches.

“The Dentist” Stewart eventually fell back down with his knee on the ground against the cage, succumbing under Anders’ pressure. Anders then drove a knee into the downed Stewart’s head – an illegal strike.

Stewart, who was already hurt before that errant knee and even more so after it, wanted to continue to fight. The cage-side doctor ruled he couldn’t. Referee Dean ruled the bout a No Contest at 4:37 of the first round.

 

UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad full results

Welterweight: Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad was ruled a No Contest (accidental eye poke) at 0:18 of round two
Light Heavyweight: Ryan Spann def. Misha Cirkunov  by TKO (punches) at 1:11 of round one
Featherweight: Dan Ige def. Gavin Tucker KO (punch) at 0:22 of round one
Bantamweight: Davey Grant def. Jonathan Martinez by KO (punch) at 3:03 of round two
Flyweight: Matheus Nicolau def. Manel Kape by split decision after five rounds
Middleweight: Eryk Anders vs. Darren Stewart was ruled a No Contest (illegal knee) at 4:37 of round one
Women’s Strawweight: Angela Hill def. Ashley Yoder by unanimous decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Charles Jourdain def. Marcelo Rojo by TKO (punches) at 4:31 of round three
Bantamweight: Rani Yahya def. Ray Rodriguez by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:09 of round two
Lightweight: Nasrat Haqparast def. Rafa García by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Flyweight: JJ Aldrich def. Cortney Casey by split decision after three rounds
Women’s Strawweight: Jinh Yu Frey def. Gloria de Paula by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Matthew Semelsberger def. Jason Witt by KO (punch) at 0:16 of round one