UFC Vegas 21: Covington Says Edwards Should Have Been Disqualified
Leon Edwards was left heartbroken when his UFC Vegas 21 main event against Belal Muhammad ended in a no contest. But Colby Covington thinks the fight should have ended in a disqualification loss for the Brit.
Edwards returned to the Octagon after almost two years this past weekend to face Muhammad. The 29 year old got off to a strong start, winning most of the early striking exchanges due to his speed and reach, and rocked his opponent with a head kick in the opening round. ‘Remember The Name’ was also on the receiving end of an accidental eye poke in the first round, but he was able to continue.
18 seconds into the second round however, Edwards’ thumb found its way into Muhammad’s eye a second time, leaving him on the mat screaming in agony. Referee Herb Dean called a stop to the action and urged the cage side doctor to examine the Palestinian-American, who wasn’t able to continue. As a result, the fight was ruled a no contest.
Edwards Should Have Been Disqualified
Speaking to Submission Radio (as transcribed by MMA Junkie) however, Covington said that he still has no interest in fighting Edwards, who should have been disqualified at UFC Vegas 21.
“No, I could care less how he looks,” Covington said “I’ve watched little tapes from here, bits and pieces from the past, and I don’t see anything special. I see a bum. I see a guy that hasn’t fought in two years. What’s the criteria for the rankings? How is he still in the rankings? I know that before they pulled him out of the rankings because of the inactivity and he was ducking fights. He didn’t want to fight little ‘Wonderboy’ (Stephen Thompson) He didn’t want to fight someone else. So, they pulled him out of the rankings. But now he’s back in the rankings, he still hasn’t fought in two years.
“He has a no contest – which by the way, that should have been a disqualification because he did poke the guy in the face in the first round. And backstage, I know that Herb Dean gave them the warning, ‘Hey, don’t poke anybody in the eye,’ because that’s the instruction they give every time before you go out for a fight. So, he should have been disqualified. I don’t know how that was a no contest. But that being said, he still hasn’t fought in two years. How is he in the rankings, guys? What’s the criteria?”
During his UFC Vegas 21 post-fight interview, Edwards apologised for the accidental eye pokes, which Covington considers deliberate fouls. ‘Chaos’ thinks the number three ranked welterweight should have been penalised.
“It’s hilarious,” Covington exclaimed. “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.”
Edwards also called for a title shot after his UFC Vegas 21 bout, but Covington doesn’t think he deserves one.
“The guy hasn’t won a fight in two years,” Covington said. “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 (Kamaru Usman) have unfinished business.”
Before Muhammad stepped in on four weeks’ notice to replace Khamzat Chimaev at UFC Vegas 21, Covington was offered the Edwards fight but he turned it down. Since the former interim champion has his bigger plans, he says he would only fight the Brit for the right price.
“It was going to be a price tag,” Covington said. “I wanted a little bit more than was in my contract. I just wasn’t going to show up for a normal paycheque to fight that guy. For me to come up and show that up on short notice and fight that guy, you know, the way I fight guys, I redline it every time I fight. So, when I fight, you know you’re getting a Ferrari that’s coming forward, high octane, high energy, and he’s coming to fight and bring the fight. So, if I want to fight at my best, I need a full training camp. So, that fight was never gonna happen unless the UFC was gonna pay for it to happen.”
“They asked me and said, ‘Hey, what’s it gonna take, Colby, for your price?’ Because first off, let’s be honest, why are we in this position? Because this guy, irrelevant Leon Scott, was supposed to fight some kid named Sputnik. And, you know, Sputnik pulls out a couple of times, he doesn’t want to fight, your hype job is down the drain. Sorry, UFC, your plan, it’s all folded up now. Now it’s all in shame. So, let’s talk about why we got to that position. And once we get to that position, we’re three weeks out. You want me to save your card? You want me to get off the couch when I’m hanging out with Polyana Viana every day, and you want me to show up and save the day and make the UFC great again on short notice? It’s going to take a price tag.
“It’s not gonna be the basic offer that’s already in my contract. If you’re gonna give me the basic offer, I’m gonna take a full training camp and I’m gonna take my time. I’m gonna fight when I want to fight, when my body’s ready to fight. I’m always ready to fight. I strive on excellence and always being in shape and always ready to fight, but I also want to fight at peak performance. And there’s peaks and valleys, and I know when to peak and how to have my body ready to peak at the right time. So, if I want to have my body peak at the right time, I need a full training camp.”
Usman Or Masvidal Next
With no desire to fight Edwards, Covington named the only two men he’s interested in fighting. No surprise, Usman and Jorge Masvidal.
“They know what they can do to get me to show up for that fight but I’m not showing up for charity,” Covington said. “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 versus ‘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 will have to wait however. Since he spoke to Submission Radio, Dana White announced that Kamaru Usman will defend his welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal in the UFC 261 main event on April 24th.
Do you agree with Colby Covington, should Leon Edwards have been disqualified for his eye poke on Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 21?