Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards is slated to remain on the March 13th. UFC Vegas 21 card following the recent withdrawal of three-time scheduled foe, Khamzat Chimaev — as he draws short-notice replacement, Belal ‘Remember The Name’ Muhammad in a headlining tilt.
Edwards, who was briefly linked to a short-notice matchup against former interim titleholder, Colby Covington, failed to see the bout come to fruition, after Covington claimed he had no interest in partaking in “charity” by accepting a short-notice offer to match with Edwards on March 13th.
The winner of eight straight, it’s been a lenghty period of inactivity for the #3 ranked, Edwards, who’s most recent Octagon appearance came at UFC Fight Night San Antonio in July of 2019 — where he picked up a unanimous decision win over former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos.
Featuring just last Saturday night at the UFC Apex facility, Muhammad claimed the #13 slot in the official 170-pound pile, knocking back his fourth consecutive challenge, in the form of Dhiego Lima in a one-sided unanimous decision victory. ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto was first to report the news of the reworked main event.
Reacting to the news of his matchup with Muhammad, Edwards praised the Chicago native for stepping up into the main event slot “when no one else would.“
“Respect for Belal (Muhammad) for stepping up when no one else would,” Edwards wrote on his official Twitter. “March 13 I show I am the best in the world. #StrapSeason“
Adding dos Anjos to his magnificant winning streak, Edwards has lodged prior wins over the likes of Vicente Luque, Bryan Barberena, Donald Cerrone, and Gunnar Nelson during his run. His most recent loss? A December 2015 unanimous decision defeat to incumbent welterweight best, Kamaru Usman at UFC Fight Night Orlando.
Holding a 9-3 promotional record, Muhammad has enjoyed a good spell of form himself in recent times, besting Lyman Good, Takashi Sato and Curtis Millender prior to last weekend’s judging shutout win over Lima.