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UFC Vegas 21: Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad: Stats, Fight Prediction and Analysis

After more than 600 days, Leon Edwards makes his UFC return on UFC Vegas 21. Edwards takes on the rising contender of the division, Belal Muhammad in a 5-rounds welterweight bout.

This is a crucial fight for the UFC welterweight division. If Leon Edwards wins the fight then as per Dana White he gets the next title shot against Kamaru Usman. And if Belal Muhammad wins this fight then he will get a huge jump in the welterweight rankings. Ranked no 13. Belal Muhammad might even get into the welterweight title picture considering Usman needs a fresh challenge.

The majority of the fans are predicting another win for Leon Edwards, which is not a bizarre prediction. However, there are multiple factors that can affect the outcome of this fight and even result in a win for Muhammad. Let’s take a dive into this fight and predict a winner.

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Leon Edwards:

Wins/ losses: 18/3 (6 knockouts)
8 Fight Win Streak in UFC welterweight Division
3rd Longest Win streak in welterweight history
Significant Wins: Vicente Luque, Rafael Dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone, Gunner Nelson
Reach: 74 inches

Leon Edwards is undoubtedly one of the best welterweights in the world. Unfortunately, he has not fought the top welterweights in the division yet. RDA is arguably the biggest win in Leon Edwards’ career and RDA has lost against many top welterweights such as Kamaru Usman, and Colby Covington.

Despite the fact that Edwards has been inactive for almost the last two years he can be considered a threat to Usman’s title. However, Edwarda needs a big win on UFC Vegas 21 to get a rematch against Usman. And it won’t be easy because ring rust might play a big factor in Edwards’ performance. So there is a chance of Muhammad doing some serious damage early in the fight.

Leon Edwards has solid grappling and it should be enough to nullify the takedown attempts of Belal Muhammad. The fact that Muhammad was not able to take Dhiego Lima down makes it clear that he won’t be able to dominate Edwards with wrestling.

Leon Edwards is a phenomenal striker who mixes things up. He is smart when it comes to managing distance. He is lethal in the clinches as we saw in the fight against RDA. And he does not chase the finishes often and likes to play it safe. That being said, he does pack some serious power and can secure a finish in this fight if an opportunity presents itself.

Belal Muhammad:

Wins/Losses: 18/3 (13 decisions)
4 Fight Winning streak in UFC welterweight division
Significant wins: Lyman Good, Dhiego Lima
Reach: 72 inches

Belal “Remember The Name” Muhammad is one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents in the UFC at the moment. Though he has an equal number of fights as Leon Edwards, he has not competed against the level of opponents Edwards has in UFC.

Muhammad likes to overwhelm his opponents with his wrestling and solid striking. His striking is not flashy and might look rudimentary at times, but he puts things together very well and can maintain a phenomenal pace throughout the fight. He has got cardio for days but that might not play a factor in this fight since Edwards can easily go 5 rounds with Muhammad.

UFC Vegas 21: Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad Prediction:

One of the biggest factors in this fight is going to be the short preparation window for Belal Muhammad. Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad would have been a lot more competitive fight if Muhammad was coming off a full-fight camp. However, he took on Dhiego Lima in UFC 258 and his lead leg was compromised with the calf kicks.

It’s hard to imagine that Muhammad would be at his 100% on the fight night against Edwards. Besides that, Edwards can deal with the pressure of Muhammad. Edwards is technically a better striker and a grappler as well.

Muhammad is not a big threat to Edwards in the striking as he is not someone who packs a scary knockout power in the early rounds.

Leon Edwards

Leon Edwards is a better striker and a better grappler. And we can expect a decision win in the favor of Leon Edwards. Muhammad will find some success in the early rounds. However, Edwards is going to outscore him in most of the rounds and might finish him in the later rounds with his striking.

UFC Vegas 21: Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad Prediction: Leon Edwards via decision

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