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Compelling welterweight matchup headlines next week's UFC Vegas 21

Compelling welterweight matchup headlines next weeks UFC Vegas 21

Las Vegas, March 4: UFC continues its run of events at UFC APEX with a compelling welterweight matchup as No. 3 ranked Leon Edwards and No. 13 Belal Muhammad collide in the main event.

Perennial top contender Edwards makes his long awaited return to the Octagon almost two years since his last bout. Edwards has secured his spot in the top five with victories over Albert Tumenov, Vicente Luque, Gunnar Nelson, and most recently, former champion Rafael Dos Anjos.

Rocky Edwards, who owns the second-longest active win streak in welterweight division, now intends to deliver his most impressive performance yet and declare himself as the next contender for the belt.

Muhammad steps up on short notice following a dominant victory over Dhiego Lima on February 13 to compete in the biggest fight of his career. Muhammad has established himself as one of the best in the world with wins over Lyman Good, Takashi Sato and Curtis Millender.

Remember the Name, Muhammad, who has won eight of his last nine bouts, now plans to shock the world in his first UFC main event by taking out Edwards.

In the co-main event, ranked light heavyweights aim to steal the show as No. 10 Misha Cirkunov takes on No. 13 Ryan Spann.

Grappling specialist Cirkunov looks to build another impressive win streak and continue his climb up the light heavyweight ladder. He has finished all six of his UFC wins by stoppage, including five submissions over the likes of Ion Cutelaba, Nikita Krylov, and highly touted prospect Jimmy Crute.

Cirkunov, who is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, now aims to defend his spot in the rankings by becoming the first person to submit Spann in the UFC.

Spann has his sights set on beginning his 2021 campaign with a marquee victory. A veteran of Dana White's Contender Series, Spann wowed fans by submitting Emiliano Sordi in just 26 seconds to earn his contract. Since joining the UFC, he has secured wins over Devin Clark, Sam Alvey and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

Spann now seeks to break into the top 10 of the division by beating Cirkunov at his own game.

Additional bouts on the card include:

• Heavyweight action sees Ben Rothwell battle Philipe Lins.

• No. 12 ranked women's strawweight Angela Hill intends to defend her spot in the rankings against submission specialist Ashley Yoder.

• Manel Kape steps in for the injured Tagir Ulanbekov looking to secure his first UFC win against Matheus Nicolau at flyweight.

• An exciting featherweight bout sees No. 9 ranked Dan Ige take on Gavin Tucker.

• Eryk Anders looks to bounce back into the winners column against Darren Stewart at middleweight.

• Cortney Casey and JJ Aldrich intend to put on a show in the women's flyweight division.

• Nasrat Haqparast locks horns with Don Madge in a lightweight bout guaranteed to deliver action.

• Submission expert Rani Yahya returns against Dana White's Contender Series veteran Ray Rodriguez.

• Featherweight Canadian standout Charles Jourdain aims to spoil the debut of Marcelo Rojo.

• A bantamweight bout sees Jonathan Martinez matchup with Davey Grant.

• Dana White's Contender Series signee Gloria de Paula makes her UFC debut against Jinh Yu Frey at strawweight.

• Welterweight hopefuls collide as Matthew Semelsberger takes on Jason Witt.

UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad will take place Saturday, March 13 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The entire card will be available on ESPN+ in English and Spanish, with the main card starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT and the prelims at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.

Source: Press Release

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Story first published: Thursday, March 4, 2021, 11:24 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 4, 2021