Leon Edwards takes on Belal Muhammad in the main event of UFC Vegas 21 on March 13th, 2021 in Las Vegas.
- Leon Edwards finally makes his return to the Octagon against short-notice replacement, Belal Muhammad
- Does Edwards finally get the title shot he desires with a win?
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full UFC Vegas 21 main card, below
The UFC remains at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 21, which goes down on Saturday, March 13, 2021. The main event sees a very intriguing welterweight bout between Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad.
Not the highlight reel card like UFC 259, but Leon Edwards makes his return to the octagon for the first time since July 2019 as he faces Belal Muhammad in the main event. Muhammad took the fight on short notice after Khamzat Chimaev pulled out. The co-main event sees top-15 light heavyweights collide as Misha Cirkunov takes on Ryan Spann.
UFC Vegas 21 airs live on ESPN+ at 8 PM EST. The table below shows odds for the main card at FanDuel and DraftKings, followed by best bets for the event.
UFC Vegas 21 Odds
|Fighter||Odds at FanDuel||Odds at DraftKings|
All odds as of March 8
Does Edwards Finally Get His Title Shot With a Win?
Leon Edwards might have had the worst luck in the UFC when it came to the pandemic. The Brit was supposed to face Tyron Woodley at UFC London last year, but the event was canceled just days prior due to the pandemic. He then had three canceled fights since then due to him and his opponent both getting COVID-19.
Edwards & Muhammad Recent Fights
|Rafael dos Anjos, win by decision||Fight 1||Dhiego Lima, win by decision|
|Gunnar Nelson, win by split decision||Fight 2||Lyman Good, win by decision|
|Donald Cerrone, win by decision||Fight 3||Takashi Sato, win by submission|
|Peter Sobotta, win by TKO||Fight 4||Curtis Millender, win by decision|
Belal Muhammad has always said he is a dangerous fight for anyone, and he can prove that here. After defeating Lima at UFC 258 on February 13, he agreed to turn around a month later to face third-ranked welterweight contender in Edwards.
Both Edwards and Muhammad are strikers who can use grappling when they want. However, Muhammad pushes at a very high pace, but whether or not he will be able to keep that up for five rounds is the big question.
Edwards vs Muhammad Stats
The big question for me is whether or not the layoff impacts Leon Edwards. The Englishman looks to be in tremendous shape, but ring rust is real, and not fighting in nearly two years will have some sort of impact.
Early on, I do expect Muhammad to try and push the pace and mix in his striking and grappling. However, as the fight wears on, Edwards will start to take over as he is the better technical striker and will start picking Muhammad apart. I also don’t think Muhammad will be able to get Edwards down.
Ultimately, I like Edwards to cruise to a decision likely dropping the first round and winning the next four. However, don’t be surprised if the Englishman finishes it late as we still don’t know if Muhammad can go five rounds.
Pick: Leon Edwards (-250)
Who Takes a Step Forward at 205?
Misha Cirkunov is back to take on rising prospect, Ryan Spann who is looking to crack into the top-10 of the division.
Cirkunov & Spann Recent Fights
|Jimmy Crute, win by submission||Fight 1||Johnny Walker, loss by TKO|
|Johnny Walker, loss by KO||Fight 2||Sam Alvey, win by split decision|
|Patrick Cummins, win by submission||Fight 3||Devin Clark, win by submission|
|Glover Teixeira, loss by TKO||Fight 4||Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, win by kO|
Misha Cirkunov will likely need to get this fight to the ground in order to win.
I do worry about Cirkunov’s chin as he has been knocked out three of his last five fights, and Spann has that power to knock him out. However, the grappling in this fight is what intrigues me as I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canadian just takes Spann down at will and eventually submits him. However, I like Spann to stuff the takedowns and eventually rock and finish Cirkunov via TKO.
Pick: Ryan Spann (+122)
Other UFC Vegas 21 Picks:
- Ben Rothwell (-110): Rothwell should be able to outstrike Lins and grind him out for a decision.
- Dan Ige (134): Dan Ige is the better striker in this matchup and I like him to keep it standing, and get the decision win.
- Angela Hill (-355): If Angela Hill can stuff the takedowns, which I believe she can, she’ll pick apart Ashley Yoder.
- Manel Kape (-142): Kape disappointed many in his UFC debut. However, in this fight, I expect him to be more active on the feet to get the job done.
- Eryk Anders (+152): Anders has been inconsistent in his UFC career. However, I like him to be able to pull off the decision.
Cole graduated from Sheridan College in April of 2019 with a diploma in journalism. He now is a full-time freelance writer, focusing on MMA for sites like BJPENN and MMA News, while also covering the Toronto Blue Jays as a credentialed media member. At SBD, Cole covers the four major sports and MMA.