MMA: Eye poke ends Leon Edwards-Belal Muhammad bout

The referee called the fight 18 seconds into the second round after Edwards drew blood from the right eye of Muhammad (pictured).
The referee called the fight 18 seconds into the second round after Edwards drew blood from the right eye of Muhammad (pictured).PHOTO: BELAL MUHAMMAD/TWITTER

(REUTERS) - The welterweight bout between Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad ended in a no-contest after an accidental eye poke by Edwards in the main event at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night on Saturday (March 13) night in Las Vegas.

The referee called the fight 18 seconds into the second round after Edwards drew blood from the right eye of Muhammad.

"I didn't mean to do it," Edwards said.

"I went for the cross-head kick. He stepped into it. I really apologise. I'd rather a loss than that. I'm heartbroken. I don't know what to say."

Edwards (18-3, 1 NC), who had won eight straight bouts, was fighting for the first time in 19 months.

Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) had won four straight entering the fight.

In an earlier bout, Ryan Spann (19-6) recorded a first-round technical knockout by punches over Misha Cirkunov (15-6). The ref stopped the light heavyweight fight at the 1min 11sec mark of the opening round.

In other action, Dan Ige (15-3) made quick work of Gavin Tucker with a TKO (punches) just 22 seconds into their featherweight fight; Davey Grant (13-4) recorded a TKO by punches at 3:03 of Round 2 over Jonathan Martinez; Matheus Nicolau (16-2-1) defeated Manel Kape in a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) in their flyweight fight.

The Eryk Anders-Darren Stewart middleweight bout ended in a no contest after Anders' illegal knee rendered Stewart unable to continue.

The bout was called with 23 seconds remaining in the first round.