UFC Vegas 21, also known as UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad, is set for this Saturday. All eyes will be on Leon Edwards, the No. 3 ranked Welterweight, to see how he shows in the main event because a win here could put him in line for a title fight. Let’s take a closer look at that bout and two other big ones on the card:
Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad
Odds: Edwards -260
This fight will see the No. 3 ranked Edwards face off against the No. 13 ranked Muhammad. Edwards hasn’t been in a fight since July of 2019, a pretty long period without any type of official action.
He was lined up to face off against Khamzat Chimaev but he was struggling to recover from COVID-19, so the fight was called off. Edwards still enters this matchup on an eight-fight winning streak while his opponent is on a four-fight win streak of his own. This will be the biggest fight of Muhammad’s career so far, but a fight that he welcomes with open arms.
Many have felt that Edwards is a potential champion but injuries have hampered his ascent. This is a spot where he can show well and continue his climb.
Misha Cirkunov vs. Ryan Spann
Odds: Cirkunov -130
Misha Cirkunov and Ryan Spann were scheduled to throw down in the octagon during UFC Vegas 17 back in December. However, Cirkunov had stepped out of the fight due to injury. Now, after a year and a half, Cirkunov will be getting back to business and he’s again got Spann on the docket. Cirkunov’s last fight took place in September of 2019 against Jimmy Crute, which he won. Meanwhile, Spann took a loss in his last fight out, getting knocked out in the first round against Johnny Walker in September of 2020. The loss broke his eight-fight winning streak
Barring any backouts, it seems like we will finally be able to see these two go at it after the postponement. Cirkunov is a small favorite in this spot but this fight looks like a toss up.
Ben Rothwell vs. Philipe Lins
Odds: Rothwell -110
39-year-old Ben Rothwell was able to pick up a TKO victory over Stefan Struve back in December of 2019 to revive his UFC career (he had lost three straight) and then he went on to defeat Ovince Saint-Preux last May.
Many were surprised that he was still delivering wins in the twilight of his career. That changed in his last fight, which he lost to Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 179 in October. He hopes to get right back to business against a veteran in Philipe Lins. Lins was the PFL 2018 heavyweight champion, claiming the title after beating Josh Copeland.
Since then, he has lost each of his first two UFC fights, one of them to the former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and the other to Tanner Boser last June. Lins is now 5-5 in his last 10 fights overall, so he’s been struggling too. This fight appears to be a very even matchup.