UFC Vegas 21 marked a very eventful of fights indeed. 4 performance bonuses were handed out, two stoppages under 30 seconds were recorded. However, the story of the night shined bright on two premature stoppages to entertaining fights.
The main event result turned into a no-contest as Belal Muhammad couldn’t continue, having his eye poked unintentionally by Leon Edwards. However, this wasn’t the only fight that ended in a no contest.
The main card opener, just four fights before, would end in a similar fashion. In round 1, Eryk Anders had Darren Stewart hurt and against the cage. In an attempt to finish the fight, Anders would land a knee on the grounded Englishman that was deemed illegal.
The fight would end in a no-contest as Stewart could not continue. The fight-ending sequence mirrored the controversy amidst Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling, just a week prior. Yan had also thrown an illegal knee, however, it resulted in a disqualification win for Sterling because the referee believed Yan fired the shot ‘intentionally’.
— UFC (@ufc) March 14, 2021
How The Tables Have Turned…
Post-fight of UFC 259, the middleweight contender would react to Yan’s disqualifying move. He would refer to Yan as thinking he was fighting under Pride, an old organization that didn’t have rules about striking grounded opponents.
The former college football player would also play around, calling Yan stupid for throwing an illegal knee.
“Look intelligence is a factor.” Anders told Speak EZ Sports before the fight. “Fight IQ is a factor. How dumb of Petr Yan to be winning the fight– you don’t have to do anything drastic and you’re winning. So, I think that was dumb of him.”
This would not age well, come March 13th.
— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) March 14, 2021
Petr Yan would also say “Double Standard. #NSAC” in reaction to the no-contests tonight, but later took it down to avoid too much controversy.
“Ya Boi” would later apologize in the radius of the no-decision.
1000 apologies to @Darren_mma. I know he wanted to keep going. I made a critical error in the heat of the moment and it cost us and the fans a barn burner.
— Eryk Anders (@erykanders) March 14, 2021
“I f****d up.” Anders later stated on his Instagram.
Birmingham’s Not So Finest
The Birmingham native out of Alabama would later be joined by Birmingham, England’s Leon Edwards in creating another no-contest to end the night.
Referee Herb Dean would have a tough night in the office as he had to officiate both these fights and their odd outcomes. He later got into it with Octagon announcer Joe Martinez, not wanting anything to do with him.
“Just leave me alone for a second.” Dean told the announcer.
— Hey, hey ☺️ (@USAHEYUSA) March 14, 2021