Belal Muhammad has been reflecting on the traumatic eye-poke injury he suffered during his fight with Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night 187 last weekend, which led to the fight being declared a no-contest.
“Honestly, literally I thought I was blind,” Muhammad said of the immediate aftermath of the eyepoke. “I was moving my eye around, when you’re trying to move your eye around, and I literally couldn’t see nothing but black. I closed my other eye just hoping I could see something, and I couldn’t see absolutely nothing.
“It was more so from there, I knew the fight was going to be over, and that’s honestly what broke my heart the most, because that’s what you work your whole career for that moment, my life literally could have changed with that fight. I could have beat him and we could be fighting for a title next. That was a life-changing moment for me and my family, and a lot of things could have changed, but it was all snatched away with a freaking eye poke.”
Thankfully Muhammad’s eyesight hasn’t been permanently damaged and he’ll make a full recovery, but what still stings is the fact that Edwards is now trying to get a title shot rather than give him the rematch he feels he deserves due to his opponent’s illegal blow.
“I was seeing red – I was pissed,” Muhammad said when he learned that Edwards was distancing himself from an immediate rematch. “Honestly, that’s what pissed me off the most. Cause he was looking past it, not worried about it. At that moment, he felt bad, but then he looked past [me]. I could have been sitting there in the hospital blind, my career could have been over, and he wasn’t even thinking about it. But he’s doing a press tour like he freaking won the fight – ‘I’m back, I need the title fight.’ That’s the thing, he thinks he’s owed all of this stuff, and that’s why I feel people do not like him.
“Like I said, he’s the one who literally committed the foul. He’s the one who was warned. He’s the one who messed up. Man-to-man, out of respect if you’re a freaking real fighter, you would be like, ‘I messed up, let me own up to it, I’ll give you your rematch.’
“This fight literally makes the most sense. We literally had a fight, it was unfinished business.”
“I’m fuming. I didn’t get an ending to the fight. I have a bad taste in my mouth because there was no result in the fight. Now, I feel like I didn’t fight and I need to fight. I need that energy. I need that fight again.”
So by the sounds of things there could be a lot more spice to the occassion if the UFC does decided to run the fight back.
“I had no ill will against him before then, but I do now. Just his whole attitude and the way he’s acting. I’m a hard guy to get mad, but he irritated me and he’s pissing me off with just the way he’s acting and the way he’s like, ‘I won the first round, so we knew how the fight’s going to go.’
“There’s five rounds in a fight, you moron. I literally pick up as the fight goes on, so the fact that he’s talking like that, that’s what’s pissing me off the most.”