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Belal Muhammad steps in for Khamzat Chimaev, fights Leon Edwards at UFC Vegas 21

UFC 205: Weigh-ins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Leon Edwards will stay atop the UFC Vegas 21 mixed martial arts (MMA) card — despite losing opponent Khamzat Chimaev — after No. 13-ranked Belal Muhammed agreed to step up on short notice for the chance to upset “Rocky” on March 13 in Las Vegas.

MMA Fighting brought word of the new headliner on Thursday.

“Respect for Belal for stepping up when no one else would,” Edwards wrote on Twitter. “March 13 I show I am the best in the world.”

Muhammed (18-3) has won four in a row and eight of his last 10. “Remember The Name” was last seen capturing a unanimous decision victory over Dhiego Lima at the UFC 258 pay-per-view (PPV) earlier this month in “Sin City.”

As for Edwards, also 18-3, he’s been stuck on the Chimaev rollercoaster for the past several months, thanks to recurring bouts of COVID-19 (more on that here). “Rocky” has not competed since stifling Rafael dos Anjos in summer 2019.

UFC Vegas 19 also features the bantamweight banger between Davey Grant and Jonathan Martinez. Elsewhere on the card, Matthew Semelsberger collides with Jason Witt, while Jinh Yu Frey returns against Gloria de Paula.

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