WATCH: Another Illegal Knee Stops Fight at UFC Fight Night- Kevin Holland Gilbert Burns and Other MMA Stars React

Published 03/13/2021, 8:51 PM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 13: (R-L) Eryk Anders lands an illegal knee against Darren Stewart of England in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The main card opening fight for UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs Muhammad ended in controversy in Las Vegas. Chiefly, UFC middleweights Eryk Anders and Darren Stewart met in the middle of the cage, however, there was no clear winner.

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The fight ended in a ‘No Decision, due to an illegal blow’ as Anders landed an illegal knee. This mirrored the events of last week’s UFC pay-per-view event’s bantamweight title fight.

UFC 259 saw a title change hands for the first time via DQ as bantamweight champion Petr Yan lost out to Aljamain Sterling. ‘No Mercy’ landed an illegal knee flush to a downed opponent, and this led to the fight ending in a disqualification. Similar events played out at UFC Vegas 21 when Darren ‘The Dentist’ ate a knee from Anders while he was grounded.

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The bout was called a No Contest instead of a DQ, as the fight didn’t even make it out of the first round. Not to mention, the illegal knee thrown by Stewart was deemed unintentional. This wasn’t the case when looking at UFC 259’s bantamweight title fight, where Yan’s knee was considered intentional.

UFC stars react as back-to-back events suffer an illegal knee shut-out

Stars of the UFC roster showed out in full force to comment on the events that unfolded on the main card opener. Star-studded fighters like Stephen Thompson, Kevin Holland, and Gilbert Burns gave their instant reaction to Eryk Anders’ illegal knee.

Chiefly, the blow immediately drew parallels to last week’s debacle, and understandably so. It’s hard to conceive that a flagrant foul via illegal knee could take place two weeks in a row on the biggest stage on the main card.

Additionally, media members also chimed in on the aforementioned situation that’s become a recurring feature in MMA. There seems to be an over-arching frustration with fighters who aren’t able to follow through on the rule-set during combat.

TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter echoed the sentiments felt by fight fans regarding the rules throughout the last week. Chiefly, there’s been plenty of discussion about the number of regulations in MMA. Moreover, this has led to a discussion as to whether the implementation of said rules is viable on the biggest stage.

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What did you make of the fight-ending sequence?

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Darryl Pinto

1626 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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