Leon Edwards’ third title defence headlines UFC 304 bout in Manchester in July

Leon Edwards will make the third defence of his UFC welterweight title against Belal Muhammad on July 27 at the Co-op Live in Manchester.

The fight serves as the headliner for UFC 304 as the organisation returns to Manchester for the first time since October 2016, while Tom Aspinall, Paddy Pimblett and Muhammad Mokaev are also on the card.

Jamaica-born, Birmingham-raised Edwards was crowned 170lb champion with a last-round knockout of Kamaru Usman in August 2022 and he outpointed the Nigerian-American the following year in his first defence.

Edwards claimed a unanimous decision victory over Colby Covington in a grudge bout in his most recent outing in December to extend his unbeaten streak in mixed martial arts to 13 fights.

The only blemish in that time came against Muhammad in March 2021, with a no-contest called after Edwards’ accidental eye-poke early in the second round rendered his opponent unable to continue.

Interim heavyweight champion Aspinall will also be looking to correct the record and avenge his only UFC defeat when he takes on Curtis Blaydes in the co-main event.

In their original fight two years ago, Salford’s Aspinall lost after suffering a freak knee injury 15 seconds into the first round although he has bounced back by beating Marcin Tybura and Sergei Pavlovich to capture the interim title in the top weight bracket.

Liverpool’s Pimblett can claim a spot in the top-15 lightweight rankings with a win over Bobby Green while flyweight Mokaev is set to take on Manel Kape.

Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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