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UK-based fight fans look to be getting at least one world title fight int he UFC’s return to Manchester this summer.

The event, which is to be a numbered pay-per-view card and take place in Manchester’s new Co-op Live Arena on July 27, could be headlined by Leon Edwards defending his welterweight strap against rival Belal Muhammad — at least according to Edwards’ coach Dave Lovell.

“The UFC is over here in July, so no doubt Leon will be on that bill,” Lovell told talkSPORT. “Unfortunately, [Leon] couldn’t make the UFC 300 bill for whatever reason.”

“I think it will be Belal [Muhammad] next,” he added. “It’s not written in stone, but 99.9 per cent [of me] thinks it will be Belal.”

Edwards and Muhammad have, of course, met in the cage on one prior occasion during which Muhammad couldn’t continue after sustaining an accidental eye-poke in the second round. Ever since Muhammad, who along with Edwards has the longest unbeaten streak in the 170-pound fold, has been campaigning for a second opportunity against Edwards — who has established himself as the division’s pacesetter following title wins against Kamaru Usman (x2) and Colby Covington.

“Leon is looking forward to the July bill, he starts his camp next week, for a 12-week camp and we are sharpening up our tools to deal with Mr. Belal,” Lovell said.

“He got his arse served to him for a round-and-a-half in the last fight. I don’t see him wanting to stand with Leon. He’ll be looking to grind Leon against the cage, take him down, maul him when he’s down and probably steal a decision that way. If that eye poke never happened, I think Leon would’ve finished him in the second round.

“To me, analysing the fight and looking back on it, Belal was looking for a way out and to steal a decision. That eye poke, and the noise he made, literally screaming and crying, it’s funny that he didn’t have to go to hospital, didn’t have any eye damage, so what does that tell you?

“If the medics clear him after the fight, what does that tell you? He tried to steal a decision, but payback is a b*tch, we’ll see.”