Belal Muhammad offers to fight Kamaru Usman next: ‘He took no damage. I’m only fighting upwards’

Belal Muhammad Kamaru Usman

After UFC 286, Belal Muhammad did not like what UFC president Dana White had to say. While Muhammad might have expected White to say that there was no certain opponent Edwards would be fighting next, he was shocked when the UFC president publically declared Edwards’ next opponent would indeed be Colby Covington.

If that wasn’t worse enough, Dana White also said that the UFC was actively looking to align a matchup between Belal Muhammad and the undefeated Shavkat Rahkmonov. A fight that Belal Muhammad openly told MMA Fighting he knew nothing about.

“I was sitting there watching it (UFC 286’s post-fight press conference) like, ‘I want to see what he’s going to say, I hope somebody asks him what’s going on and who’s next,’ and I was hoping he would say, ‘We don’t make fights after the title fight.’ But then he came out and said Colby [Covington] was for sure [next],” Muhammad began, speaking to MMA Fighting. “You’re sitting there and, ‘We’re trying to make Shavkat [versus Belal].’ I was like, what? Where did this come from?

Belal Muhammad describes shock at potential Shavkat Rahkmonov matchup, talks about wanting Kamaru Usman next

Obviously, Belal Muhammad had not been informed he might be facing the undefeated monster that was Shavkat Rahkmonov. He describes calling his manager, definitely confused on what was going on.

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“I’m calling my manager,” Muhammad described. “Like, what’s going on? He’s like, ‘Brother, I don’t know what’s going on.’”

After the events of that night transpired, Muhammad told MMA Fighting that he had since met with UFC president Dana White and talked things over. While he doesn’t describe himself as a man that shies away from any challenge, he does admit hearing about the Rahkmonov matchup live at the press conference definitely confused him.

“I’m never a guy that shies away from the tough fights,” Muhammad continued. “I’ve been calling for the toughest fights forever, and he’s obviously on a good run, a streak, but I just beat the hot prospect [in Sean Brady]. I just beat the guy that was 15-0. He’s a dangerous fighter, but to me, it’s still fighting backward. It’s fighting downwards. It’s fighting another guy that [if] you beat him, ‘Well, he wasn’t as good as we thought he was. Who’s that?’”

“After beating Sean Brady, [I heard], ‘Oh, Sean Brady sucks, he’s nobody, you think you’re going to get a title shot off of that?’” Muhammad sighed. “I’m sitting there thinking if Sean Brady would have won, Sean Brady would have got the title fight. Sean Brady would have been next in line because he would have been 16-0, and they’re like, ‘This guy is amazing!’”

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‘Remember the Name’ is still hopeful for a shot at the gold but also said that if things get signed between Edwards and Covington, he’s only really looking to face Usman.

“For me, now, I’m only looking upwards,” Muhammad declared. “The only guys upwards are Colby, Leon, and Kamaru. Kamaru didn’t take no damage in this fight and he’s still fighting, he’s still talking about fighting — I think that’s a fight that makes sense. I’ve had to the two title challengers in my résumé, I beat Demian Maia, I beat ‘Wonderboy’ [Stephen Thompson]. I had the hot contender in [Vicente] Luque — I beat Luque. I had the hot prospect in Sean Brady. The only thing I don’t have on my résumé is that name everybody recognizes, everybody knows, and that was a former champion. A guy that people consider one of the best welterweights to do it.”

“If that’s the name that is going to get me a [title] shot — if it’s going to be somebody, it’s going to be either Usman, Colby, or Leon. It’s only fighting upwards from here. I think that’s the only way I’m going to be guaranteed anything.”

Belal Muhammad describes his next move in further detail

If the Usman fight is unattainable, Muhammad believes a fight with Colby Covington is one of the only things that makes any sense. In his opinion, he’s right there in the mix for either a #1 contender fight or even a title shot.

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“I’m hoping Leon sticks to his guns, and he does turn him down, and he says, ‘I’m not going to fight Colby,’” Muhammad said. “If that’s the case, me [versus] Colby. You see all this trash talk, Colby’s acting like he’s the best in the world, you supposedly just had a camp to weigh in — cool, let’s fight in Miami. Let’s fight the week after. Let’s fight in June. I’m down to fight whenever. I’ll fight Colby next.”

“Let’s get right back in the cage right now,” Belal Muhammad continued. “Let’s do it. Then you could silence all the doubters that [say] you didn’t earn it, you didn’t deserve it, why are you getting it? Let’s fight. Leon just fought.”

Sadly, since this interview, it seems the fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington is as good as done, signed, and sealed. So, Belal Muhammad must be indeed angling for the fight with Kamaru Usman.

How do you think a fight between Kamaru Usman and Belal Muhammad works out?