UFC Welterweight contender Belal Muhammad wants his vengeance.
Muhammad had the opportunity of a lifetime when he took on #3 ranked Leon Edwards earlier this month.
However, the chance to pop into talks of title contention would be stood up after an accidental eye poke brought a swift end to Muhammad’s first main event.
Muhammad would cry in pain on the mat, with tears of blood streaked down his face. Referee Herb Dean would call off the fight, dubbing it as a no-contest for both men. Something ventured, nothing gained for Edwards and Muhammad that night.
Edward had hopes of getting a rematch against reigning champ Kamaru Usman despite the controversial result. However, the title shot would be given to Jorge Masvidal for a second time at UFC 261 on April 24th.
Outside of the new title headliner, the top of the division is not matched up. This is where Belal Muhammad wants to fit in. Having the fight with Edwards taken away from him due to injury, Muhammad obviously wants to get that one back, next.
“I got Ramadan coming up in April,” Muhammad told MMA Junkie. “I’m still gonna be training during it, but I’m hoping maybe June. June works out perfectly for me. I literally just had three back-to-back camps in a row so it’s like I want that, but it’s one of those where if they’re willing to do the rematch and they want to do it sooner, I’m healthy enough to do it sooner.”
In the aftermath of the eyepokes and the announcement of UFC 261, Edwards has set his sights on fighting Colby Covington. Covington hasn’t much interest in the fight, however Edwards continue to campaign for “Chaos.”
Muhammad isn’t the least bit surprised.
“(What) was pissing me off more than anything was the way he was being so dismissive of it. Like, ‘Oh yeah, I won the first round, all the other rounds would have been like that.’ No, it was one round and it’s a five-round fight. I’m literally a guy that picks it up as the fight goes on. His way of thinking is stupid honestly because if Dana White really said, ‘If Leon wins against Belal, he’s next in line for a title shot.’ So, if I’m so easy, why don’t you just come and take this easy fight?”
“It’s gonna be the same paycheck that you’re gonna get to fight somebody else.” Muhammad added. “There’s literally nobody else for you to fight. None of these other guys are trying to fight you, so this fight makes sense. It has a story behind it now so even in the UFC’s eyes, they can just build it back up as that.”
Riding off the momentum of headlining his first UFC event, Muhammad is hopeful for the future. While his next opponent may not be Edwards, he is in confident he can still reel in a big-name opponent.
“Obviously I want a big fight,” Muhammad said. “I feel like I still earned a main event spot just being willing to take a fight on three weeks’ notice. A guy I feel like would be a good main event spot with me is Demian Maia. He’s top 10 and I feel like I deserve somebody top 10 coming off four wins in a row, so I think that fight makes sense. I haven’t gone against a real grappler in the UFC yet, so fighting a grappler, it excites me. I wanna just show that side of me and to fight a legend like Demian Maia would be cool.”
Who do you want to see Belal Muhammad fight next?