After a dominating victory over Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC Vegas 45, UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad called for a title fight opportunity against Kamaru Usman, but he’s also ready to put in more work if need be. Muhammad dominated Thompson with absurd wrestling and ground technique, leading him to a unanimous decision victory with scorecards of 30-25, 30-26, and 30-26, showing the complete control he had from beginning to end in the fight.
Having won 10 out of his last 11, and going through 1 no-contest throughout his last 12 fights, Belal Muhammad now finds himself ranked fifth in the UFC welterweight division and knocking on the door of a title fight. With champion Kamaru Usman having gone through two opponents, Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, in his last four fights, many have called for new contenders to rise up and challenge the champion, and Muhammad wants his chance.
Speaking to Sirius XM Fight Nation’s ‘MMA Today‘ show, Belal Muhammad explained why he called for a title fight following his win over Thompson and explained why Usman should stop taking rematches and focus on taking on new challenges in the division.
"I'm pretty sure I need one more to get in there…but I want to be in the conversation."
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) December 22, 2021
“I obviously called for it [a title shot] but I’m pretty sure I need at least one more to get in there but I just called it cause I want to be in the conversation. The bosses have four weeks off, I want them to discuss my name ‘Well, who’s Kamaru [Usman] gonna fight?’ cause they’re always talking about well ‘Kamaru needs to go up and fight Israel Adesanya’ and I’m like bro, why? He fought Colby twice, he fought Masvidal twice, and fought Gilbert [Burns] once, that’s three guys that he’s fought. It’s not like he sat there and he beat the whole Top-5, beat 10 guys in a row that are all ranked. I think they just need to stop with the rematches.”
While it’s unlikely that Muhammad will be next for the title fight, he’s shown a willingness to take on other top contenders in the division, including two of the most recent title challengers, Covington and Masvidal.
“For me, I think there’s a lot of fights above me that make sense. Me and Colby make sense, I’ve been calling that guy out for 10 years and him coming off a loss to the champion, it makes sense. That fight would really make sense. Leon [Edwards] if he’s gonna sit out and wait for the title fight, whatever go head, but I think the Colby fight really makes sense. I think Masvidal makes a lot of sense as well, he’s behind me at six, but he’s a big name, he’s an exciting fight and I think that one would really make sense.
Then you know, the Boogeyman, the guy that Dana White said no one wants to fight, Khamzat [Chimaev] I think that one makes a lot of sense, not really rankings wise but based off of hype. He has that [Conor] McGregor hype, that guy that the fans think he’s untouchable, the fans think he’s already the champion, the uncrowned champion. So if I go in there and beat a guy like him, there’s nothing else you can say. I steal all of his shine, his followers, his hype. They’re always like ‘All you did was hold down Wonderboy, all you did was defend [Demian] Maia’s takedowns’ alright well, you guys think Khamzat is the Robocop, so if I beat him, then what are you going to say?”
Not only has Belal Muhammad been making it count inside the Octagon, but outside of competition, he’s making it count in post-fight interviews, media interviews, and he’s making it known he’s earned his spot at the top of the welterweight division. With the emergence of Muhammad, Edwards, and Chimaev, it doesn’t appear that Kamaru Usman has run out of title challengers. If he’s not next for a title, Muhammad is ready for the top contenders in the division and he’s ready to make sure the welterweight division remembers his name, just as his nickname states.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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