A high-stakes welterweight matchup between ranked contenders Belal Muhammad and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson for a UFC Fight Night card scheduled for December 18. John Morgan of MMA Junkie was first to report the news on Thursday, which Muhammad shared on his social media to confirm the matchup.
No elevators to the top I’ll take the stairs pic.twitter.com/Q1z5nM3nmf
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) November 11, 2021
Belal Muhammad, currently ranked 9th in the welterweight division, has a chance to break through into the Top-5 of the division, taking on Thompson who sits at fifth in the division’s rankings. Muhammad is unbeaten in his last six fights, with five wins coming over Curtis Millender, Takashi Soto, Lyman Good, Dhiego Lima, and most recently, Demian Maia. In his last fight, Muhammad faced Leon Edwards in his biggest fight to date, but the fight would be ruled a no-contest due to an accidental eye-poke from Edwards on Muhammad.
After Jorge Masvidal pulled out of his fight against Edwards that had been scheduled for UFC 269 due to an undisclosed injury, Muhammad called for a rematch with Edwards, but “Rocky” announced he’d be taking time off to be with family.
Stephen Thompson will be looking to get back into the win column in his fight against Belal Muhammad, as he lost his last fight earlier this year against Gilbert Burns at UFC 264 in July. Before losing to Burns, Thompson was on a two-fight winning streak, picking up wins over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal. Due to recent injuries, Thompson was able to fight once in 2020, but this will be his second fight in 2021 to end the year.
While this fight may not have immediate title ramifications in the welterweight division, it was a huge opportunity for Muhammad to jump into the Top-5, while Thompson can get back on the winning track in hopes of once again earning a title shot in the welterweight division.
Here are the confirmed fights for the UFC Fight Night card on December 18:
- Derrick Lewis vs Chris Daukaus
- Belal Muhammad vs Stephen Thompson
- Gerald Meerschaert vs Abusupiyan Magomedov
- Darren Elkins vs Cub Swanson
- Amanda Lemos vs Angela Hill
- Diego Ferreira vs Mateusz Gamrot
- Anthony Hernandez vs Dustin Stoltzfus
- Don’Tale Mays vs Josh Parisian
- Raphael ASsuncao vs Ricky Simon
- Matt Sayles vs Jordan Leavitt
- Justin Tafa vs Harry Hunsucker