“I’m not going to get nothing,” Title-hunting Belal Muhammad turns down former champion Kamaru Usman as option for next fight
Welterweight contender weighs in on why GOAT Kamaru Usman isn't a viable opponent for him.
Belal Muhammad; Kamaru Usman (Source: IMAGO)
Belal Muhammad confirmed that he is slated to challenge the victor between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington at UFC 296. Muhammad (23-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) is on a relentless nine-fight win streak after defeating Gilbert Burns at UFC 288. Thus, cementing himself as the top welterweight contender. He, however, thinks that long-time co-contender Kamaru Usman is not the right matchup for him at this moment. As defeating him wouldn’t allow any significant reward.
“People put him in the top tier, with him and GSP,” said Muhammad in an interview with MMA Junkie’s Farah Hannoun. “But if I’m going out there and I’m beating Kamaru Usman, you always have the other side too. Where people are like – oh well, he’s on a two-fight losing streak. He’s old; his knees are gone. And after every one of my fights, they are coming up with an excuse for me,” which is why he mentions Usman is not viable for him, as he would now rather fight for the title. Moreover, he considers the Usman fight a tougher prospect than a Covington or Edwards fight.
Previously, Usman and Muhammad have crossed paths, with the latter eying Usman as a way to the titular bout. CEO Dana White had proposed a likely pairing with Shavkat Rakhmonov, but Muhammad was keen on Usman. Former champion Usman has been described as the greatest welterweight of all time, time and again. Both have served as top contending bouts with Edwards and Covington. Edwards was the lone skid under Muhammad’s record, with a no-contest against him in 2021.
Muhammad has been a strong contender within the division and is now finally within arm’s reach of the title. He aims to be ready for any possibility between Edwards and Covington. Edwards vs Covington for the UFC Welterweight Title happens at the T-Mobile Arena On Saturday, December 16.
Welterweight Belal Muhammad reaffirms training for a titular shot, irrespective of a spot in the picture
Recent years have seen main titular bouts have backup fighters, as a contingency. This can always be upon as a last-minute injury or illness in bigger matchups. In an interview with MMA on SiriusXM, on whether he would serve as a backup for UFC 296, Muhammad reported that no one had officially asked him yet. Irrespective of being a backup for the UFC 296 main event, Muhammad revealed that he would train, nonetheless.
On the recent headlining matchup between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington, Muhammad has expressed his mild dissatisfaction. But he is, however, happy that they do have a date for the bout. He had mentioned that even before facing Gilbert Burns at UFC 288; he was next in line, but only after Covington. Hence, he mentioned training and planning for both the highlighting contenders, irrespective of who he faces off against.
On the coattails of a well-deserved nine-fight win streak, ‘Remember the Name’ Muhammad is finally within reach of a title shot. His relentless training is firmly aimed at UFC gold.
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