Belal Muhammad is hoping to be the backup for the UFC 286 main event.
On March 18, Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman will meet for the third time to determine the UFC welterweight champion. In the off chance Edwards or Usman has to pull out, Muhammad is prepared to step in on short notice. During an interview with The Schmo, ‘Remember The Name’ had this to say about potentially being the backup for the 170-pound title fight:
“Yeah, I’m hoping that ends up being the situation, where they call me out, bring me out down there because you never know what happens, guys been getting injured day of, day before. I see they’ve done backups for every single title fight, so I don’t understand why they wouldn’t wanna put me on that card, but if they give me the Colby [Covington] fight before that, I’ll take it. If not, I’m ready to be the backup.”
Muhammad is in a weird spot in the welterweight division. He’s currently ranked number four and needs another win to earn a title shot. Unfortunately, the only potential opponents ranked ahead of him are Khamzat Chimaev, who’s likely moving up to middleweight, and Colby Covington, who hasn’t been heard from in months.
Watch The Schmo interview Belal Muhammad below:
Belal Muhammad is frustrated with Gilbert Burns choosing to fight Jorge Masvidal
Another opponent that makes sense for Belal Muhammad would be number five-ranked Gilbert Burns. Unfortunately, ‘Durinho’ is scheduled to fight number eleven-ranked Jorge Masvidal at UFC 287 on April 8. During the same interview with The Schmo, Muhammad had this to say about Burns taking on Masvidal:
“For a guy like Gilbert who’s calling me out, saying how’s this guy ranked ahead of me. You went to fighting eleven to now you’re fighting like number twelve, so it’s really not gonna get you anywhere. [Jorge] Masvidal is still a tough test, still a tough guy to fight. Obviously he’s still a big name, but don’t sit there calling me out when you’re knowing you’re gonna fight Masvidal at the end regardless.”
Muhammad is frustrated because Burns accused him of declining a matchup several times. The Chicago native needed the fight against ‘Durinho’ to secure a title shot, so he’s now in a tricky position if Colby Covington doesn’t emerge from the shadows soon. Nonetheless, the 34-year-old believes he deserves a chance to fight for the 170-pound championship and plans to become the welterweight king in 2023.