Exclusive: Belal Muhammad Claims He ‘Hates Leon Edwards’ Guts,’ Hopes To Dethrone The Welterweight King In Manchester

Belal Muhammad has no doubt his next fight will be against Leon Edwards for the UFC welterweight title.

Belal Muhammad
Belal Muhammad (left) and Leon Edwards (right)(Images via Instagram @BullyB170 and @LeonEdwardsMMA)

Belal Muhammad admitted that he “hates Leon Edwards’ guts” ahead of an expected title fight later this year. 

In May 2023, Muhammad extended his winning streak to nine fights by securing a unanimous decision against Gilbert Burns. Since then, the number two-ranked UFC welterweight contender has continuously called for a title shot, which has surprisingly not been granted yet. 

Edwards’ manager, Tim Simpson, recently confirmed reports that ‘Rocky’ was offered three fights for UFC 300 – Khamzat Chimaev, Islam Makhachev, and Shavkat Rakhmonov. During an exclusive MiddleEasy interview, Muhammad responded to Simpson’s comments by saying: 

“They’re like the fakest team I’ve ever seen in my life, I’ve never seen anybody lie so much or try to make it seem like they aren’t afraid. You had his coach call for Gilbert Burns after I beat Gilbert Burns. You had his brother call for a Conor McGregor fight. They’re coming up with every other reason to avoid me. It’s blatant, the fans are starting to see it now. You have his manager doing the same thing. When you have all of these guys talking for you, that just tells me you’re that coward that’s hiding behind.”

Muhammad continued by voicing his frustration toward Edwards: 

“You’re the champion of the world. If you’re the best fighter in the world, fight the best guy in the division that’s right behind you… I know I’m the best in the world, and he knows I’m the best in the world. That’s why he’s trying to avoid this fight because I’m the toughest matchup for him. He’s trying to do anything he can do to hold on to the belt as long as possible.”

Muhammad has been surrounded by rumors of a potential title fight against Edwards for nearly a year. During the previously mentioned interview, ‘Remember The Name’ was asked if he considers his relationship with the welterweight king a rivalry and responded by saying: 

“I hate his guts… The Leon fight, they’re trying to avoid me. Him trying to act like downplaying my accomplishments and telling me I don’t deserve it, I never earned it. That stuff does nothing but piss me off. It’s fueling me with hatred for this guy, and I just can’t wait to get in there and get my hands on him.”

Watch Simpson’s comments about the fights offered to Edwards for UFC 300 below:

Belal Muhammad would love to fight Leon Edwards in Manchester

Later this year, the UFC will travel to Manchester, England, for what could be a pay-per-view event. Considering Leon Edwards trains in the country, there’s a chance he could return to defend his welterweight title for the first time since defeating Colby Covington in December 2023. 

While speaking to Mike Owens of MiddleEasy, Belal Muhammad had this to say about being confident he’s next in line for Edwards:

“There’s nothing they can do to try and avoid me now. When you have fighters like Shavkat and JDM calling each other out because they know who’s next. Islam is going to fight Dustin Poirier, he’s calling him out. There’s nobody that’s going to skip the line, and they could keep trying for whatever they are trying to do, but I’m next no matter what. I’m the guy.”

Muhammad was then asked if he was interested in fighting Edwards in the latter’s home country of England. ‘Remember The Name’ responded with enthusiasm about the potential situation:

“100%, [I will fight in Leon’s home country]. I have more fans in Manchester than he does. Nobody cares about him. He had a parade with like six people there, and three of them were his family members. Me going out there, taking his home soil, beating him in front of that crowd over there would be amazing.”

Belal Muhammad is considered the clear number one UFC welterweight contender amongst MMA fans. With that said, every day that passes without the matchup being confirmed creates more skepticism.

Therefore, an official announcement by Dana White is the only way to know if Muhammad will face Leon Edwards in his next Octagon appearance. 

Watch Muhammad’s entire interview with MiddleEasy below:

Published on April 18, 2024 at 7:53 pm
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