Sean O’Malley thinks Belal Muhammad’s drastic weight cut could be a significant factor in his upcoming fight.
On May 6, Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush were supposed to fight in the UFC 288 co-main event. Unfortunately, Oliveira postponed the lightweight matchup due to an undisclosed injury, leading to Muhammad and Gilbert Burns stepping up on short notice.
Earlier this week, a report stated ‘Remember the Name’ needed to cut over forty pounds for his upcoming welterweight bout. He debunked those rumors before announcing that he must shed nearly twenty pounds. During an episode of The BrOMalley Show, ‘Sugar’ had this to say about Muhammad’s weight cut:
“This fight is at 170, right? Let’s just say he’s [Muhammad weighs] 200, so that’s thirty pounds?… I wonder what Gilbert is. If Gilbert’s not dealing with that necessarily, that affects your performance 100% and then one is two extra rounds… If he [Burns] stayed somewhat disciplined, you’re not gonna lose that shape that fast.”
Burns last fought on April 8 at UFC 288, defeating Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision. As a result, ‘Durinho’ might have an advantage over Muhammad because he’s currently in fight shape and cutting less weight. Meanwhile, ‘Remember the Name’ hasn’t fought since October 2022.
Sean O’Malley believes Belal Muhammad could be making a bad business decision at UFC 288
Belal Muhammad is likely one win away from finally earning a welterweight title shot. The 34-year-old is riding a nine-fight unbeaten streak, with his only hiccup coming from a no-contest against Leon Edwards in March 2021.
During the same podcast episode, Sean O’Malley showed concern for Muhammad taking a massive risk in a short-notice fight against Gilbert Burns. ‘Sugar’ had this to say:
“[Belal’s] probably looking at it like, I win this fight, I finally get my title shot. The sh*t that dudes had to do and win to get even to this point is absolutely insane. If he’s cutting that much weight, strategically, business-wise, that might not be the smartest thing, but who knows? He goes out there, beats him, the dude’s a genius. It’s tough to say.”
There will be a lot at stake between Muhammad and Burns at UFC 288. One of the top five ranked welterweights will likely earn a title shot, while the other leaves the Prudential Center with a significant setback in their career.