Belal Muhammad
Remember the Name

USA

Cruises past Demian Maia
WelterweightUFC
June 12, 2021
Muhammad defeated Demian Maia via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 263 on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona.
ANALYSIS
Maia is a tricky guy to fight, and Muhammad clearly won this bout, but this performance won't earn him many new fans. Of course, Muhammad could likely care less. The most impressive aspect of this fight was Belal's takedown defense. He defended 20-of-21 Maia attempts and was the far more effective fighter whenever the two men ended up in a striking exchange at distance. It was a nice bounce-back effort from Muhammad on the heels of the vicious, accidental eye poke he suffered in a main event spot against Leon Edwards this past March. Muhammad is undefeated in his past six bouts (5-0, 1NC) and hasn't lost in about two and a half years. Consider him a legitimate contender.
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Fighting Maia in June
WelterweightUFC
April 4, 2021
Muhammad will fight Demian Maia in a welterweight bout at UFC 263 on June 12, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Muhammad's last fight was a no contest due to an accidental eye poke against Leon Edwards. Previously, Muhammad was 18-3-0 as an MMA fighter. Maia hasn't fought in more than a year, but he's 3-1-0 over his last four bouts at the UFC level.
Eye poke ends main event
WelterweightUFC
March 13, 2021
Muhammad and Leon Edwards fought to a no contest (accidental eye poke) at 0:18 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
It's a heart breaking situation for Muhammad, who was competing in his first main event with the UFC. He ate a minor eye poke from Edwards in Round 1 without issue, but the one that connected early in Round 2 was as bad as it gets. Muhammad immediately said he couldn't see and was in tears a short time after. Maybe the UFC can try to run this one back. The company is in the midst of some terrible luck the past couple weeks.
Steps in to face Edwards
WelterweightUFC
February 18, 2021
Muhammad will serve as the replacement for Khamzat Chimaev (illness) on the UFC's March 13 card versus Leon Edwards, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Muhammad takes the place of Chimaev after multiple attempts to reschedule the fight all wound up with issues for one or the other. Chimaev is still recovering from physical complications as a result of his positive COVID-19 diagnosis, resulting in his removal from the card. This time the fight will proceed with Muhammad -- coming off of four straight victories -- set to take on Edwards, who owns an eight-match winning streak of his own.
Continues roll in Vegas
WelterweightUFC
February 13, 2021
Muhammad defeated Dhiego Lima via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC 258 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
It's difficult to get on Muhammad for a shutout performance in which he dominated bell-to-bell, but it would have been nice to see him stop a clearly inferior opponent in Lima. Muhammad did whatever he wanted offensively for the entire bout. He forced Lima up against the fence at will and landed repeated, unanswered combinations. The only negative was the fact Muhammad allowed Lima to batter him with leg kicks. Muhammad may have very well been compromised against a better opponent, but Lima didn't possess the offensive skill set to do any real damage. He'll have to work on that moving forward. Muhammad rarely gets talked about when the company's top welterweights are mentioned, but the 32-year-old has won four straight and is 8-1 in his past nine bouts dating back to November 2016. The UFC is going to have to give Muhammad a top-ten opponent his next time out.
Lima match rescheduled
WelterweightUFC
January 8, 2021
Muhammad will take on Dhiego Lima on Feb. 13, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
ANALYSIS
The pair had originally been scheduled to face off on Dec. 19, but Muhammad was forced to withdraw during the week of the fight after testing positive for COVID-19. He's now evidently back in fighting shape, so the matchup can go forward slightly less than two months later than originally planned. Both fighters will be looking for their fourth straight victory in the contest.