Belal Muhammad Ready to Step Up to Middleweight to Fight Khamzat Chimaev
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MMA commentator and former fighter Chael Sonnen made a tantalizing announcement: the much-anticipated bout between Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa has been agreed to, though this information remains unconfirmed at present.
If this news is accurate, it will solidify Chimaev's continued presence in the middleweight division. Chimaev has been the subject of much discussion and speculation in the MMA world, with many fighters eager to step into the cage and test themselves against the man known as "Borz." One such fighter is Belal Muhammad, who has been vocal in his desire to face Chimaev, even going so far as to express a willingness to move up to the middleweight division to make it happen.
"I'm willing to go up to 185, honestly," Muhammad stated at a press conference for UFC 287. "I'll move up and look for Chimaev. Maybe he'll finally come out and play that game. I made it to the top at 170 and I'll do the same thing at 185." Muhammad, who has eight wins in his last nine fights, including a "no contest" match against Leon Edwards, is a fighter who many believe deserves a shot at the title.
However, the UFC appears to have different plans for him. Initially, UFC President Dana White had intended to match Muhammad up with rising contender Shavkat Rakhmonov, but Muhammad is not eager to face another undefeated prospect.
"For me, that's just going backwards again," Muhammad said. "I went backwards to fight Sean Brady, an undefeated prospect who was thought to be the next big thing, but there were guys ahead of me without fights. Right now, they're saying I need a big name to get me over the top.
If that's what it takes, I'm looking at Kamaru Usman, the former champ and the guy they all consider the GOAT of the division. Nothing but respect, but if that's the name that will finally get me to where I want to be, then that's what I'll do."
Making a Name for Yourself: Belal Muhammad's Quest for Glory
While the UFC may have other plans for Belal Muhammad, the fighter remains undaunted in his pursuit of greatness.
With eight wins in his last nine fights and a willingness to face any opponent, Muhammad is a force to be reckoned with, and he is determined to make a name for himself in the UFC. "At the end of the day, I just want the fights that get me excited," Muhammad stated.
"Give me a Sean Strickland, someone I dislike, someone I hate, that would be fun to punch in the mouth. If I'm not going to get a title fight, then I'll take the fights that I want, and I'll make a name for myself." Only time will tell what the future holds for Belal Muhammad and the UFC, but one thing is certain: this fighter is not one to be underestimated, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.