Belal Muhammad: I should fight Leon Edwards before Kamaru Usman ‘if you want to make this a real sport’
Belal Muhammad doesn’t think Kamaru Usman should get an immediate rematch against UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards.
Usman (20-2 MMA, 15-1 UFC) lost the title to Edwards this past August at UFC 278 where he was knocked out with just a minute remaining in the fifth round. It was a dramatic comeback for Edwards as Usman was up 3-1 on all three judges’ scorecards before the finish.
Usman had notched five title defenses and was ranked as the UFC’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter. But Muhammad (22-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) himself has gone unbeaten in his past nine fights and believes he’s more than earned a title shot.
“We’re talking numbers. We’re talking rankings. You want to make this a real sport,” Muhammad said on a recent Instagram live chat. “If you want to make this a real sport, there are no rematches once you lose the Super Bowl. You lose the Super Bowl, you lost the Super Bowl, that’s it. If you lost on a Hail Mary pass, that’s it. You have to wait until next year.
“You don’t get a, ‘Ah, man. That was a lucky pass.’ Nah, you lost. You don’t get the rematch right away. You’ve got to go through a whole other season to try and get back there again. So, Usman, sit down a little bit, relax, heal up, and let me fight Leon.”
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Muhammad’s lone asterisk in his nine-fight unbeaten run is a no contest with Edwards (20-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) in the UFC Fight Night 187 headliner in March 2021. Edwards accidentally poked Muhammad in the eye in the beginning of Round 2, which rendered Muhammad unable to continue.
Since fighting Edwards, Muhammad has defeated Demain Maia, Stephen Thompson, Vicente Luque, and most recently a TKO of the formerly unbeaten Sean Brady at UFC 280 in October.