Belal Muhammad fueled by Leon Edwards title fight delay, things getting personal: ‘I hate his guts’

Belal Muhammad is convinced that UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards and his team refuse to acknowledge him as No. 1 contender.

Edwards’ manager, Tim Simpson, confirmed to Ariel Helwani that Khamzat Chimaev, Islam Makhachev and Shavkat Rakhmonov were the three names offered to the champ at UFC 300 – even though they asked about Muhammad. After neither fight materialized, Simpson said he expects Muhammad to be next.

Muhammad (23-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC), who’s unbeaten in his past 10 fights, has grown tired of waiting for his opportunity.

“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,” Muhammad told Middle Easy. “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 try 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 (them). 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 have the longest winning streak in the division. I’m the one beating all these guys. … 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 and Edwards (22-3 MMA, 14-2 UFC) battled to a no contest in March 2021, when Edwards inadvertently poked Muhammad in the eye and rendered him unable to continue.

Muhammad has been eager to run things back with Edwards, and at this point, things have gotten personal for him.

“I hate his guts,” Muhammad said. …”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.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie