With Khamzat Chimaev forced to pull out of his scheduled fight against Leon Edwards, the UFC turned to Belal Muhammad. A rising star in the division, Muhammad has proved his worth as a tough contender at this weight and is fresh off a win over Diego Lima at UFC 258.
The fight will arguably be Muhammad's toughest to date, but Leon Edwards himself will be coming off a two-year gap. That being said, here are three reasons why the fight between Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad was made official.
1. The date was already set for Leon Edwards
After the cancelation of his fight against Khamzat Chimaev on two different occasions, Leon Edwards was determined to fight on the March 13th card. With the date being made official for his return fight, Rocky wanted to compete on the card in his guaranteed main event spot.
Hence, the UFC coming up with a replacement for Borz in the form of Belal Muhammad was a wise decision. Edwards will finally get his wish to compete inside the octagon after his long hiatus, and Muhammad will look to make a name for himself with a win over the No. 3 ranked fighter.
2. Belal Muhammad's winning streak
Belal Muhammad has been on an impressive run in the UFC's welterweight division. He has been undefeated in his last four fights in the UFC with wins over Dhiego Lima, Lyman Good, Takashi Sato, and Curtis Millender.
Muhammad's last loss in the UFC was against Geoff Neal but he will pursue the biggest win of his career against Leon Edwards. Rocky has also compiled an undefeated run in the welterweight division.
3. Leon Edwards didn't have many alternatives
As previously mentioned, the UFC was determined to keep Leon Edwards on the March 13th card. With Khamzat Chimaev pulling out of the fight, Rocky called for Nate Diaz, who is set to return at welterweight. However, Diaz took to social media to claim that he wasn't interested in a fight against Edwards after previously calling for Dustin Poirer in 170.
UFC president Dana White mentioned that the UFC would instead aim to book Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington. But Chaos also wasn't interested in doing "charity" for Edwards by replacing Chimaev. And lastly, with Stephen Thompson still having to deal with a few injuries from his win over Geoff Neal, Wonderboy wasn't available either.
Hence, Leon Edwards wasn't left with too many options and Belal Muhammad was the only one who said 'yes' to the offer to fight against one of the best welterweights on the planet.