Belal Muhammad revealed he was tricked into fighting for free in Mexico after a promoter did not fulfill the agreement they had initially set up.
After finishing college, 'Remember the Name' decided to try his luck as a mixed martial artist in the professional circuit.
However, the only fight he could find was outside of the United States. Eager to kick off his career, he traveled all the way to Guadalajara for his debut.
"In my first pro fight, my coach was like, 'I got a connection in Mexico, we'll take you down there, and then you could have your pro debut there,' and I was like, 'go to Mexico, all right, cool.' So, I went down to Guadalajara, Mexico. I didn't have an opponent or anything. They didn't tell me my opponent, but like, in your first couple of fights, you don't really care who you're fighting. You don't really have a camp for it," Belal Muhammad told Brendan Fitzgerald in an interview.
Belal Muhammad then further detailed the incident after the fight, in which the promoter made him believe he was going to be paid later.
"So, then, they're like, 'we're getting you a guy,' and then, you know, it was a cool experience in Mexico and everything like that, but they flew a guy in literally the day before the fight. And then we both made weight, I ended up finishing him like in the first round, but afterward, the promoter was like, 'the driver's going to take you to the airport," Belal Muhammad recalled.
"He'll pay you what he has in his pocket, or I'll just send you a check in the mail later.' And I was like, 'how much does he have in his pocket?' And he had like, $200, but the guy was supposed to pay me $800. And I was like, 'well, I'll just wait for your check if you're going to pay me 800.' And the guy was like, 'all right, cool.' The guy never paid me, and then the fight never even went on my record," he concluded.
What was Belal Muhammad's first real professional fight?
Following the bad experience he had in Mexico, Belal Muhammad made a second professional debut at Hoosier Fight Club 12 against Justin Brock back in 2012.
From there, he had a match in Bellator, where he beat Quinton McCottrell via unanimous decision. After a few more fights in the same two promotions, he joined Titan FC.
'Remember the Name' reached the world's most famous fighting organization four years later. Although he was defeated in his UFC debut, Muhammad's journey is promising.
Sitting at No. 13 in the welterweight rankings, Belal Muhammad expects the promotion will give him a second chance against another top division fighter following his no-contest with Leon Edwards.