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'I wanna see that fight' - Belal Muhammad campaigns for Wonderboy Thompson to be Kamaru Usman's next opponent

Kamaru Usman (left); Belal Muhammad (centre) and Stephen Thompson (right)
Kamaru Usman (left); Belal Muhammad (centre) and Stephen Thompson (right)
Johny Payne
ANALYST
Modified 19 Feb 2021
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Belal Muhammad has campaigned for Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson receiving a UFC welterweight title shot against the division’s reigning champion Kamaru Usman.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has fought and defeated every fighter currently ranked in the top five in welterweight – Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal but not the No. 5-ranked Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.

In an interview with ESPN MMA, the No. 13-ranked UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad opened up on a myriad topics. Upon being asked how he would book the UFC welterweight division and handle its current title picture, Belal Muhammad stated:

“Yeah, for me, like what makes the most sense to me is Wonderboy. I think Wonderboy, he’s on a good run right now. He had a big win against Geoff Neal. And, you know, he’s really only lost to like the top, top guys. So like for me, I wanna see that fight (Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson vs. Kamaru Usman) because I wanna see that style. I feel like he (Stephen Thompson) is the hardest style to fight in the welterweight division right now, just because of his weird striking. And, you know, his takedown defense is getting a lot better."
"But I want to see that fight. Obviously, if I’m Usman, I want that (Jorge) Masvidal fight. That’s the big money fight. That’s the one that’s going to sell the most pay-per-views. Obviously, the UFC will book that one more than anything just because Wonderboy is still – even though like people love him and stuff like that, it’s not going to sell a big pay-per-view with him and Usman. And he’s like a dangerous fighter for Usman. So like that’s what I think it’s going to end up being. It’s going to be Masvidal (versus Usman). But to me, I’d rather see Wonderboy.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Furthermore, Belal Muhammad opined that the No. 3-ranked UFC welterweight Leon Edwards needs another win before fighting for the UFC welterweight title.

Belal Muhammad added that Edwards has been out of action for about a couple of years and the last fighter he fought (Rafael dos Anjos) is now a lightweight. Muhammad noted that jumping right back into a world title fight against an elite opponent like the current champion Kamaru Usman won’t be advisable for Edwards.

Belal Muhammad is likely a couple of wins away from a UFC welterweight title shot

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Belal Muhammad (left); Leon Edwards (right)
Belal Muhammad (left); Leon Edwards (right)

After replacing Khamzat Chimaev, Belal Muhammad is set to fight Leon Edwards in a welterweight matchup that will headline UFC Fight Night 187 (March 13th, 2021).

The consensus is that should Belal Muhammad manage to defeat Edwards, he could be just another win away from a shot at the UFC welterweight title.

Meanwhile, Kamaru Usman is coming off a third-round TKO win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 (February 13th, 2021). Meanwhile, Stephen Thompson’s most recent fight was a unanimous decision win over Geoff Neal at UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal (December 19th, 2020).

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Published 19 Feb 2021, 11:31 IST
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