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What is the flag Belal Muhammad carries into the UFC octagon and where is he from?

UFC 236 Holloway v Poirier 2
UFC 236 Holloway v Poirier 2
Anwesha Nag
Modified 14 Feb 2021

Belal Muhammad got his hands raised fourth time in a row at UFC 258 on Saturday night when he went up against Dhiego Lima.

The flag Belal Muhammad carries into the octagon as well as out of it after a win is of Palestine. He is an American-born Palestinian who has been fighting in UFC for nearly five years now.

Belal Muhammad debuted in the promotion in July 2016 against Alan Jouban and lost the fight via decision. He has fought a total of 12 times in UFC, winning nine out of them. He is currently on a four-fight win streak, with the victory over Lima.

However, in almost every fight he has been in, Belal Muhammad has walked out to the octagon with the Palestinian flag wrapped around his shoulders. He has honored the flag every time after a victory as well.

Belal Muhammad: I’m never going to shy away from representing my people

UFC and other fighting promotions often impose strict rules on the flags fighters can carry out to the octagon. In the past, UFC has stopped other fighters from paying tribute to a flag of their choice. However, Belal Muhammad has been carrying the Palestinian flag in every one of his fights.

In an interview with Palestine in America, Belal Muhammad highlighted why carrying the flag to his fights is important to him and the cause he supports.

"I’ve been bringing out the flag for every single one of my fights — even before the UFC. I’ve even had shows [in smaller circuits] where they’ll tell me, “Don’t get political” or “Don’t be political with [the flag],” and I’ll look at them like, “I’m never going to shy away from representing my people, representing my country.” People don’t talk for Palestine, so if I’m on a stage where I could bring attention to it, I’m going to do it."
"Most of the times, you think of Palestinians or Arabs, you think of them working in stores thinking they can't do anything more than [work in] a store. So if I could bring [the idea] to people, “Hey you can be a professional athlete, you can do whatever you want, if you work hard,” it’ll mean a lot. It’ll change the game."
Published 14 Feb 2021, 08:55 IST
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