According to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, the list of fighters who are eager to fight rising sensation Khamzat Chimaev is pretty short. Other than Neil Magny, the outspoken head honcho says there aren’t too many people willing to throw down with a man who has taking the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by storm.
But, there is another person who is more than open to fighting “Borz,” and he is on an impressive hot streak of his own. Indeed, Belal Muhammad — winner of six of seven — says beating someone who has the type of X-factor that Conor McGregor came in with is an opportunity everyone should be jumping at.
“It makes sense for anybody in the division. He has the most hype in the division right now. He has that (Conor) McGregor X-factor stardom right now, where the fans think he’s untouchable. The boss thinks he’s untouchable,” Muhammad told MMA Junkie.
“They all think it’s just a matter of time before he becomes champion. So for me, if I beat him, I steal all of his hype, and I think it’s worth more than beating anybody ranked in the division. Beating him is probably worth more than beating Colby Covington just because of all the hype he has right now.”
After defeating Stephen Thompson at UFC Vegas 45, “Remember The Name” made a huge leap on the official UFC rankings, jumping all the way to the Top 5. Taking out Chimaev all but assures him a shot at the title.
“So in this game, it’s about momentum, it’s about hype, and it’s about who’s hot right now,” he said. “He’s the hottest right now. So beating him, I steal all that shine. I steal all that heat, so why wouldn’t I?
“And stylistically-wise, I think I match up very well with him,” Muhammad said. “He has a very similar style to Usman, so I beat him, I just show that I belong in there with a guy like Usman and I’m the next guy that should be fighting this fight.”
White has been tight-lipped regarding Chimaev’s next opponent, though he did say he won’t be getting a shot at the title when he returns in early 2022. Could a fight against Muhammad be on the horizon?