When news broke that Leon Edwards would be moving on from a “No Contest” against Belal Muhammad to face Nate Diaz at UFC 262, many wondered whether Belal was getting the screw. But now it looks like UFC is giving “Remember The Name” a pretty decent consolation prize: Demian Maia.
ESPN is reporting that Muhammad and Maia will face off at UFC 263 on June 12, 2021, which is currently looking like the event Deiveson Figueiredo will rematch Brandon Moreno for the Flyweight title following their draw in Dec. 2020. All of this is contingent on UFC getting the contracts signed and COVID-19 not messing things up, but this is the plan as it stands now.
Muhammad just stepped up at the last minute to fight Leon Edwards in March, only to have the fight stopped at the start of the second round because of a gnarly eye poke delivered by Edwards.
Onward and upward back to work pic.twitter.com/C68mqST5kU— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) April 4, 2021
Coach @TeamKhabib will be training me https://t.co/cnXhpPw8VO— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) April 4, 2021
The fight was stopped and determined to be a “No Contest” versus a disqualification win for Edwards, which was the only thing we might consider “lucky” out of Edwards’ past 1.5 years.
Edwards’ reluctance to immediately rematch Muhammad was based off two factors: that Muhammad was a “last resort” opponent way down the rankings, and that Edwards won the first round between them. However you feel about that reasoning, at least both men are getting some generous high profile matchmaking out of it.
Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the sport, and one of the hardest for UFC to draw back into the cage. And as a two-time title challenger who has gone 3-1 in his past four, Maia is exactly the kind of name Muhammad needs on his resume to get the respect he deserves.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 263 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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