Belal Muhammad wants fans to “Remember the Name” (and UFC to forget the rematch).
The promotion is expected to rubber stamp an immediate do-over between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards for some point in early 2023, giving “The Nigerian Nightmare” a chance to reclaim his crown after getting slept by “Rocky” at UFC 278 last August.
That would keep Muhammad on the sidelines for the foreseeable future, unless the No. 4-ranked welterweight agreed to risk his spot in line by taking another fight.
“If you want to make this a real sport, there’s no rematches once you lose the Super Bowl,” Muhammad said on Instagram (via MMA Fighting). “You lose the Super Bowl, you lost the Super Bowl, that’s it, you’re going to have to wait until next year. You don’t get a, ‘Ahh, man. That was a lucky pass.’ Nah, you lost, you don’t get the rematch right away. You’ve got to go through a whole other season to try and get back there again. So, Usman, sit down a little bit, relax, heal up, [and] let me fight Leon Edwards.”
Usman (20-2) is expected to earn the immediate rematch based on his stellar run atop the welterweight division, which included five straight title defenses.
There is talk of having No. 2-ranked Colby Covington face No. 4-ranked Khamzat Chimaev in March of next year, a pairing that may force Muhammad to fight someone lower down the 170-pound ladder (see the Top 15 here). “Remember the Name” is 22-3-1 and coming off four straight wins, including last October’s technical knockout win over Sean Brady.
Perhaps it’s time for one of these big money fights?