The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight division has slightly stagnated at the top while the champion, Kamaru Usman’s hand recovers. Legal matters between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal will seemingly sideline each until everything is sorted, and next in line, Leon Edwards awaits his crack at the champ.
So what about everyone else?
Well, the No. 3- and 5-ranked contenders at 170 pounds are taking actions into their own hands. Today (Thurs., June 9, 2022), undefeated rising superstar, Khamzat Chimaev, extended an offer to Belal Muhammad for an eventual meeting after the latter expressed interest in the match up.
“I will fight you if you don’t take the Palestinian flag into battle @bullyb170 [pointing up emoji]” Chimaev tweeted.
“Respect bro ..” Muhammad replied. “I’ll bring a flag for you too and we both fight FOR Palestine.. I can’t bring the flag down to battlefield anymore even if I wanted to. But… دمي فلسطيني (Palestinian doll) [three Palestine flag emojis]”
“October Abu Dhabi,” said Chimaev before Muhammad responded with “Deal.”
Both Chimaev and Muhammad are riding solid stretches of momentum with their most recent victories being their career-bests. For “Borz,” the Chechnya native slugged it out with Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 in April 2022. Earning the victory via unanimous decision (watch highlights), the bout also earned both men an additional $50,000 bonus thanks to “Fight of the Night” honors. The win launched Chimaev (11-0) from his No. 9 spot in the rankings to No. 3.
Muhammad, on the other hand, is unbeaten in his last eight appearances in the Octagon, but one of those was a “No Contest” after an inadvertent eye poke against the aforementioned Edwards (watch highlights). Since then, Muhammad has taken out the savvy veteran specialists and former title challengers, Demian Maia, and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. In his last fight, Muhammad scored redemption in UFC Vegas 51’s main event vs. Vicente Luque, defeating him via unanimous decision.
Is Khamzat Chimaev vs. Belal Muhammad the fight to make?
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