Belal Muhammad hears your boos.
But salty UFC fans hoping to rattle the No. 3-ranked welterweight contender are likely to end up disappointed. In fact, “Remember the Name” is prepared to embrace his “heel” persona like former WWE wrestlers “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and “The Rock.”
He could probably pick up a few pointers from this two-division champ.
“If I have to go heel, I’ll go heel,” Muhammad told MMA Fighting. “I’ll never get out of my character. I’ll always have fun with it no matter what, but maybe I’m starting to like that role a little bit. It’s not like I’m trying to go stupid, loser Colby [Covington] heel, but I’m going to have fun with the way I do it, with my personality. I used to watch wrestling in the heyday with ‘The Rock’ and ‘Stone Cold.’ Those were some of the best heel guys. The bad guys are some of the most popular guys out there. If I go that road, that will be all right.”
Unfortunately the role of “Stone Cold” may already belong to this UFC champ.
Muhammad (23-3, 1 NC) was showered with boos before and after the UFC 288 pay-per-view (PPV) card earlier this month in Newark, but was able to keep his haters at bay by turning away former title challenger Gilbert Burns in the five-round co-main event.
Whether or not that was enough to secure the next 170-pound title shot, as promised, remains to be seen.