Belal Muhammad vows to 'do everybody a favor' and dethrone 'coward' Leon Edwards at UFC 304

by Christina S. Brown
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Belal Muhammad thinks the UFC, the followers and the MMA pundits are sick of Leon Edwards as welterweight champion, and he plans to take the belt away from him at UFC 304.

Muhammad (23-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) will lastly get his long-awaited shot at gold when he challenges Edwards (21-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) in the principle occasion of the July 27 card, which takes place at Co-op Reside in Manchester, England (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+).

It’s been an agonizing look ahead to Muhammad, who could have been inactive for 14 months since he added to his 10-fight unbeaten streak with a unanimous resolution victory over Gilbert Burns in a title eliminator bout at UFC 288 in Could 2023. The wait has solely motivated Muhammad, although.

“It was undoubtedly irritating the entire ready, as a result of I like to combat,” Muhammad advised MMA Junkie. “I like to be energetic. I’m all the time coaching. I’m all the time within the gymnasium, so it was onerous. However that’s the man Leon is. He’s not an energetic champion. He’s very onerous to take care of. Even with that Colby (Covington) combat, it took eternally for them to e book it. For this combat, it took eternally to e book it. I believe it’s extra so as a result of this man’s coaching to carry onto that belt so long as potential and act like he’s a longstanding champion and appears at it like, ‘Oh, I’ve been a champion for 300 days’ prefer it means one thing.

“In the long run, your resume is what means one thing. Whenever you take a look at the blokes like Kamaru (Usman), who was an energetic champion, these are the champions you respect – guys like (Israel) Adesanya and (Alexander) Volkanovski, who seemed up the following challenger immediately. After their combat, they’d their subsequent combat booked or set, and so they all the time needed to combat the following greatest man. However Leon, he’s a coward. His group, they’re all afraid and so they’re all afraid as a result of they know he’s not that good and so they know I’m a horrible matchup for them and so they’re attempting to delay this so long as potential.”

Muhammad, 35, stated he’s desirous to rid Edwards of his place as champion and take the crown, and although he has his credit, he thinks he can be a much more compelling titleholder.

“No person hears about Leon – Leon doesn’t discuss,” Muhammad stated. “He comes on a podcast as soon as each three months and he whispers. No person can perceive what he’s saying. He appears to be like silly – doesn’t have faith. He’s awkward. He’s bizarre. And I believe I’m going to do everybody a favor on July 27: After I beat him, we’re going to be carried out. We don’t have to listen to about him no extra. The UFC doesn’t have to advertise him no extra as a result of he’s not going to be the champion, so then he’ll be pressured to do stuff himself.”

The wait to obtain his title shot isn’t the one factor that’s generated animosity towards Edwards from Muhammad. Their historical past performs a giant function within the state of affairs, as effectively.

Edwards and Muhammad beforehand fought in the principle occasion of UFC Battle Evening 187 in March 2021. The bout resulted in a no contest within the second spherical after Edwards poked Muhammad within the eye and he couldn’t proceed. Muhammad has been pushing for the rematch ever since, and his disdain towards “Rocky” has solely grown over the previous three-plus years.

“I actually hate his guts,” Muhammad stated. “He’s making me hate individuals with a London accent. Folks with that British accent piss me off. Anytime I hear him, anytime I see him, it simply makes me offended, as a result of actually, this delay, the speaking on their finish, the narrative they’re attempting to push with even his coaches and his brother attempting to name for different individuals – they had been actually calling for Gilbert Burns after I beat Gilbert Burns. Their complete group simply pisses me off.

“All of them have low IQ. They’re not very sensible. They’re the those who give fighters a nasty identify as a result of individuals take a look at fighters and suppose we’re dumb. No, there’s fighters which might be educated. I’ve a level. There’s some guys on the market that aren’t that dumb, however whenever you hear Leon discuss, his coaches discuss, his group discuss, you’re like, ‘Man, all these fighters are dumb as rocks.’ That’s what his complete group is. They’re dumb as rocks. I can’t wait to finish them and their group. They’re not going to have no person else after this as soon as I stroll via them.”

Muhammad is anticipating a one-sided contest when he does lastly step into the cage with Edwards at UFC 304. He has to journey into his opponent’s house nation and combat in the course of the night time native time to finish his mission, however stated nothing goes to cease him from getting the job carried out.

“Actually I believe I’m going to rock him actually early, after which I’m going to take him down,” Muhammad stated. “I may end him with a TKO, however I’m simply going to let him again up. Then I’m going to look to his coach and I’m going to inform his coach, ‘Yo, give him some motivational phrases. Inform him to man up. Hurry up.’ And his coach goes to take a look at me like, ‘I don’t know what to inform him.’ Then I’m simply going to hit him once more and say, ‘Say one thing to him.’ Then I’m going to hit him once more. Then I’m going to get him in a rear-naked choke, most likely within the first spherical, after which proper earlier than he’s about to faucet, I’m going to let him go. Then I’m going to let him breathe a bit bit, go to his nook, hope his coach offers him some higher recommendation.

“Second spherical, I’m going to take him down once more. I’m going to begin hitting him, elbowing him. This time, I’m going to look to his brother like, ‘Bro, you’re not going to return in in your brother? You’re not going to assist your brother out?’ Then he’s going to take a look at me, he’s going to curse at me, he’s going to swear at me. I’m simply going to be smiling. Then I’m going to take a look at Leon and be like, ‘All proper, I’m carried out with you.’ Then I’m going to complete him within the second spherical. You possibly can name me ‘Mystic Muhammad.’”

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC 304.

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