Sometimes you see a fight and you just know it’s that fighter’s last time on the regionals before getting a phone call. Belal Muhammad’s win over Steve Carl was that fight. Muhammad dominated the former WSOF champ and Bellator veteran on his way to a 4th Round TKO and the Titan FC welterweight title. Given Titan FC’s open nature about letting fighters jump to the UFC and given the high profile of Muhammad’s win, there was only one logical next step to take. MMAJunkie reports that, indeed, that step has been taken. Muhammad has vacated his belt and is on his way to the Octagon. So…
Who is Belal Muhammad?
The 27-year old Muhammad trains out of Chicago Fight Team under former Strikeforce and Bellator fighter Louis Taylor (who coached his wrestling team in high school), as well as spending time at Roufusport up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s run up a stellar regional record, entering the UFC undefeated at 9-0 with wins over Bellator’s AJ Matthews, former CES champ Chris Curtis, prospect Zane Kamaka, and of course Steve Carl. Muhammad has been, largely, fighting the best available talent every step of the way to the UFC. Outside of MMA, Muhammad has a background in boxing at the amateur level and in wrestling.
What you should expect:
While Muhammad may have a background in both, his boxing game definitely takes center stage over his wrestling. In the cage he is largely a volume puncher, tending to work at the edges of range keeping a constant jab going and working behind it. He does well to work a kicking game in with his boxing, and puts some real power behind those kicks, but the focus is definitely on being a combination puncher. To that end, Muhammad does a good job feinting and changing rhythm, to keep his opponent from guessing his timing too easily.
Muhammad uses his footwork well at range, circling away, maintaining distance and not walking himself into the pocket. As such he’s got pretty solid takedown defense. His focus is on accuracy and timing, and he rarely puts himself in a bad position to be taken down. Just because of his style, Muhammad hasn’t been much of a finisher to date in his MMA career, but he’s got the kind of style that’s great for breaking down opponents over time.
About the author