Daniel Cormier is sharing some advice with Belal Muhammad after losing out on a potential championship opportunity against Leon Edwards.
Edwards successfully defended the UFC welterweight championship after earning a majority decision against Kamaru Usman in their trilogy fight at UFC 286 this past Saturday. With the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ chapter of his career closed, ‘Rocky’ set his sights on other contenders in the division for his next defense.
Among his options were names such as Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns, but there was one who was seemingly more deserving of the opportunity: Belal Muhammad. Despite having shared the Octagon already, Edwards and Muhammad saw their fight at UFC Vegas 21 end in a No Contest after the latter was accidentally poked in the eye. Since then, both fighters have extended their respective unbeaten streaks, with ‘Remember the Name’ punctuating his with a highlight-reel second-round TKO of Sean Brady at UFC 280 this past October.
Though he hoped to turn that win into a shot at the winner of Edwards vs. Usman, UFC president Dana White had something else in mind. At his UFC 286 post-fight press conference, White revealed that Edwards’ next defense would come against Colby Covington. There was no one more upset with the revelation that Muhammad, who slammed ‘Chaos’ for not only turning down a fight with him, but also getting a title shot at Edwards despite sitting out for a year. In a video on his official YouTube channel, Cormier discussed the position Muhammad had found himself in.
“Belal is easily the most deserving guy [of a title shot],” said Cormier. “There’s no one that deserves it more than Belal Muhammad, but he keeps getting lost in the whole shuffle because it’s just not as interesting. It must be a nightmare for Muhammad to go, ‘God dammit, I had it.’”
With Muhammad seemingly left out of the title picture, the UFC Hall of Famer suggested his next fight. For Cormier, one that checks all the boxes would be against Usman, as adding a former champion to his résumé could bolster his case for a title shot against Edwards.
“I think him [Usman] versus Belal might be the one,” said Cormier. “Belal needs that, like, high-profile win to make people take him seriously.”
However, Muhammad may already have his next ‘high-profile’ opponent set. White also revealed that the promotion was hoping to pair him against Shavkat Rakhmonov.
About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)
Reserve your user name for the new Bloody Elbow before April 1, 2023. Go here for more details (link).
About the author