Belal Muhammad (#5) takes on undefeated Sean Brady (#8) at UFC 280. However, Muhammad has some very strong opinions on #3-ranked Khamzat Chimaev. After his back-and-forth war with Gilbert Burns, Chimaev was struggling to find a match. However, Muhammad has been vocal about wanting to fight Chimaev as far back as March 2020.
However, since missing weight at UFC 279, Muhammad’s opinion on Chimaev seems to have soured. In an interview ahead of UFC 280, Muhammad shared his opinion on what led to the 7.5lb welterweight limit.
“That was crazy. I think it comes down to, when you’re fighting a guy like Nate Diaz, everybody thought he was gonna run through him. They all thought it was an easy fight… So, if you’re Khamzat, how hard are you really working for that fight? … He’s not gonna do the extra running, the extra cardio… he’s not doing none of that stuff because a lack of respect for the opponent.”
Muhammad On Frustrations With Chimaev
Muhammad has one lone loss in the UFC since 2016 and has been vocal in calling for a title shot. With a win over Sean Brady this weekend, it is difficult to deny Muhammad, so his frustrations with Chimaev are understandable. While Muhammad has ground his way through the rankings, Chimaev jumped him with a win over Gilbert Burns.
“In general, he’s just fat. Like, stop eating fat, stop being fat, stop acting fat, stop acting stupid. Get disciplined because you probably could’ve got a title fight right off that if you’d have won and came out on weight. So now it cost you that opportunity. The UFC still loves him so he may still get a title fight and a piece of the company just because of how big his name is right now, but for fighters in general, we look at that like disrespect. When you’re coming in that high, laughing, and giving the middle finger, that’s a joke.”
Especially frustrating for Muhammad is that he believes himself to be the biggest stylistic challenge for both Chimaev and Usman. However, Leon Edwards‘ perfect headkick pushed the calendar for the welterweight crown until at least March 2023.
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