Muhammad (19-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) notched a marquee win when he defeated former two-time title challenger Maia via unanimous decision at UFC 263 on Saturday, outstriking the jiu-jitsu ace on the feet and displaying terrific takedown defense to avoid any danger on the ground.
With the win, Muhammad has officially entered the UFC’s top 10 rankings, and considering the current landscape at welterweight, he thinks either running things back with Leon Edwards or a fight with Colby Covington makes sense for him next.
“I’m hoping either September or October,” Muhammad told MMA Junkie on his next fight. “Definitely want a five-round fight. I feel like I earned a five-round fight. Like I said, the only guys that beat Maia have fought for the title or were champions. So for beating a guy like that, I think I earned a five-round fight especially after taking that Leon fight.
“Honestly, if you’re really thinking about it, I look at stuff and what makes sense. If you’re thinking about what makes sense, if Colby or Leon, one of them guys gets the title fight then I should be getting the other guy in a five-round fight.”
Muhammad explains that with the majority of the top 10 currently booked, Edwards or Covington are the only options available. The 32-year-old has been calling Covington out for years and is still dead set on rematching Edwards after their matchup was ruled a no-contest when he was accidentally poked in the eye.
“Gilbert Burns is fighting ‘Wonderboy’ so both of those guys are out of there,” Muhammad said. “Colby and what ya call it are not gonna fight each other, Masvidal is gonna look for a big money fight, so none of those guys are gonna be fighting. So honestly, it makes sense for me to get one of those guys in a five-round fight.”
Belal Muhammad def. Demian Maia at UFC 263: Best photos
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