Belal Muhammad picked up the biggest win of his career on Saturday night as he dominated Stephen Thompson and now has his eyes on Khamzat Chimaev.
Muhammad is now ranked fifth at welterweight and could be in a number one contender bout next time out. Yet, he says the ideal next fight is to face Chimaev despite the Swede being ranked well below him. That is because he knows if he can be the one to end Chimaev’s hype, it would be the biggest win possible at welterweight.
“It makes sense for anybody in the division,” Muhammad told MMA Junkie in regards to fighting Chimaev. “He has the most hype in the division right now. He has that (Conor) McGregor X-factor stardom right now, where the fans think he’s untouchable. The boss thinks he’s untouchable. They all think it’s just a matter of time before he becomes champion. So for me, if I beat him, I steal all of his hype, and I think it’s worth more than beating anybody ranked in the division. Beating him is probably worth more than beating Colby Covington just because of all the hype he has right now.
“So in this game, it’s about momentum, it’s about hype, and it’s about who’s hot right now. He’s the hottest right now. So beating him, I steal all that shine,” Muhammad continued. “I steal all that heat, so why wouldn’t I? And stylistically-wise, I think I match up very well with him. He has a very similar style to Usman, so I beat him, I just show that I belong in there with a guy like Usman and I’m the next guy that should be fighting this fight.”
Belal Muhammad wants a fight with Khamzat Chimaev
Since Belal Muhammad’s win over Stephen Thompson, he and Khamzat Chimaev have taken shots at each other on social media. With that, Muhammad hopes he can face the Swede as he doesn’t think Chimaev is untouchable as many think.
“I think he is good, I just don’t think that he’s this untouchable boogyman, the candyman that nobody wants to say his name type of guy,” Muhammad said. “I just fought a guy, ‘Wonderboy,’ who a lot of guys turn down. Nobody wants to fight this guy because his style so hard to figure out, his puzzle is so hard to figure out, and I said yes to it easily without any hesitation at all.”