Palestinian-American MMA Fighter Paves Way for Title Match

Palestinian-American fighter Belal Muhammad. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Sammy Baroud

Palestinian-American MMA fighter Belal “Remember the Name” Muhammad put on a great performance with a dominant victory over the Brazilian Gilbert Burns across 5 rounds in the co-main event of UFC 288 on Saturday.

This fight was an important step for Muhammad who is on his way to a shot at the UFC Welterweight Title.

Muhammad, who fights out of Chicago, IL, is currently on a 10-fight unbeaten streak in the UFC – second longest in the Welterweight division after current champion Leon “Rocky” Edwards – and holds an impressive professional record of 23 wins and 3 losses.

While he has been a top contender in the welterweight division for some time, Muhammad had trouble getting the respect he deserved. But that was in the past.

Now, the MMA community has no option but to give Muhammad his respect after the dominance he showed in his fight against Gilbert Burns, a great fighter in his own right.

Belal Muhammad agreed to take on Burns just 16 days before the actual fight. Many pundits expected that the aggressive weight cut Muhammed would have to undertake would allow Burns to come in and finish the job at UFC 288.

The opposite was true. Muhammad had no trouble shutting out critics, going in and showing out for the New Jersey crowd on Saturday night.

Muhammad was risking everything he has achieved over the years by taking that fight at such late notice. His performance was a testament to how real of a fighter the Palestinian-American is.

He showed that he had that warrior spirit in him, similar to the tenacity he displayed in his second round TKO victory over Sean Brady in his previous UFC 280 fight.

In the UFC 280 fight, he also notably trained under undefeated Dagestani Russian UFC legend Khabib “The Eagle ” Nurmagomedov in a fight camp that included Abubaker Nurmagomedov and UFC Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev.

While current UFC Welterweight champion Leon Edwards has been ducking a rematch against Belal Muhammad since they fought in March 21 – where the fight was ‘no contest’ due to Edwards illegally poking Muhammad’s eye – it would only make sense for him to give Muhammed another shot at the belt.

Indeed, Muhammad has done more than enough to earn his long awaited Title fight.

This would be a historic fight that could potentially make Muhammad the first ever Palestinian and Arab to be a UFC champion.

In his post-fight interview with prominent UFC commentator Joe Rogan in the Octagon following Muhammad’s dominant win in UFC 288, Rogan remarked “This fight has set you up for a world title fight.”

Rogan asked Muhammad “give us your thoughts on how that goes.” To which Muhammed responded with a smile saying, “My first thoughts are, New Jersey you suck. Second thoughts, Leon and Colby, I’m coming for both of you guys.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Sammy Baroud is a young Palestinian-American Sports Writer and an aspiring footballer. He contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle. Follow him @sammybaroud

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