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Belal Muhammad Demands 'Champion Pay' for Potential Kamaru Usman Showdown

Belal Muhammad has made it clear that he's willing to take on a formidable challenge – Kamaru Usman – but only if he's compensated like a champion.

Muhammad, who solidified his position as the No. 1 contender with a convincing victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 288 in May, found himself bypassed for a title shot by Colby Covington. Covington is set to face current welterweight champion Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC 296 on December 16.

UFC CEO Dana White hinted at a future fight for Muhammad, but the fighter has laid out his conditions. He stated,

“We’re throwing stuff out at (the UFC). I’m willing to fight Sean Strickland at 185. I’m willing to go up there; that’s a title fight. So, I have a guarantee for a title fight."

However, Muhammad's willingness to take on Kamaru Usman comes with a catch. He firmly believes that facing Usman, a fighter often considered one of the most challenging opponents in the division, warrants compensation befitting a champion.

Muhammad pointed out that fighting Usman is a risk, as he may not receive a title belt even if he emerges victorious. However, a victory over Usman would undoubtedly elevate his resume, potentially placing him in the conversation alongside legendary welterweight fighters like Georges St-Pierre.

He plans to remain prepared for both Edwards and Covington in case one of them is forced to withdraw, leaving him with an opportunity to step in. Muhammad has even decided to forgo a grappling match scheduled for ADXC 1 on October 20 to avoid any potential injuries that could jeopardize his plans.

While he has yet to be officially named as a backup fighter, Muhammad's confidence is unwavering. He believes that the UFC has already acknowledged his status as the next in line for a title shot. He stated,

"I don't need to be the backup, but if they want me to, of course. I'm down if they're paying."


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