Monday, January 24, 2022

Muhammad Thinks Beating Chimaev Is “Worth More” Than Any Ranked Win

Belal Muhammad isn’t shying away from a possible fight with Khamzat Chimaev.

Belal Muhammad is coming off what was arguably the biggest win of his career. He defeated former title challenger Stephen Thompson last weekend and now has his eyes set on a title shot.

Muhammad believes he could be next for champion Kamaru Usman following the win and his most recent bump up the rankings. However, if that title shot doesn’t come right away, Muhammad has another plan to get him there.

Khamzat Chimaev
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Muhammad thinks that a win over streaking Khamzat Chimaev would get him the momentum he needs to vie for the welterweight title. He explained his rationale to MMA Junkie.

“He has the most hype in the division right now,” Muhammad said of Chimaev. “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.”

It is true that Chimaev has a lot of hype surrounding him. He made a splash in the UFC when he won two fights back to back on Fight Island during the summer of 2020. He is now 4-0 in the UFC and undefeated as a professional. He is a fan favorite, and it seems like he is a favorite of Dana White as well. White has been high on Chimaev and has even expressed that no other fighter wants to fight him.

“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,” Muhammad said. “So beating him, I steal all that shine. I steal all that heat, so why wouldn’t I?”

Muhammad isn’t the only man with this idea, Neil Magny has been asking for a shot at Chimaev as well. On the flip side, Chimaev has been asking for a shot at a ranked opponent. Muhammad is now sitting in the #5 spot in the rankings. If he wants to fight Chimaev, it seems likely that fight can be made.

Do you think Belal Muhammad fighting Khamzat Chimaev is a good idea?

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