‘After Seeing Her Defeat the G.O.A.T’- Belal Muhammad Details How Julianna Peña Inspired Him to Beat Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson

Published 12/23/2021, 10:30 AM EST
Sep 7, 2019; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Takashi Sato (not pictured) during UFC 242 at The Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports


Belal Muhammad is coming off one of the biggest wins of his professional career, defeating the ‘Wonderboy’ Stephen Thompson earlier this weekend at UFC Vegas 45. Muhammad completely outclassed Thompson and won the fight by unanimous decision. His massive win landed him the fifth rank in the welterweight division.

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Muhammad spoke with ESPN MMA’s Marc Raimondi a few days after his victory over Stephen Thompson. In the interview, Belal expressed gratitude to his teammate Julianna Peña, who defeated Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 to become the UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

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Muhammad said, “I’m seeing how hard she’s pushing, how hard she’s grinding. Especially after seeing that first one get canceled. And then I was like alright you’re gonna give her extra time. When people look at her and they see how she talks and they’re like, oh well, she doesn’t even believe in herself. And I’m looking at her like, oh she believes it.”

“After seeing her defeat the GOAT, like that… the boogie woman that nobody could beat, and she beat her in her own game out. Struck her and drowned her. It was like so much motivation coming from there, so much heat coming from that. I couldn’t have been happier,” he added.

Julianna Peña really did perform admirably to win at UFC 269. Nobody expected her to win the way she did, but Peña did exactly what she said she would.

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What’s next for Belal Muhammad?

Belal Muhammad is definitely a contender for the welterweight title after his recent win over Stephen Thompson last week. The fighter also took shots at Colby Covington after his fight, who could very possibly be his next opponent. Another fighter Muhammad could face next in the octagon is the Swedish fighter, Khamzat Chimaev.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 13: (R-L) Belal Muhammad punches Dhiego Lima of Brazil in their welterweight fight during the UFC 258 event at UFC APEX on February 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Muhammad said in his interview,” Dana thinks that this guy’s untouchable. So when the boss thinks he’s untouchable you go in there, you beat him, then the boss is going to recognize you.”

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Who do you want to see Belal Muhammad take on next? Please do let us know in the comments section below.

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Pranit Punjabi

278 articles

Pranit Punjabi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. A third-year psychology major, this Khabib Nurmagomedov fan merged his interest in psychology with his deep passion for MMA and was intrigued by this new angle to help him get closer to the action. Pranit aims to look through the violence and chaos, into what makes MMA truly beautiful, the deep and rich psychological aspect of the game.

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