Belal Muhammad Set to Return Against Brazilian Legend at UFC 263

Published 04/04/2021, 5:17 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 19: Belal Muhammad poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on June 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Belal Muhammad is set for a return to the Octagon. Reports suggest ‘Remember The Name’ will fight at UFC 263 in June against former 2-division title challenger Demian Maia.

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The Brazilian submission maestro last fought in March last year. He suffered a T/KO loss to Gilbert Burns. Muhammad most recently fought against Leon Edwards in March.

The bout was declared a no-contest due to an accidental eye-poke from ‘Rocky’ in the 2nd round. It was Muhammad’s first opportunity to headline a UFC card.

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A win over Dhiego Lima at UFC 258 earned him the opportunity. He would be disappointed the contest ended this way.

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

Nevertheless, sources suggest Muhammad will get another big-name opponent. Maia is a household name for the UFC fanatics. It will be yet another opportunity for him to feature on a big card. Muhammad also fought at the UFC 258 pay-per-view.

The rematch of the flyweight title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will headline the UFC 263 card. UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada is expected to be the venue of the event.

How does Belal Muhammad match up against Demian Maia?

Maia is an expert grappler like few can match. He acts like a human backpack on occasions to wear his opponents out and eventually submit them.

Whether Muhammad can match that remains to be seen. ‘Remember The Name’ will have the youth advantage as he is 11 years younger than his counterpart.

Also, his pressure could prove to be too much for Maia to handle for 3-rounds. Muhammad has fought fresh blood and veteran campaigners so far. But he has never been submitted as a professional.

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SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 26: Demian Maia of Brazil celebrates his submission victory over Ben Askren in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Maia has a massive 14 career wins by submission. So, Muhammad’s defense will be tested. Also, this will be a good taste for Muhammad before making a jump to the cream of the crop of the welterweight division. As for Maia, a win will keep his UFC career alive.

What did you make of the latest match-up for UFC 263? Who’s your pick to win? Let us know.

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Apratim Banerjee

697 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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