UFC Fans Are Up for a Rude Awakening! Belal Muhammad vs Leon Edwards: Early Prediction and Fight Breakdown

Published 02/18/2021, 11:50 PM EST


UFC welterweight, Belal Muhammad, has officially stepped in to face Leon Edwards on March 13 in place of Khamzat Chimaev. ‘Remember the Name’ comes in on relatively short notice for arguably the biggest fight of his professional career. Additionally, he’s making a quick turnaround after having fought over the weekend at UFC 258 against Dhiego Lima.

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Leon Edwards has been pining to make his return after multiple fights fell out against ‘Borz’ Chimaev dating back to December. ‘Rocky’ is riding an 8-fight win streak but remains far away from a UFC title shot compared to other welterweights. He will put his number three ranking on the line against Belal Muhammad, who can potentially move up 10 spots.

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UFC welterweights: Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad

Leon Edwards has a lot to lose with a loss to Muhammad. However, it’s about time he competes once again. He hasn’t fought even once in 2020 and it’s important to stay active in a sport like MMA. Furthermore, it boils down to whether he’s remained consistent in his training during the extended lay-off.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – JULY 20: Leon Edwards of Jamaica reacts after defeating Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil by unanimous decision in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at AT&T Center on July 20, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Edwards is undoubtedly one of the most skilled fighters at 170-pounds and the wins he’s scalped on his streak showcase that. His last loss came to Kamaru Usman, a bout that has aged well for him in hindsight. Leon Edwards believes that his path to UFC gold is set in stone and is keen to showcase his superiority over a late-replacement opponent.

‘Remember the Name’ enters the conversation

Belal Muhammad enters his booking off a four-fight win streak; three of which were via unanimous decision. His recent win over Dhiego Lima showed that he’s in good shape and he’ll be confident to go the distance. Muhammad has the opportunity to make an astronomical leap in the rankings if he can overpower Edwards.

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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)

That is easier said than done when looking at Leon Edwards’ body of work in his last few outings. However, Belal has elevated his own game and his fundamental kickboxing has been in action regularly.

The 18-3 fighter will come in with a chip on his shoulder, which oftentimes serves as an intangible weapon. However, it’s unclear how much of a factor it will play in the fight.

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Prediction: Leon Edwards to claim a unanimous decision win.

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Darryl Pinto

1478 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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