No guts no glory MAIN EVENT MUHAMMAD pic.twitter.com/gqZbHiOzTN— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) February 18, 2021
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Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Belal Muhammad is striking while the iron is hot.
Courtesy of an ESPN announcement on Thursday, Muhammad (18-3) will be stepping in on short notice to take on Leon Edwards (18-3) atop UFC Fight Night 187. The two 170-pounders will come to blows at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on March 13, with Muhammad replacing the COVID-afflicted Khamzat Chimaev. Muhammad quickly confirmed this booking on his social media.
The bout will be a very quick turnaround for the man known as “Remember the Name,” who bested Dhiego Lima across three rounds on Feb. 13. The win lifted Muhammad to a four-fight win streak that has seem him defeat Lyman Good, Takashi Sato and Curtis Millender on his climb up the welterweight rankings. In his last nine outings dating back to 2017, the Roufusport fighter’s lone setback came against fellow contender Geoff Neal.
Edwards, who was briefly considered as a potential foe for Colby Covington or Jorge Masvidal, will instead be putting his eight-fight win streak on the line against the surging Muhammad. The Brit has been out of action largely for reasons beyond his control since mid-2019, with a 2020 matchup against Tyron Woodley falling through due to the coronavirus pandemic. Three more COVID-19-related snafus led to cancellations against the aforementioned Chimaev, and the promotion decided to move on from this matchup. Of note, Edwards was briefly linked to a title opportunity against Kamaru Usman around the summer of 2020, but it dematerialized when the Englishman would not be able to make the short-notice appearance when compounded with international travel restrictions.
UFC Fight Night 187 goes down on March 13 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, with the new welterweight headliner set between Edwards and Muhammad. Although featherweight Dan Ige lost opponent Ryan Hall, the promotion is still searching for a replacement opponent. Other key matchups on the card include a middleweight clash between Eryk Anders and Darren Stewart, as well as a prospective heavyweight slobberknocker between Ben Rothwell and Philipe Lins.