Daniel Cormier wants to see Belal Muhammad in a title fight, but he has a great plan B for the streaking welterweight.
On his YouTube show, the former two-division champion suggested that Muhammad’s next fight should come against none other than recently deposed welterweight kingpin Kamaru Usman. Usman has lost back-to-back title fights to Leon Edwards, effectively ending his run as welterweight champion.
Muhammad saw his shot at Edwards go up in flames when an accidental eye poke led to a no-contest in their 2021 fight. Though Muhammad remains at the top of the division thanks to an eight-fight win streak, he is no closer to a title shot.
In the meanwhile, Muhammad has doggedly pursued a fight with Colby Covington. Covington has shown no interest in Muhammad and doesn’t have to as he’s likely going to face Edwards for the welterweight title at UFC 290.
Though Usman has fallen on hard times, Muhammad might want to take Cormier’s advice and change course.
Belal Muhammad needs a big win
Beating Sean Brady should have been enough to get Muhammad a major fight. Unfortunately, he’s still on the sidelines despite being the most deserving fighter in the division for a title shot.
If he closes the book on Usman as a top contender in a decisive manner, then there’s no reason for him to stay on the fringes while others get a shot at the title. Alternatively, there’s a chance Muhammad could face Shavkat Rakhmonov later this year, pitting two of the division’s top prospects in a pseudo-eliminator bout.
If there is any hesitation, it has to come from UFC brass who doesn’t think he’s strong enough of a foil for Edwards to carry a promotion. That’s why Covington is getting the rub, and that would be the same reason Jorge Masvidal would get a shot if he beats Gilbert Burns at 287.
Though the bad blood between Muhammad and Covington is hot enough to main event a card, the UFC is really sweet on Covington. They do say that success is the best form of revenge, so Muhammad can one-up his unwilling rival by hanging a loss on Usman, who twice defeated Covington.
Considering the nature of Usman’s defeats, Muhammad would be a fine opponent to determine where he stands compared to the rest of the division. There’s equal risk and reward for each fighter in this one, which is all the more reason it should happen.