Matt Brown praises Belal Muhammad as ‘biggest threat’ to welterweight division: ‘I think Belal beats Khamzat Chimaev’


Leon Edwards currently reigns as the UFC welterweight champion but he’ll have plenty of challenges awaiting him in 2023.

All signs point to Edwards facing Kamaru Uman again after his remarkable comeback at their UFC 278. rematch. He stunned “The Nigerian Nightmare”, with a fifth round head kick knockout. As impressive as Edwards was in victory that night, fellow UFC welterweight Matt Brown still sees Usman likely getting the upper hand in a rematch to reclaim the title.

That said, Brown believes there’s an even bigger threat looming on the horizon at 170 pounds just waiting for the chance to face Usman, Edwards or anybody else sitting near the top of the division.

“If you want to talk about biggest threat to [Kamaru] Usman, I’m going with Belal Muhammad,” Brown said on the latest episode of The Fighter vs. The Writer. The Writer. Leon is defeated by Usman, and at the end the champion will be either Belal or Usman .

Belal Muhammad has been making a steady climb up the welterweight ranks going undefeated in his past nine fights including recent wins over Sean Brady, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Vicente Luque.

He’s been calling for matchups that would potentially earn him a title shot including numerous call outs to face Khamzat Chimaev, who many expect to become a UFC champion sooner rather than later.

As dangerous as Chimaev was through his six first fights in UFC, Brown views Muhammad as the style matchup that would give the Chechen wrestler the most difficult matchup at 170 pound, particularly after watching the three-round war against Gilbert Burns.

“Belal and Gilbert [Burns] are very similar body types, the way they throw punches and stuff but Belal keeps a much higher pace and stays a little bit more disciplined in his approach,” Brown said. “I think Belal beats Khamzat and I’m 50-50 on him beating Usman.

“That’s a really, really close fight that I think goes to a decision and is probably a really tough call for the judges.”

If Usman becomes champion again, Brown hopes that Muhammad will get a title shot because that might be his favorite fantasy matchup in the welterweight division.

Prior his defeat against Edwards in August, Usman had been widely considered to be one of the most respected welterweights ever. However Brown believes Muhammad will present a new type of challenge than anyone he has faced at 170 lbs.

” I think Belal poses the greatest threat to Usman,” Brown stated. “I don’t think anyone is going to disagree that Usman is probably going to beat Leon, barring another fifth round knockout kind of homerun hit. It’s something like that.

“We knew it before the first fight, stylistically Usman is a bad matchup for Leon. But Leon really proved a lot of us wrong taking Usman down in the first round. However, the second, third and fourth rounds, as well as the majority of the fifth, were a glimpse of what we will likely see the most when they face .”


Whether Edwards or Chimaev are involved, Brown believes that Muhammad has the potential to cause problems for anyone at welterweight.

It is just about Muhammad getting the opportunities to meet the top of their division and prove Brown wrong.

“Any fight is a winnable fight for Belal,” Brown said. “Him fighting Usman is what I would love to see. I’m 50-50 on that fight. I’m not totally convinced Usman beats Belal Muhammad. He’s in for a hard fight. Just again, it’s that pace. Belal keeps such a pace, has a great chin, keeps coming forward, keeps throwing punches, hits hard.

“He’s not like Colby [Covington] where he’s keeping a high pace but it’s kind of soft punches, kind of meaningless stuff that you can disregard and not really worry about. Colby can do so many shots before he gets it, while Belal is a fast work horse. Colby is a truck. He’s coming hard the whole time. I think he poses a lot of threat for every single person in this division and I want to see him fight Usman.”