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Stephen Thompson vs. Belal Muhammad targeted for UFC’s final 2021 event

Stephen Thompson Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A pivotal welterweight bout will be part of the UFC’s year-end event.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed that a matchup between Stephen Thompson and Belal Muhammad is being targeted for the UFC’s event on Dec. 18, which will take place at the APEX in Las Vegas. MMA Junkie was first to report the booking.

Thompson will look to get back on track after having his two-fight win streak snapped in July. “Wonderboy” took on Gilbert Burns at UFC 264 and was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision. The No. 5 ranked welterweight in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings picked up decision wins over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal prior to his recent outing.

Muhammad is unbeaten over his last six appearances, which includes five victories and a submission stoppage of Takashi Sato at UFC 242. “Remember the Name” will make his fourth appearance of the year and will look to build upon the biggest win of his career over Demian Maia at June’s UFC 263 event. The No. 14 ranked fighter in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings made his first main-event appearance against Leon Edwards in March — a fight that ended in a no contest after Muhammad was poked in the eye inadvertently.

The UFC’s Dec. 18 event will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus.