Belal Muhammad is officially a UFC welterweight contender.
The 33-year-old veteran dominated Stephen Thompson on Saturday night, winning a lopsided unanimous decision in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 45.
The judges scored the bout 30-25, 30-26, and 30-26 in Muhammad’s favor, extending the Chicago native’s unbeaten streak to seven straight fights.
“Kamaru Usman, I need that title shot,” Muhammad said in his post-fight interview. “Leon Edwards is fighting ‘55ers, he almost got knocked out by Nate Diaz. Get the fudge out of here. Stay in London, stay in hiding. Bully’s here, bully’s ready to fight. Let’s get new blood in the title shots. Give me the fight.”
After a short feeling out process, Muhammad (20-3, 1 NC) took control late in the opening round by slamming Thompson (16-6-1) to the mat, scurrying up his back, flattening “Wonderboy” out and unloading a ferocious stream of unanswered punches. Thompson blocked most of the worst blows, however Muhammad wasted little time in Round 2 taking Thompson down again, hunting for an unsuccessful kimura submission, then blasting him with short elbows.
Muhammad went right back to work to start Round 3, dumping Thompson to the floor with an instant takedown. “Wonderboy” tried to reverse the action with a takedown attempt of his own, however Muhammad once again ended up in top position and spent the remainder of the bout unleashing short strikes from Thompson’s half guard.
When asked post-fight who he’d want if a title shot against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is unavailable, Muhammad called out a familiar foe.
“Leon Edwards, that’s the only that makes sense,” Muhammad said. “Kamaru has fought three times this year, let him rest a little bit, we don’t need to see another rematch. Leon’s fought like three ‘55ers in a row, poked me in the eye. There’s unfinished business there.”
Check out video from Muhammad’s breakout win below.
Rock 'em sock 'em robots #UFCVegas45 pic.twitter.com/gHmXjLKfuE— UFC (@ufc) December 19, 2021
A HUGE end to round 1️⃣ for @BullyB170 #UFCVegas45 pic.twitter.com/xD9DfGdM4J— UFC (@ufc) December 19, 2021
A personal best 5️⃣th takedown for @BullyB170.— UFC (@ufc) December 19, 2021
We're only a minute and a half into the 2nd round #UFCVegas45 pic.twitter.com/pticZjMqlY