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Belal Muhammad trashes ‘coward’ Colby Covington, promises to ‘slap him right in his mouth’ after Jon Anik threats

UFC 280: Muhammad v Brady Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Belal Muhammad knows he’s the most deserving welterweight for the next title shot, but he wasn’t just sitting and waiting for the winner of Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 3.

Instead, he says he’s been in conversations with the UFC for several months trying to book a fight against Colby Covington that would solidify his position as the No. 1 contender while also allowing him to stay active rather than just hanging out on the sidelines. According to Muhammad, the UFC made several attempts to book him against Covington — including the possibility of coaching against each other on The Ultimate Fighter season 31 — but each and every time he received the same response back.

“He said no,” Muhammad told MMA Fighting. “The coward cowarded out. That’s what he does. He says no to fights.”

Covington hasn’t fought earning a decision win over Jorge Masvidal in March 2022, which put him back on track following a second loss to Usman with the UFC title on the line. Following that fight, Masvidal allegedly attacked Covington outside a restaurant in Miami Beach that led to assault charges being filed.

The court case is still pending but Masvidal has already booked his next fight against Gilbert Burns at UFC 287, while Covington had largely stayed out of the spotlight until he suddenly appeared as the backup fighter for the UFC 286 main event this past weekend.

That stunned Muhammad after he not only asked for the same opportunity, but also because he had been constantly working with the UFC to book the fight against Covington.

“I wasn’t asking to sit out,” Muhammad explained. “I was asking to fight the next best guy. I asked to fight Khamzat [Chimaev] and then they said he’s going up to middleweight. Well, there’s only Colby left that’s in front of me. They were like, ‘OK, you and him on The Ultimate Fighter,’ and I said perfect. Then they said, ‘Well, he doesn’t want to do The Ultimate Fighter, so it’s going to be you and him on May 6.’ Even better, perfect, I’d rather just fight him.

“Then they were like, ‘You guys in London [at UFC 286],’ and I was like I’ve been wanting to fight in London ever since I went there the last card, where I watched the fights there and the energy there is crazy, and being on the undercard of the main event with the welterweights, I’m like let’s do it. Let me beat Colby, then let me get my title shot. There’s no denying me after that. He turned it down. This guy is turning down fights.”

Muhammad is currently riding a nine-fight unbeaten streak that includes a knockout over previously undefeated prospect Sean Brady in his last outing.

He anticipated a showdown with Covington that would help keep the division moving until after Edwards and Usman settled their trilogy.

Because champions in the UFC typically only compete twice per year, Muhammad knew that no matter what happened in the welterweight title fight, the winner probably wouldn’t return until the latter part of 2023.

In Muhammad’s mind, it was the perfect scenario to face off with Covington and then move onto a title fight.

Instead, UFC president Dana White declared Covington as the No. 1 contender in the division and announced plans to book him against Edwards later this year.

“I wanted to fight this coward,” Muhammad said. “I wanted to fight this loser, this sissy, this freaking Karen that goes to call the cops on people. I wanted to fight this guy because I hate this guy. That’s the fight that I wanted and he said no.

“I was trying to fight again. I was trying to fight Colby and he’s the one that turned it down. So why is he being rewarded? Why is he getting a title shot?”

In the aftermath of UFC 286, Covington spoke to MMA Fighting and addressed his spot in the division, going as far as calling Muhammad a “racist.” He also took aim at UFC play-by-play commentator Jon Anik, who hosted Muhammad on his own podcast, with Covington telling Anik “you need to shut your f****** mouth” and adding a veiled threat that he didn’t want to see Anik’s children grow up without a father.

Muhammad largely laughed off Covington’s tirade aimed at him, but he took serious issue with the venom spewed towards Anik.

“You’re coming at a guy like Jon Anik, who is the nicest guy in the world, and why? Because Jon Anik gave me an interview?” Muhammad said. “You’re calling him a racist. You’re calling him this and you’re threatening a guy like Jon Anik? I told Jon, I texted Jon and I said I can’t wait to come to Miami in two weeks because I’m cornering my teammate Ignacio Bahamondes, and I wish I see Colby there. I wish that he even looks at Jon in a certain way of disrespect. I swear I’m going to walk right up to him and slap him right in his mouth.

“Because when you’re coming at guys like that, when you just got beat up outside the cage and you’re like, ‘Call the cops!’ — you’re crying and now you’re threatening a commentator, and you’re acting all this tough talk right now to a guy like Jon Anik? It just pisses me off.”

With Muhammad planning to attend UFC 287 on April 8, he sent a direct message to Covington, who lives in Miami and may be at the same event.

“If I do see you in Miami, it’s on sight,” Muhammad said. “You’re the king of Miami, you’re this, you’re that, so meet me in Miami. I’ll be down there. Back up all this talking. Back up all these words. I’m not one of these guys you say something to and it’s only for the internet, it’s just business. No. You want to say something, you want to disrespect me, say it to my face.

“Let’s see how tough you are when I come to your city. Let’s see how tough you are when I’m actually in front of you. Let’s see how tough you are when I’m in your face.”

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