Belal Muhammad, the UFC welterweight fighter, will meet Gilbert Burns in a highly anticipated contest on May 6 in Newark, New Jersey at UFC 288.
Muhammad, who typically weighs 177 pounds at this point during fight camp, revealed in a recent interview that he is currently 13 pounds heavier than his usual weight of 190 pounds. He must cut 19 pounds before the fight in less than two weeks. However, the fighter is not worried about the weight cut and is confident about successfully making weight.
Confidence of Muhammad Belal Reigns Supreme: A Five-Round Battle to Extend His Win Streak
The fight was however booked on pretty short notice, following the loss of the lightweight co-main event between Beneil Dariush and Charles Oliveira due to an injury. The victor of the welterweight clash is expected to acquire a title shot next, making the stakes much higher.
Muhammad had no fights booked before this encounter, but he was confident enough to request a slot on the card after the co-main event fell through. Aside from the short notice, the battle will be scheduled over five rounds rather than the regular three, per Muhammad’s request.
— UFC (@ufc) April 21, 2023
The 34-year-old boxer spoke with retired former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who recommended going for five rounds rather than three. The fighter said, “I’m a guy who gets stronger as rounds get deeper. When most guys start breaking and getting tired, that’s what gives me more fuel and more energy.”
Gilbert Burns, Belal Muhammad reveal how #UFC288 fight came together after both initially asked for Colby Covington
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) April 23, 2023
While Muhammad is confident about his weight cut and the fight, it wasn’t easy getting it booked. Burns recently revealed that he turned down Muhammad’s request to make the fight a middleweight due to the 34-year-old fasting Ramadan. According to Burns, “I get it, you’re Muslim, you’re doing Ramadan but… I don’t care, I’m not Muslim. You do whatever you want… I respect, it’s not that I’m talking sh*t, you do whatever you have to do but don’t ask for excuse.”
The Battle for Welterweight Supremacy: Muhammad vs. Burns in UFC 288
Despite the initial hurdle, Muhammad and Burns are both ready to face each other in what promises to be an exciting contest. Fans can very well envision a fierce battle between these two highly adept fighters, with the conqueror earning a title shot in the highly competitive welterweight division.
As Belal Muhammad gears up for his upcoming welterweight showdown against Gilbert Burns, he faces the daunting task of cutting 19 pounds in less than two weeks. But with his years of experience in the UFC, Muhammad is no stranger to drastic weight cuts and remains calm and confident heading into the bout.