UFC welterweight contender Belal Muhammad has set his sights on former interim champion Colby Covington after his victory against Vicente Luque
Belal Muhammad and Vicente Luque clashed at the UFC Vegas 51 main event at the Apex Centre in Las Vegas. This was their rematch after their first encounter at UFC 205, when Luque knocked out Belal in the first round.
In the main event, Muhammad showed the world the improvements he has made in his game and the development he’s had as a martial artist since his loss at UFC 205. Muhammad has been on a roll and won a unanimous decision over the #5 ranked, Vicente Luque.
The fight began with Luque immediately taking the center of the octagon trying to establish octagon control, and overwhelm Belal with his striking reminiscent of what transpired at UFC 205. However, Muhammad had levelled up since then and came in completely aware of the threat his opponent posed. Belal used a lot of lateral movements when his back was against the cage, which did not give the Brazilian any opportunity to settle and land his usual combinations.
What Muhammad also did efficiently in the first two rounds was move laterally, and just when Luque would expect him to be on the other end of the oscillation trajectory, Belal would pop in and hit him with a stiff jab or crisp 1-2 of the middle, And when Luque started to measure this sequence, and started plotting his counter, Belal would tower in with a raging bull takedown and put Luque on his back.
Belal won the first two rounds comfortably, but Luque came back strong in the third round, stuffing takedown attempts. The biggest movement for him came in the third round came when his cornerman made a read of Belal’s lateral movement that exposed him to loopy shots from the wide, and Luque hit him with a strong hook that wobbled him. However, Belal maintained his composure and sailed through the round without sustaining serious damage.
It was 29-28 going into the championship rounds, but Belal looked like the fighter who wanted the fight more, and pushed extra hard to get his hand raised. Before the fight, Luque had been taken down a maximum of three times in a fight, but Belal took him down a total of 6 times with great takedown accuracy. In the end, it was Muhammad who got his hand raised owing to a unanimous decision victory.
Belal Muhammad calls out ‘coward’ Colby Covington for a fight against him
Muhammad took the centerstage after his grueling victory against Luque, to grab the mic and dish out his plan for the future. With a victory against number 5 ranked Luque, he is in a comfortable position to manifest what he seeks.
He took the opportunity to call out Colby Covington, who has been his target for the longest time. He has called out Colby several times in the past for not wanting to fight top contenders and laid out his case with an impressive victory.
“I’m going to stop calling for the champ cause nobody wants to give me that shot,” Muhammad said. “So let me get the big mouth Karen. Colby Covington’s out here calling out [155 pounders]. Come fight a real ‘70-pounder, you coward.
“I’m a real ‘70 pounder. I’m winning fights. I’m not [Jorge] Masvidal off two losses. I’m not [Tyron] Woodley off five losses. I’m ‘Bully B’ off seven wins. Come fight a real challenge, coward.”
While the UFC are reportedly working at a potential fight between Colby Covington and Khamzat Chimaev, it still remains to be seen what is in the store for Muhammad in the future.
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