Belal Muhammad won’t get the opponent he wanted, but he will still have a chance to break into the top 10 of the welterweight division when he takes on Demian Maia at UFC 263.
According to an ESPN report, Maia and Muhammad verbally agreed to fight in the UFC 263 event to be held on June 12. The event is currently expected to be headlined by UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo facing Brandon Moreno in a rematch of their UFC 256 battle.
After losing to Gilbert Burns last year, Maia, then 42, said her next fight would be her last. We haven’t heard the UFC or Maia broach the subject since, but if nothing has changed, that means Maia, who is now 43, will have her farewell fight in June on a pay-per-view card when she takes on Belal Muhammad.
However, before losing to Burns, Maia had three wins in a row. Not only would a win over Muhammad be a win over a ranked opponent, but Maia would be the winner of three of her last four fights. As it stands, Maia is already ranked No. 8 in the division, so a win here would bring him closer to returning to the top 5 of the division. Under these circumstances, Maia may decide to dump old Brett Favre and think better of hanging upstairs.
Belal Muhammad has other ideas, as he plans to send Maia to retirement in an orderly fashion with a victory here. Muhammad was hoping to get back with Leon Edwards after a tap to the eye brought an untimely end to their main event on March 13, but as Edwards prepares to face Nate Diaz, Muhammad prepares to face another veteran in submission, ace Demian Maia.
With this fight added, the current lineup for UFC 263 is as follows:
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno
Demian Maia vs. Belal Muhammad
Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill
Joanne Calderwood vs. Lauren Murphy
Movsar Evloev vs. Hakeem Dawodu
Sijara Eubanks vs. Karol Rosa
Luigi Vendramini vs. Fares Ziam
Jake Collier vs. Carlos Felipe
Who predicts will win this welterweight fight between Demian Maia and Belal Muhammad in what could be Maia’s last MMA fight?