When it became known that Leon Edwards would go from a no-contest against Belal Muhammad to face Nate Diaz at UFC 262, many wondered if Belal was getting screwed. But now it looks like the UFC is giving “Remember The Name” a pretty decent consolation prize: Demian Maia.
ESPN reports that Muhammad and Maia will meet at UFC 263 on June 12, which currently looks like the event where Deiveson Figueiredo will face Brandon Moreno for the flyweight title following their tie in December 2020. This all depends on UFC. getting the contracts signed and COVID-19 not messing things up, but this is the plan as it stands now.
Muhammad just stepped up at the last minute to fight Leon Edwards in March, only for the fight to be stopped early in the second round due to a twisted eye punch from Edwards.
The fight was stopped and it was determined that it would not be a contest in the face of a DQ win for Edwards, which was the only thing we could consider ‘lucky’ from Edwards’ past year and a half.
Edwards’ reluctance to immediately rematch Muhammad was based on two factors: that Muhammad was a “last resort” opponent very low in the rankings, and that Edwards won the first round between them. Regardless of how you feel about that reasoning, at least both men are getting a generous high-profile pairing.
Nate Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the sport, and one of the toughest for the UFC to get back in the cage. And as a two-time title challenger who has been 3-1 in his last four, Demian Maia is exactly the kind of name Belal Muhammad needs on his resume to get the respect he deserves.