Belal Muhammad wants UFC 268 fight with ‘trash’ Sean Strickland, middleweight then responds
Ninth-ranked UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad wants to be Sean Strickland’s replacement opponent at UFC 268. However, the seventh-ranked middleweight rather hurt the Chicago-native in training instead of a sanctioned fight.
Strickland (24-3) is in search of a new opponent after Luke Rockhold — his foe for the promotion’s Nov. pay-per-view event — removed himself from their scheduled booking due to a back injury. Sensing the unique opportunity of a notable fight inside New York’s Madison Square Garden, welterweight talent Muhammad (19-3) took to his Twitter to toss his name into the replacement opponent sweepstakes. And he did so by calling the 30-year-old disrespectful “trash.”
Belal Muhammad calls for scrap with Sean Strickland at UFC 268
“If they need someone for Strickland, I’m down. I hate that piece of trash,” Muhammad wrote and tagged UFC President Dana White and matchmakers Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby.
In response to a follower’s surprise over “Remember the Name’s” callout, the 33-year-old added more about his motivations for the fight. Stating, “He disrespected Palestine, so I wouldn’t miss disrespecting his face.” Muhammad is an American-born son of Palestinian parents.
Strickland rather hurt Muhammad in practice than in a booked fight
The welterweight’s interest in the booking quickly spread across social media and got back to Strickland. In patented “Tarzan” fashion, the former 170-pound fighter took to Instagram to unleash an expletive-laden response and detailed previous attempts to train with Muhammad so he could “hurt” him. As well as why a fight with Rockhold served the purpose of his pursuit to get a middleweight championship fight. Something a bout with the ranked welterweight would not do much to progress.
“Listen, Belal Muhammad, I heard you’re running your f*cking mouth. Last time you were in Vegas, I tried to spar you ’cause I knew you were a little f*ckin’ b*tch and I wanted to hurt you, and it was a good excuse to do it. Now that you’re running your mouth, the next time I see you, I could just f*cking backhand you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity you little f*cking p*ssy,” Strickland said [h/t MMAFighting].
“But, on a more serious note, I wanted Luke Rockhold because his name carries weight. He was an ex-champion. You beat Luke Rockhold and it artificially bumps you up into like a two to three spot, where you beat the next guy and you get a title shot. I don’t give a f*ck about rankings. They’re so many savages in our ranks but we are all in this fight for the belt.
“There’s a card in California in January, a couple of my buddies might be on it, and I wouldn’t mind fighting in my home state. It’s right where I grew up. I would like the fight to carry weight. If I fight I want the fight to mean something, to potentially put me in line for a title shot, because that’s why we are here.”
Muhammad seemed to confirm the fight was unlikely when responding to a Twitter comment asking if the Strickland matchup was going to happen.
“He won’t sign the contract,” wrote Muhammad.
Strickland is currently on a five-fight win streak that was capped by an impressive unanimous decision win over Uriah Hall in July. It was his first UFC main event matchup.
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