Belal Muhammad wants UFC 268 fight with ‘trash’ Sean Strickland, middleweight then responds

belal muhammad, sean strickland
Jun 11, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; UFC fighter Belal Muhammad during weigh ins for UFC 263 at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Muhammad is unbeaten in his last six bouts. In his most recent Octagon appearance, he defeated former middleweight and welterweight title challenger Demian Maia by unanimous decision at UFC 263.

Would you be interested in a middleweight matchup of Belal Muhammad vs Sean Strickland?

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