In the co-main event of the pay-per-view card from Newark, New Jersey, Muhammad and Burns stepped up on short notice and agreed to a five-round welterweight scrap. It’s a pivotal fight for the division as UFC president Dana White has already said the winner of this fight will face the winner of Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington.
As of right now, Burns is favored to get his hand raised, but Muhammad is confident in his skills and believes he will get the win and earn a title shot.
“I think I am definitely undervalued and underestimated a lot by some fighters and even the UFC. I think they don’t know what they have, I’m the best fighter in the welterweight division, I’ll do anything I can do to get that belt,” Muhammad said on the UFC promo video.
“Now, I got my moment. I’ve been grinding, clawing my way to the top. I wanted that Khamzat fight, they gave it to Gilbert, I wanted the Masvidal fight, they gave it to Gilbert, I wanted the title fight, they gave it to Gilbert, Gilbert’s taking everything I’ve worked for. That’s the only way I’m going to get what I want is by taking it from Gilbert. He’s never seen anybody like me, he’s never fought anybody like me. Now you are going in there fighting a guy that’s starving. I want that belt so bad, there’s no more running, there’s no more hiding, the king is here, I’m going to break him.”
If Belal Muhammad does go out there and finish Gilbert Burns at UFC 288, it would be hard to deny him of a shot at the title. He is currently ranked fourth at welterweight and hasn’t lost since 2019. He’s also on a 10-fight unbeaten streak and coming off a TKO win over Geoff Neal.