UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad believes that the UFC rankings need to be abolished, saying it’s leading to ranked fighters ducking a matchup against him.
Despite an 8-3 record in the UFC and a three-fight win streak, Muhammad is not ranked in the top-15. The welterweight spoke at the UFC on ESPN 11 post-fight press conference following his decision win over Lyman Good and explained why the UFC rankings should be abolished.
Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) wants to see UFC rankings dissolved: "The only thing that number does for them is give them an excuse to say no."#UFCVegas3 | Full interview: https://t.co/p0nkGlzlsE pic.twitter.com/y0IWNxmDwz
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) June 21, 2020
“These ranked guys are afraid to fight, man. All these guys use the number next to their name as an excuse not to fight. ‘I don’t want to fight below me, I don’t want to fight below me.’ During this time right now, as you can see with Jorge Masvidal and all of them, Dana White is going to pass up. ‘You don’t want to fight? Alright, we’re moving on to the next guy,'” Muhammad said.
“They need to get rid of these rankings because they don’t mean anything. I feel like I can beat anybody in the top-15 right now, and I’m good enough to beat anyone in the top-15. Just cause they have a number next to their name doesn’t mean they’re better than me. The only thing that number does for them is give them an excuse to say no. ‘I’m not going to fight below me, I’m not going to risk my number.’ That’s what all these guys are doing. These are the type of guys that are just happy to have a number next to their name.”
Muhammad was asked who he would like to fight next and he mentioned Ponzinibbio and Covington. Both welterweights are currently without opponents, so both men are sensible callouts for Muhammad, though Ponzinibbio seems more likely to be his next opponent.
“I think the next one should be Ponzinibbio,” Muhammad said. “He hasn’t fought in a while. He’s sitting there calling out Rafael dos Anjos whose lost four of his last five and he’s a (lightweight). I feel like me and him should be fighting.
“And then after that, the guy I’ve been calling out for the last 10 years, Colby Covington. That’s the guy I’ve had on my wish list for a while. I want him more than I want the belt right now. I want to get my hands on him and I want to feel my fists on his face.”
Who do you think Belal Muhammad should fight next?