Belal Muhammad open to fighting Demian Maia if Leon Edwards rematch falls through

By Adam D Martin - March 24, 2021

UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad says that he’s open to fighting the legend Demian Maia if he doesn’t get the rematch with Leon Edwards.

Belal Muhammad

Muhammad and Edwards recently fought in the main event of UFC Vegas 21, with the fight being booked on short notice. Unfortunately, the fight ended in a controversial fashion when Edwards poked Muhammad in the eye and he was unable to continue. The fight was ruled a No Contest by referee Herb Dean, but Muhammad wants to run it back. Edwards is hoping to get a title shot next, but Muhammad is adamant that they have the rematch.

Fan and media response to Muhammad’s request for a rematch has been mixed thus far. There are plenty of people who agree that the UFC should run the Edwards fight back, but there is also talk that the matchmakers might move on. If that’s the case, then Muhammad has another suggestion: a matchup against UFC legend and Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard Maia. Speaking to, Muhammad said he will fight Maia if Edwards isn’t an option.

“Obviously I want a big fight. I feel like I still earned a main event spot just being willing to take a fight on three weeks’ notice. A guy I feel like would be a good main event spot with me is Demian Maia. He’s top 10 and I feel like I deserve somebody top 10 coming off four wins in a row, so I think that fight makes sense. I haven’t gone against a real grappler in the UFC yet, so fighting a grappler, it excites me. I wanna just show that side of me and to fight a legend like Demian Maia would be cool,” Muhammad said.

Maia is ranked No. 8 in the world right now, so this would still be a step up in competition for the No. 13 ranked Muhammad. Although Maia is coming off of a brutal KO loss to Gilbert Burns in his last fight, he had won three straight before that. A matchup between two grapplers in Maia and Muhammad sounds ideal if the Edwards rematch falls through.

Do you want to see Belal Muhammad fight Demian Maia?