UFC welterweight contender Belal Muhammad is likely to compete for the title against Leon Edwards, at UFC 300 in April. This timing means that Muhammad will be fighting during the holy month of Ramadan. For Muhammad, who is a devout Muslim, competing while fasting takes mental and physical strength.
“A lot of the time when I’m training and fighting during Ramadan is like, I get so much mental clarity because you you get less stress out of life because you’re you’re given all your time for the most part of the day to God, you’re you’re you’re being a lot more religious with everything and you’re stopping a lot of your extra thoughts,” Muhammad explained.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, which means no eating or drinking during daylight hours. For an athlete who exerts huge amounts of energy like Muhammad, this can be extremely taxing. However, Muhammad sees it as an opportunity to push himself further.
“If I can what? I have to go 4 hours with 5 hours, 6 hours. But after a train says without water, that’s fine. It’s only gonna make me told them I’m a charter. I know that Leon is not gonna be doing that. I know that Leon, who’s ready, who I think is one of the most, basically, weak fighters in the UFC, he’s not gonna he wouldn’t be able to push himself like I pushed myself,” he stated.
Muhammad even believes the fasting makes him sharper and strengthens his mental game. “Even guys now who say, when they do the 3 day fast, It’s not the same type of fast, but when you’re fasting, you’re you’re a lot sharper with everything because your body needs to make adjustments. Your body is We need to be stronger here. We need to be able to push,” he said.
For a title fight with huge stakes, Muhammad is willing to put himself through the difficult challenge of fasting because he knows Edwards will not be doing the same. He sees it as an edge knowing that he has prepared under more adversity than his opponent.
“Already, actually, I’m gonna already have the edge. Physically, I already have the edge. I already found them. Yeah. You know, text you guys, I’m gonna have the edge. Everything I’ve had to edge. Strategically, I’m gonna head to the edge. So there’s nothing that he’s gonna do or say or or push that’s gonna affect me Robin on is not gonna affect me. It’s only gonna make me that much harder. It’s gonna make me that much sharper,” Muhammad proclaimed.
Muhammad has proven before that he has the mental toughness and discipline to compete during Ramadan. He won a decision over Demian Maia while fasting. Now he will aim to win UFC gold under the same circumstances. His faith gives him strength and perspective to endure these challenges.