The newly crowned UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland recently challenged top welterweight contender Belal Muhammad. This challenge comes in the wake of Muhammad’s outspoken support for Palestine in the midst of the ongoing conflict with Israel.
Belal Muhammad has been a fervent advocate for the State of Palestine. He once proudly carried the Palestinian flag into the Octagon, although recent UFC regulations have curtailed such displays of national allegiance.
Muhammad has utilized social media platforms to amplify his solidarity. He recently posted a message urging support for Palestine in light of the escalating tensions with Israel.
In response to Muhammad’s stance, Sean Strickland promptly criticized Muhammad. Muhammad received harsh criticism from the UFC middleweight champion for supposedly supporting recent Hamas crimes against Israelis. Strickland stated that Muhammad’s position was cowardly, arguing that it hindered efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution.
He stated: “This is what you’d call a cowardly response. Instead of taking a stand against terrorism and advocating for a peaceful resolution, you say this dumb sh*t.”
Sean Strickland is known for his fearless approach, both in and out of the Octagon. Alongside his ruthless combat sports style, Strickland is celebrated for his unapologetic demeanor.
Belal Muhammad claims that he has accepted to compete against Sean Strickland, who in the previous month upset Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision to become the champion.
Muhammad sees this bout as his path to achieving the coveted ‘champ-champ’ status. However, a crucial condition remains: Sean Strickland must retain his middleweight title until Muhammad secures the belt in the 170-pound division.
Belal Muhammad’s journey to a title shot faces an impending obstacle. Welterweight champion Leon Edwards (21-3 in MMA) is set to defend his title against the Colby Covington (17-3 in MMA) at UFC 296 in December. Only after this matchup will Belal potentially have his shot at the title.
Even this opportunity is not guaranteed as Covington has expressed a desire to defend against Islam Makhachev if victorious at UFC 296.
Muhammad’s ascent in the welterweight division has been nothing short of extraordinary. He has won against formidable opponents like Lyman Good, Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson, Vicente Luque, Sean Brady, and Gilbert Burns.