Earlier this week, Luke Rockhold announced that he had herniated disc in his back and was being forced to withdraw from his scheduled fight with Sean Strickland next month at UFC 268. It was an outcome that Strickland said he knew was coming but now the No. 9-ranked middleweight in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings is in need of a dance partner for next month and, improbably, a ranked welterweight contender is offering to be his huckleberry.

Belal Muhammad is currently the No. 13-ranked welterweight contender in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings and is coming off a victory over former middleweight title challenger Demian Maia at UFC 263, and citing personal dislike, Muhammad has thrown his name in the ring to square up against Strickland.

It appears that much of Muhammad’s dislike towards Strickland comes from comments Strickland made about Palestine on social media, stating Palestinians need to “bend the f*cking knee, integrate and become safe and successful”. Muhammad was born to Palestinian parents and carries a Palestinian flag with him during his fight walkouts and was not pleased with the comments.

Unfortunately for Muhammad, it appears he won’t get that chance. Strickland responded to Muhammad’s callout, dismissing “Remember the Name” and saying he is looking for an opponent who will get him closer to a title shot.

“Listen, Belal Muhammad, I heard you’re running your f*cking mouth. Last time you were in Vegas, I tried to spar you ’cause I knew you were a little f*ckin’ b*tch and I wanted to hurt you, and it was a good excuse to do it. Now that you’re running your mouth, the next time I see you, I could just f*cking backhand you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity you little f*cking p*ssy.

“But, on a more serious note, I wanted Luke Rockhold because his name carries weight. He was an ex-champion. You beat Luke Rockhold and it artificially bumps you up into like a 2-3 spot where you beat the next guy and you get a title shot. I don’t give a f*ck about rankings. They’re so many savages in our ranks but we are all in this fight for the belt. There’s a card in California in January, a couple of my buddies might be on it, and I wouldn’t mind fighting in my home state. It’s right where I grew up. I would like the fight carry weight. If I fight I want the fight to mean something, to potentially put me in line for a title shot, because that’s why we are here.”

Unsurprisingly, Muhammad didn’t have much patience for Strickland’s reply, posting his own message to social media mocking Strickland for passing up the fight.

“After his last fight, ‘Aw man, I’m a bad boy. I want to kill somebody in the cage. I want to be the first person to murder somebody. Blah, blah, blah, I don’t care about titles. I’m an airhead, I’m a moron.’ Now it’s, ‘Oh, I only want to fight ranked guys, that are above me that are gonna get me closer to the title shot and if it’s possible, could I fight in my hometown?’ I know you had that fake persona. You’re soft.”

At this time, no official replacement has been announced for Strickland for UFC 268, which takes place on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


Results. Despite weight miss, Jake Hadley among trio of contract winners at the Contender Series.

Decision. Dana White defends decision to sign Jake Hadley on DWCS: ‘Hopefully this kid doesn’t make a d*ckhead out of me’.

Let go. Luis Pena released from UFC following latest arrest on battery and domestic violence charges.

Beef. Sean Strickland laughs off Luke Rockhold withdrawal: ‘He was never going to make it to the fight’.

Optics. Dan Hardy: ‘Not a good look’ for UFC that fighters are begging for money, everyone is ‘scrambling for the scraps’.


Contender Series announcements.

State of the UFC featherweight division.

Bellator Countdown.

Top finishes from Bellator 268 fighters.

Loopy Godinez on how she spent her first $50K.


On to the Next One. Matches to make following UFC Vegas 39.

UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Chael Sonnen and Randy Brown.


Another county heard from.

Statement.

Banger.

Colorado making friends.

Hall of Fame.

Tony Ferguson stays mad.


Lupita Godinez (6-1) vs. Luana Carolina (7-2); UFC Vegas 40, Oct. 16.

Tai Tuivasa (11-3) vs. Augusto Sakai (15-3-1); UFC Fight Night, Nov. 20.

Rafael Fiziev (10-1) vs. Brad Riddell (10-1); UFC Fight Night, Dec. 4.

Jake Matthews (17-5) vs. Jeremiah Wells (9-2-1); UFC Fight Night, Dec. 4.

Maycee Barber (9-2) vs. Erin Blanchfield (7-1); UFC 269, Dec. 11.

Geoff Neal (13-4) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4); UFC 269, Dec. 11.

Leon Edwards (19-3) vs. Jorge Masvidal (35-15); UFC 269, Dec. 11.

Ian Heinisch (14-5) vs. Sam Alvey (33-16-1); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 5.


It’s good to be back. Hope everyone enjoyed the fights this past weekend. Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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