When news broke that Leon Edwards would be moving on from a no-contest against Belal Muhammad to face Nate Diaz at UFC 262, many wondered whether Belal was getting the screw. But now it looks like the UFC is giving “Remember The Name” a pretty decent consolation prize: Demian Maia.
ESPN is reporting that Muhammad and Maia will face off at UFC 263 on June 12th, which is currently looking like the event Deiveson Figueiredo will rematch Brandon Moreno for the flyweight title following their draw in December of 2020. All of this is contingent on the UFC getting the contracts signed and COVID-19 not messing things up, but this is the plan as it stands now.
Muhammad just stepped up at the last minute to fight Leon Edwards in March, only to have the fight stopped at the start of the second round due to a gnarly eye poke delivered by Edwards.
The fight was stopped and determined to be a no contest versus a DQ win for Edwards, which was the only thing we might consider ‘lucky’ out of Edwards’ past year and a half.
Edwards’ reluctance to immediately rematch Muhammad was based off two factors: that Muhammad was a ‘last resort’ opponent way down the rankings, and that Edwards won the first round between them. However you feel about that reasoning, at least both men are getting some generous high profile matchmaking out of it.
Nate Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the sport, and one of the hardest for the UFC to draw back into the cage. And as a two time title challenger who has gone 3-1 in his past four, Demian Maia is exactly the kind of name Belal Muhammad needs on his resume to get the respect he deserves.