Fighters often have specific routines they go through during Fight Week — but for UFC Vegas 21 headliner Belal Muhammad, his current Fight Week experience has been a little bit different.
Muhammad (18-3) fought just weeks ago, defeating Dhiego Lima at UFC 258. “Honestly I feel like it’s all a part of the same Fight Week. I was just here a couple weeks ago, so now I feel like it’s literally all the same trip,” he told Cageside Press during this week’s UFC Vegas 21 virtual media day. “I’m actually way more comfortable than I was for my last fight. There’s not as much anxiety because I was just here, I don’t have to overthink anything, I know where to go, the right things to eat, the right people to talk to — it’s just a lot simpler now.”
While Muhammad is on a four-fight win streak, his opponent, Leon Edwards, has doubled that. The only difference, Edwards hasn’t fought in well over a year. And when he is fighting, the Brit isn’t exactly known for his flashy style.
“He’s very consistent. He does the right things good. And he knows how the win,” Muhammad observed. “That’s the biggest thing that he knows how to do. Whether it’s by decision or submission or knockout, he knows what to do to get the win. And he doesn’t go out of his lane. He’s not going to sit there and throw Capoeira kicks or anything crazy like that. He just stays consistent with what he does.”
“In this game, simple wins,” Muhammad added. “Like Henri Hooft says, ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Those guys that do the right things good, those are the ones that continue to win and become champion.”
The match-up with Edwards has been billed as a battle of the nice guys. Muhammad acknowledged that there’s no bad blood heading into the fight. Some fans might be torn on who to root for, and if that’s the case, “you should always been rooting for me,” said Muhammad. “Because I’m the way better guy, the way nicer guy, and I’m a lot funnier than him. And I just have a better personality. Who doesn’t want to see the funny guy win?”
Muhammad also knows what’s on the line this Saturday night in Las Vegas. “I feel like this is going to be a great fight, and the better man that’s going to come out winning is going to be the one that’s going to take off next. This is a huge fight because the guy that win’s this, his life is going to change.”
After all, Dana White promised Leon Edwards the title fight is he wins. “So if I win, I’m going to get that title fight, I’m going to take that title fight, and then all the people that were torn between me and him, they’re going to be jumping on this bandwagon.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 21 virtual media day scrum with Belal Muhammad above. The event takes place this Saturday, March 13 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.