Belal Muhammad Reveals Why He’s Calling Out Khamzat Chimaev

According to Dana White, fighters at both welterweight and middleweight are going out of their way to avoid being matched up with rising star Khamzat Chimaev, but now Belal Muhammad has spoken out about why he’s doing the opposite and is actively calling him out.

“To me, rankings don’t mean anything. It’s about hype,” Muhammad told MMA Fighting. “It’s about who the UFC wants to push and who’s that guy? Who’s that [Conor] McGregor now? Who’s that next big star? As we saw last year with [Jorge] Masvidal, where it’s like, you don’t have to be No. 2 to get the title shot. You don’t have to be No. 1 to get the title shot.

“It’s about who’s getting that push right now in that right moment. Right now in that right moment, [with] Khamzat, you get the most hype from beating a guy like him than anybody [else] honestly.”

Muhammad is coming off a high-profile submission win over Stephen Thompson last weekend and is currently ranked No.5 in the division, six places above the No.11 placed Chimaev.

So, it could be seen as a risky move for him if the UFC takes notice of his call-out and puts the fight together, but Muhammad isn’t convinced that Chimaev is as big of a threat as the current hype surrounding him would leave you to believe.

“Do I know why he’s got all this hype? He’s got four wins [in the UFC]. Do I think he’s this Terminator because of those four wins? No. Do I think that he’s this pay-per-view star because of those four wins? No. But the UFC does.

“If they think that, then I’m the one that’s going to have to put a stop to it.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.