Leon Edwards finally has a new opponent for his headlining fight at UFC Fight Night 187, with Belal Muhammad now having signed up to replace Khamzat Chimaev, who had to withdraw recently due to an ongoing battle with ‘Long Covid’.
Muhammad is only a week removed from his last fight, a unanimous decision victory over Dhiego Lima at UFC 258.
That was the 32-year-old Muhammad’s fourth win in a row, having also defeated Curtis Millender, Takashi Sato and Lyman Good.
Looking back further, Muhammad has actually won eight of his last nine UFC fights, with his only defeat being by decision against Geoff Neal back in early 2019.
Despite that, Muhammad is still only ranked No.13 in the highly-competitive 170lb division, so a high-profile fight with a leading contender like Edwards is what he needs to propel himself into the top 10.
Edwards earned his spot as the No.3 contender thanks to an impressive eight-fight winning streak in the division, during which time he’s defeated the likes of Vicente Luque, Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson and most recently Rafael dos Anjos.
However, that last outing was back in July of 2019, with a series of setbacks, including fights being cancelled for both Covid restrictions and months later actually testing positive for the virus, having hindered his chances of competing again for the past year-and-a-half.