Belal Muhammad earns UFC welterweight championship shot after defeating Gilbert Burns
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Belal Muhammad has earned himself a shot at either Leon Edwards or Colby Covington for the UFC welterweight championship after defeating Gilbert Burns.
It was a fight with huge welterweight championship implications between two of the best in the division.
It was bout signed on short notice by the UFC, between two fighters intent on proving they should be the next to challenge Leon Edwards.
Gilbert Burns was fighting just four weeks removed from his win over Jorge Masvidal while Belal Muhammad was fighting for the first time in 2023.
Fans speculated that Muhammad was going into the fight with an injured ankle as he hobbled into the weigh-ins.
It was a five-round co-main event that started off timidly as each fighter looked to feel each other out.
A few strikes were thrown and blocked as both fighters looked to break down the other early, while Belal showcased his takedown defence as Gilbert went for the double leg.
The Palestinian caught Burns flush at one point in the first round, however, the Brazilian quickly recovered.
Muhammad looked on top throughout, with Burns struggling to land any effective strikes.
The pair went into the championship rounds, albeit without a championship on the line.
Burns looked dejected as the fight headed into the later rounds, with signs that he was struggling with an injury to his shoulder.
As the siren ran to end the fight it was clear that Muhammad would be the one receiving the welterweight championship shot.
It was all respect between the two opponents at the end of the fight.
With Belal confirmed as the winner by unanimous decision, he called out both Leon Edwards and Colby Covington for the welterweight championship shot.
The fight between the Englishman and the returning controversial MMA star has yet to be confirmed, but it looks likely the UFC is looking to sign it.