“Just hearing the crowd roar, chanting my name…it was honestly surreal. It’s humbling out here.”
Throughout fight week, no fighter was more in the moment than Belal Muhammad. Fighting in his ancestral Middle East for the first time, he basked in the hospitality and good vibes from friend and stranger alike, and referred to them routinely as “my people.” As if to repay them for the love, Muhammad put on a three-round domination of Takashi Sato that ended in his first career submission victory. While Sato was able to score some points, particularly in the second round, it was evident from the early going that this would be a one-sided affar.
“There’s no possible way he was going to come in there and beat me. My energy from that crowd, just seeing the people chanting my name, seeing my Palestinian flags in the crowd…there’s no possible way I was losing this fight.”
With the win, Muhammad curiously became the second fighter of the night to call out Li Jingliang, describing it as a “fun fight.” Whoever his next opponent is, Muhammad has won six of his last seven, and is counting on the powers that create the UFC rankings to “Remember The Name.”