UFC Fight Night: Stephen Thompson, Belal Muhammad looking to return to title track in welterweight fight

Stephen Thompson has always been an optimist on his journey of self-improvement. Belal Muhammad gets his source from people who post GIFs of him being knocked out. Their redemption arc intersects at UFC Fight Night co-main event, which takes place inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Thompson won the UFC welterweight title in a fight with former champion Tyron Woodley. The failure of a 29-28 unanimous decision to Gilbert Burns in July delayed his latest gold hunt. Looking to rebuild his case as a top contender in the welterweight division, “Wonderboy” draws parallels between his comeback campaign and by Dustin Poirier’s, who then failed to win the UFC lightweight belt from Charles Oliveira at UFC 269.

“I was where Dustin was,” Thompson said. “He’s played well, going up against some tough guys and beating some of the best. Any of those guys could be the champion. That’s the thing about it. All of it. that night and the way you perform, your position, the mindset that is in. I think he can definitely beat Oliveira the way i look at it [against Woodley]. It’s not my night. So the only thing I can do is keep moving forward, keep training hard, keep beating the guys that will put me in place and maybe next time I’ll win. ”

Check out the full interview with Stephen Thompson below.

Muhammad was on his own path of redemption, the path that led to his overtaking Thompson as a result of common rivals Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal.

“It was a huge motivator for me because I had a card in New York when ‘Wonderboy’ played Woodley. It was my first knockout loss. It was what motivated me, what made me want to. go more,” said Muhammad. “To fight a guy like ‘Wonderboy’ who just beat Luque a few games ago, and he also beat Geoff Neal who beat me, that would be a bonus factor for me. I got those people back. In the feeling that I’m a different warrior now.”

Thompson’s moves and counterattacks (16-5-1) have shaped him into one of the UFC’s most elusive fighters – and perhaps saved him a few brain cells. That elusiveness, however, meant that umpires were often involved in Thompson’s fights. Eight of his last nine games have gone to the scoreboard, including a majority draw, a majority decision loss and two unanimous decision defeats. Thompson admits his output needs to increase.

“The last time I was with Gilbert, I was too focused on the takedowns,” Thompson said. I don’t focus on what I should do. So I think that mindset shift helped me a lot in the training camp that led up to this fight. I know he’s a tough opponent and he plays pretty well everywhere. Wherever the fight takes place, I will be ready for it, but being a little more aggressive and keeping the opponent will play an important role in this fight. “

Muhammad (19-3, 1 NC) then won against one of MMA’s greatest jiu-jitsu practitioners, Demian Maia, with a match against the top striker in the welterweight division. Muhammad is confident his extensive research material will materialize to win over Thompson.

Check out the full interview with Belal Muhammad below.

“It was great because I was able to go through three camps watching the former champions fight him. I was there with him. [Tyron] Woodley for his two factions as they battle for the title. I was also there with Anthony Pettis when he had his camp to fight Thompson. I’ve had countless conversations with Gilbert Burns,” said Muhammad. I will fight him the best anyone has ever fought him. It will surprise a lot of people. I’m a guy who reads comments, I read hate because it motivates me and I love it. There’s a million people out there telling me I’m going to get knocked down or they can’t wait to see me get knocked down. I can’t wait to make them bite their word.

“He’s a legend of the sport… He’s the best striker in the league and the most elusive and the hardest game where most people say ‘no’ to a guy. like this. I know this victory will make me pass the edge. This will be bigger than any Leon [Edwards’] win. Honestly, this will put me ahead of him in my book for the next title shot. “

UFC Vegas 45 was noticed by the clash of the top 10 heavyweights when Derrick Lewis met Chris Daukaus.

https://www.cbssports.com/mma/news/ufc-fight-night-stephen-thompson-belal-muhammad-looking-to-get-back-on-title-track-in-welterweight-battle/ UFC Fight Night: Stephen Thompson, Belal Muhammad looking to return to title track in welterweight fight

Curtis Crabtree

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