Belal Muhammad is not short of confidence! The American born, Palestinian bred welterweight believes that he is the only man in the division who can beat Khamzat Chimaev.

In an interview with MMA Junkie he described Chimaev as,

“A guy that could beat everybody in the division, except for me!”

It is a bold claim from the #6 ranked welterweight. But while Chimaev might well be the scariest fighter on the UFC roster it is clear that Muhammed is one man who definitely isn’t scared of him.

Khamzat Chimaev sparring at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket in preparation for UFC 273

Everyone bleeds

Chimaev’s reputation for invincibility seems to have been dented despite his hard fought decision win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 last weekend. The Brazilian had his moments in that fight and became the first opponent to ever go the distance with the undefeated Swedish welterweight.

But Muhammad’s opinion of Chimaev was clearly not changed by that performance,

“He was always human to me, that’s why I wanted that fight. I think he’s still a great fighter. He’s undefeated and still super young. I think people just put him as this robot, this Marvel character that he’s just going to touch you and they fall. We all bleed, we’re all human beings. They put him at so high that now that he didn’t walk through the #2 in the world, he sucks.”

Khamzat Chimaev sparring at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket in preparation for UFC 273

Collision course

The fight between Chimaev and Burns did not have a title at stake but was arguably the biggest on the UFC 273 card, it certainly seemed to attract the most interest. Without a belt on the line or main event status the bout was a three rounder and Muhammed would have loved to see ten more minutes,

“It would’ve been interesting. It was a back-and-forth war. My take on it was who was going to gas out first? Who was going to have more in the tank? In that third round they were both tired, but fighting out of big heart, so it would’ve been interesting to see what would’ve happened with two more rounds.”

A title shot might be next for the #3 ranked Chimaev. But Muhammed could potentially leapfrog him in the welterweight standings with a win over Vincent Luque at UFC Vegas 51 this weekend.

With Chimaev fighting last weekend and Muhammed in action later this week their schedules look aligned. Could we see these two top welterweight contenders facing off later in the year?