Dubai: Palestinian fighter Belal Muhammad understands that pride is a powerful emotion he brings to the Octagon every time he fights. And when Chicago-born mixed martial artist Brazilian veteran Demian Mia battles Saturday’s UFC 263 card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, Muhammad will fight for much more than victory as he rises to the top. top of the talented welterweight division, headed by the invincible Kamaru Usman. “I fight for Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians,” Muhammad told Gulf News via zoom from Las Vegas. ‘I represent a whole group of people. I want to be one of the role models that children can look up to and say that one day I want to be like him. ‘So there will be a lot going on on Saturday when I face Mia. ‘I’m very excited about this fight. He is a legend and is one of the guys I have always wanted to test myself against, ‘he added. “It’s going to be a great fight and I see my hand raised in the end.”
Muhammad (18-3) started the fight due to a ‘no match’ against Britain’s Leon Edwards, where he suffered a terrible eye injury that stopped the fight. “I’m one of those guys just looking forward to it,” he said. ‘This fight is not a step up, I belong here to the Top 10 guys. I always wanted to fight with the best guys in the world and prove what I’m capable of. “I think I can become a world champion, that’s my goal. I always thought I would be the best fighter in the world. I want to get better with every fight and as long as I keep developing, I’m going to be that guy. ” Mia is a tough nail-biter, but that does not worry Muhammad, who is 9-1 in his last ten appearances in the Octagon. “It’s one of those battles you never want to lose,” he says. ‘In the UFC, you can not afford to lose. For every loss you take tree steps back and I handled it. I’m not ashamed of it. “I just want to keep this run going and stay on track for a title.” Muhammad understands that Mia (42) is a serious opponent who possesses functional wrestling skills and also has a very high level of boxing skills. “In most of my fights, I showed my boxing skills, but I have a whole set of tools that I want to show the world that I’m good at,” he said. “If I can do that against Mia, who is one of the best wrestlers in the division, it means I can compete against the top man. And I am confident that I can. ” Muhammad says he knows what submission specialist Mia is going to do comes Saturday.