UFC 263 is starting to take shape with another bout in the form of Belal “Remember the Name” Muhammad taking on one of the very best jiu jitsu practioners in MMA, Demian Maia. As of this moment, the card is scheduled to have two championship double headers with Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno being the co-main event. The main event will be headlined by a rematch between Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori on June 12 in Glendale Arizona, where their original meeting took place at the Gila River Arena.
This will be Muhammad’s 2nd bout in 2021. His first bout didn’t go as planned against Leon Edwards as a nasty eye poke ended the fight with the result being a “no contest” and unfortunately for Muhammad he didn’t received a rematch against Edwards. That fight was a huge opportunity for the fans to remember the name of Muhammad (pun intended). Fortunately for him, he will receive another chance with a well recognized UFC veteran in Demian Maia.
Maia is one of the best submission artists in the history of MMA with 14 of his 28 wins coming by submission. Maia is 43 years old but that doesn’t mean he’s an easy outing by any means as he has won 3 of his last 4 bouts including a submission victory over Ben Askren in 2019.
Maia’s name carries a lot of respect throughout MMA so this is a big opportunity for Muhammad. The last few fighters who have challenged for the welterweight title had to get through Maia to obtain an opportunity, the list includes current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, and most recently Gilbert Burns. If Muhammad proves to be successful, he can easily line himself up for a potential bout with a top 5 welterweight in the very near future.
The game plans for both men are as obvious as it gets. For Muhammad, he has to keep the fight standing at all costs because of how good Maia is when he wraps his hands around you. Muhammad will have to keep the fight at distance to ensure few takedown attempts by Maia, and force Maia to stand at a comfortable striking distance.
For Maia, it’s quite the opposite. All he wants is to be able to get a hold of you. The Brazilian ace doesn’t even have to land a takedown. He has proven capable of locking submissions from the clinch as he has proven time and time again you don’t want to grapple with him.
UFC 263 is long from being done in terms of bouts being announced. But, for now we have 3 bouts that are sure to bring excitement to the fans.