Chael Sonnen expressed his confusion over the UFC’s decision to bring in Belal Muhammad as a backup fighter for the upcoming welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington at UFC 296.
In a recent YouTube video, Sonnen delved into the unexpected move by the UFC, raising questions about the timing and reasoning behind this decision.
Sonnen began by acknowledging the professionalism of Muhammad, who was reportedly in shape and within striking distance of the required weight. “What a professional,” Sonnen commended, highlighting Muhammad’s readiness to step in on short notice at UFC 296.
However, the surprise in Sonnen’s tone was evident as he pondered why Muhammad was only just called for this role.
“If he was just called, why was he just called? Does that mean something more?” Sonnen questioned.
He speculated that the UFC must have received some information that prompted them to secure a backup fighter for a card already stacked with top-ranked welterweights.
Sonnen also pointed out the unusual nature of this late call, especially considering the UFC’s history of keeping backup fighters a secret.
He recalled the instance when Colby Covington was secretly prepared as a backup for the trilogy fight between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards in England. “No one saw him,” Sonnen said, contrasting Covington’s hidden role with Muhammad’s public disclosure.
The former fighter-turned-analyst was left wondering about the UFC’s motives and the information they might have received.
“That’s a scramble move to potentially replace your main event one week before,” he stated, emphasizing the rarity of such a decision.
Sonnen’s analysis highlighted the intrigue and unpredictability surrounding UFC 296.
With Muhammad now in the mix as a backup, the event has added another layer of excitement and speculation.