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In the co-main event of the evening, we have an important fight in the Welterweight division, as former title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson takes on Belal ‘Remember the Name’ Muhammad. A fixture in the Welterweight division, Thompson will look to rebound from a defeat to Gilbert Burns. A fight in which Thompson was taken down and controlled for two of the three rounds, resulting in a decision defeat. Prior to the loss, Thompson had won two-straight. Meanwhile, Muhammad comes into the fight unbeaten since in nearly three years. During those three years, Muhammad has won five fights, including a massive one in his most recent fight against Demian Maia.
This is an exciting and important fight in the Welterweight division. Stephen Thompson, while falling flat in his most recent fight to Gilbert Burns, has been a perennial contender for the last five years. One of the best strikers in the UFC, Thompson is a phenomenal kickboxer who utilizes the karate stance like no other. Staying light on his feet, Thompson has shown an ability to either counter foes who engage or burst at them with combinations. One not to brawl, Thompson does an excellent job of hitting and then getting out. The one knock on Thompson has been his takedown defense, which was exploited by Gilbert Burns and will be tested against Belal Muhammad. A wrestler who is well versed in the striking department, Muhammad is a high IQ and gameplan type fighter. Always looking to exploit fighters weaknesses, Muhammad will look to takedown a striker or keep the fight upright against a wrestler. With ten wins in thirteen UFC fights, Muhammad is flat out a winner.
As for a prediction, I’m going with Thompson. While I could definitely see Muhammad pushing Thompson against the cage and constantly attempting to take him down, I feel that Thompson will be better prepared for that this time around. Whether it’s better takedown defense, movement or making Muhammad pay when he gets close, I believe Thompson will have made the necessary adjustments to keep this fight upright. From there, Muhammad can bring forth the volume, but the technique and cleaner shots will come from Thompson. So with that said, I predict that Thompson will win via decision.