UFC Matchmaker: Khamzat Chimaev – Belal Muhammad

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 45, Belal Muhammad (20-3, 1 NC) took on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-6-1) in the co-main event. This was a huge fight for Muhammad who was looking to establish himself near the top of the welterweight division.

The fight couldn’t have gone better for Muhammad. From the opening bell, Muhammad was all over Wonderboy. Wonderboy is insanely dangerous from range and Muhammad never gave him room to operate.

In the past, we’ve seen Wonderboy show off incredible takedown defense. However, he had no defense for Muhammad. Muhammad was suffocating with his attack and took Wonderboy down at will on Saturday night.

In the end, it was a lopsided win for Muhammad at UFC Vegas 45 which included a scorecard of 30-25. After the fight was over, Muhammad made headlines as he called out Kamaru Usman.

However, we all know that he’s not getting a title shot next. That said, the stars appear to be aligning for a big time matchup between Muhammad and the UFC’s top welterweight prospect.

Will the UFC book Muhammad – Chimaev?

The hottest name in the UFC’s welterweight division is Khamzat Chimaev (10-0). Chimaev has been historically dominant since making his debut with the UFC on Fight Island last year.

To give you an idea, in four fights, he’s absorbed one strike. That is truly insane to think about. In his last performance against Li Jingliang at UFC 267, he looked like a monster.

Chimaev picked up Li and carried him over to Dana White. He slammed him to the mat and proceeded to batter the top fifteen contender before choking him unconscious. Talk about a statement victory.

Nobody is asking to fight Chimaev outside of Neil Magny. Well, yesterday Muhammad took to Twitter and posted a photo of himself facing off with Chimaev. Muhammad said he’s down for the fight and Chimaev responded this morning.

To me, this is the perfect fight for the UFC to make. If Muhammad wins, he will get the much needed rub that he needs to make him a compelling title challenger. If Chimaev wins, the UFC’s brightest young star leaps right to the top of the division.

After big knockout win at UFC Vegas 45, what’s next for Derrick Lewis?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 45, we saw a heavyweight showdown in the main event. Two of the biggest knockout artists in the division went head-to-head as two-time title challenger Derrick Lewis (26-8, 1 NC) took on Chris Daukaus (12-4).

Entering the bout, Daukaus was actually the betting favorite. This was a surprise to many in the industry given the fact that Lewis was a two-time title challenger while Daukaus hasn’t fought anyone in the top ten at heavyweight.

That said, Lewis’ last performance gave a lot of people pause. Lewis fought Ciryl Gane for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 265. The Black Beast never really got going and was ultimately stopped in the third round.

That performance frustrated Lewis and he vowed to be better at UFC Vegas 45. Well, you could tell from the opening bell that this was a very different Derrick Lewis on Saturday night.

Daukaus was doing what he needed to do in the first which was circle the outside. Lewis was plotting forward just biting his time until he was ready to attack.

Well, just over three minutes into the first round, Lewis was ready. The Black Beast rushed forward and swarmed Daukaus against the fence. Lewis was throwing serious heat and Daukaus just tried to survive.

However, the power proved to be too much. The UFC’s heavyweight knockout king was able to land some clean shots during the barrage and put Daukaus out cold. He made a massive statement with that win on Saturday night.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 45?

Derrick Lewis made a massive statement on Saturday night. The way he fought showed everyone that his performance at UFC 265 might’ve just been the nerves of trying to become champion in his hometown. The Derrick Lewis we saw on Saturday night is one that can knock out any man on the roster.

So, after that big win, who should be next for The Black Beast? To me, there’s really only one answer to this question. I think the next man that Lewis should fight is former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (20-4) in a title eliminator.

Next month, Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane will fight for the heavyweight title. While the UFC hasn’t come out and said it, the general consensus is that Jon Jones will likely be the next in line to challenge for the title. Stipe Miocic is going to be the odd man out again.

With that, Miocic and Lewis would be a helluva fight that could determine who will get another crack at UFC gold.

After loss at UFC Vegas 45, what’s next for Wonderboy Thompson?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 45, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (16-6-1) took on Belal Muhammad (20-3, 1 NC) in the co-main event of the evening. This was a big matchup for the welterweight division.

Wonderboy was trying to bounce back after his loss to Gilbert Burns over the summer. Had Wonderboy won that fight, he would’ve likely been the next in line for a shot at the UFC welterweight title.

However, Burns got the best of him. Burns was able to use a grappling heavy attack to neutralize the great striker Wonderboy. Given his wrestling background, many thought that Belal Muhammad would institute that same gameplan.

Turns out, that’s exactly what happened. From the opening bell at UFC Vegas 45, Muhammad gave Wonderboy no space to operate. Wonderboy was stifled by the attack and really couldn’t get anything going.

When they were in space, Wonderboy was definitely landing the better shots. However, those moments of space were few and very far between. In the end, Muhammad won a very lopsided decision at UFC Vegas 45.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 45?

This was a really tough one for Wonderboy Thompson. Had he won this fight, he would’ve likely only been one more impressive win from a title shot. However, he fell short again and now he’s looking at a complete reset after back-to-back losses.

With that, who should the UFC pair him with next? Well, the most logical matchup for Wonderboy would be another fighter who is a terrible matchup for him stylistically.

If you’re looking at the division, a great next fight would be Michael Chiesa (17-6). Both men have suffered back-to-back losses and are at a similar spot in the division. Again, this is a tough spot for Wonderboy given the matchup.

Another potential fight could be a fight with Neil Magny (25-8). Magny is 4-1 in his last five and his last win is the same as Wonderboy’s and that’s a decision win over Geoff Neal. This would be another solid route for the UFC to go.

UFC Vegas 45: Is Angela Hill cursed?

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC Vegas 45, we saw a very entertaining matchup in the women’s strawweight division. One of the more popular fighters in the promotion, Angela Hill (13-11) was taking on the dangerous Amanda Lemos (11-1-1).

Both of these ladies were inside the UFC’s top fifteen entering the contest. In the first round, Lemos really showed off her power by dropping Hill. She used a beautiful combination of a front kick followed up by some straight shots.

Without question, Lemos won the first round. However, just like she normally does, Angela Hill answered back. Hill came out strong in the second round and was landing big shots. In fact, she even rocked Lemos at one point. I had the second round going to Hill.

The third round was very competitive with both fighters having good moments. Ultimately, I leaned towards Hill in the final round. The judges have not been kind to Hill in her UFC career and this was going to be another close decision.

In the end, it was a split decision that went towards Amanda Lemos at UFC Vegas 45. It was the fourth split decision loss that Hill has suffered over the past couple of years. One has to wonder after UFC Vegas 45 if Hill is just cursed at this point.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 45?

Dana White said after UFC Vegas 45 that he believed that Hill won the fight. As mentioned this is the fourth time that Hill has lost a close fight by split decision. Two of those other split decision losses came over the last couple of years against top contenders Michelle Waterson and Claudia Gadelha.

Had Hill been given the nod there, who knows where she would be in terms of the rest of the UFC’s strawweight division. Hell, she might’ve been near the very top or challenging for a title had she been given the nod there.

Instead, Hill is 0-4 every time there’s been a split decision in her UFC career. Well, after this latest setback, where does Hill go from here? I think she should still be taking on top fifteen talent. She’s proven that’s where she belongs.

In terms of an opponent, I like Hill taking on Virna Jandiroba (17-3) next. Both of these contenders are right next to each other in the rankings and both are coming off losses. This seems like a good next fight for both.

Derrick Lewis knocks Chris Daukaus out at UFC Vegas 45

In the main event of UFC Vegas 45, we saw a big time showdown in the heavyweight division. Former two-time title challenger Derrick Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) returned as he took on the surging Chris Daukaus (12-3).

This was a massive step up in competition for Daukaus who was getting his first taste of a UFC main event. The last time we saw Daukaus was back in September when he took on Shamil Abdurakhimov.

Daukaus scored a second round knockout. That win moved him to 4-0 in the UFC and all four of those wins have come via knockout. Now, he was tasked with taking on the greatest knockout artist in heavyweight history.

The record holder for the most knockouts in UFC history is ‘The Black Beast’. Derrick Lewis has ungodly one-punch knockout power and that power has made him a star with the promotion.

Well, that power and his personality. The last time we saw Lewis was at UFC 265 when he had a shot at the interim heavyweight champion against Ciryl Gane. He came up short that night, but he was hoping to turn things around at UFC Vegas 45.

UFC Vegas 45 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 45 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Lewis holds the center as Daukaus circles on the outside. Both men just trying to feel the other out here in the opening seconds. Lots of feints from Daukaus as Lewis is just stalking him here.

Daukaus throws his first combination but was a bit out of range. Nice leg kick from Daukaus. Lewis just plotting forward here. Leg kick from Daukaus and Lewis explodes forward with a right hand that just misses but Daukaus felt that power.

Heavy leg kick from Lewis then both men exchange big shots. Now it’s Daukaus moving forward. High kick attempt from Lewis and now he’s coming forward. Beautiful leg kick lands from Daukaus and he lands another on The Black Beast.

Here comes Lewis. Massive power shots in the clinch and Daukaus is covering up but Lewis is all over him. Daukaus is fighting back but Lewis is giving him no room to breathe. Crippling shot from Lewis and Daukaus is out cold. Another huge knockout win for The Black Beast.

Derrick Lewis def. Chris Daukaus by KO – Round 1

Belal Muhammad dominates Wonderboy Thompson at UFC Vegas 45

In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 45 we saw a showdown between top welterweight contenders. Former title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (16-5-1) returned to take on Belal Muhammad (19-3, 1 NC).

The last time we saw Wonderboy was back at UFC 264. That night, he lost a decision to Gilbert Burns. That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak. Had he won that night, he would’ve likely earned a UFC title shot.

However, Burns was able to best him which has caused him to reset. Wonderboy is still near the very top of the welterweight division but he needs to string together another set of wins before setting his eyes on the title.

Wonderboy was looking for the first of those wins at UFC Vegas 45. However, he has a tough test in Belal Muhammad. Muhammad hasn’t suffered a true loss in the UFC since his decision loss to Geoff Neal back in 2019.

He’s gone 5-0, 1 NC in his last six fights. The last time we saw Muhammad was against Demian Maia back at UFC 263. It was a lackluster fight but Muhammad got the decision win. He was looking for his biggest UFC win tonight.

UFC Vegas 45 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 45 co-main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Immediate pressure from Muhammad and Wonderboy lands a side kick to the body. High kick from Wonderboy lands and Muhammad shoots for a takedown.

Nice takedown defense from Thompson and he lands a couple of shots on Muhammad. Nice combination from Wonderboy on the break. Muhammad goes right back on the pressure as he’s looking to get a takedown. Muhammad gets deep on a takedown attempt and drags Wonderboy down against the fence.

The two men are trading shots along the fence and Wonderboy is using the fence trying to get up. Thompson works his way back to his feet and Muhammad presses him against the fence. Wonderboy reverses things and lands a nice knee to the body before separating.

However, the separation lasts for only seconds as Muhammad goes right back in for a takedown. He’s relentless with this attempt and gets Wonderboy down. Wonderboy gets back to his feet but Muhammad is able to get to his back.

A big slam from Muhammad and he gets the back mount. Thompson gets flattened out and Muhammad starts going to work on the ground and pound. Wonderboy is in trouble but not much time left. The round ends and it’s 1-0 Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 45.

Round 2

Entering the second round at UFC Vegas 45 and Wonderboy has to keep this fight standing. They touch gloves and Muhammad goes right back on the pressure. Nice left straight lands for Wonderboy. Head kick from Wonderboy is blocked by Muhammad.

Nice combination lands for Wonderboy. More pressure from Muhammad but he eats another combination from Wonderboy. However, Muhammad is able to get deep on a takedown attempt and he drags Thompson to the ground.

Wonderboy uses the fence and is able to get back to his feet. However, Muhammad keeps pressing and uses an ankle pick to get Wonderboy down to the ground. Muhammad is attacking a kimura but can’t quite lock it in.

Not much action here as Muhammad continues to control Wonderboy here. Muhammad transitions to side control as he continues to look for the kimura. Not much Wonderboy can do here with under a minute left in the round. The round ends and it was a dominant one for Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 45.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 45 and Wonderboy is going to need a finish. Muhammad immediately goes on the pressure and Wonderboy tries to land a big combination. However, Muhammad gets a body lock and pushes him up against the fence.

Muhammad gets the takedown and gets right into a dominant position. Wonderboy is using the fence to try and get up. However, Muhammad is landing some decent shots in the clinch here. Wonderboy uses the fence and gets up to his feet.

That said, Muhammad is not giving him any space. Wonderboy gets a break and lands a shot but immediately takes him right back down. This is the most I’ve ever seen Wonderboy taken down in a UFC fight. Wonderboy has two minutes to get up.

Muhammad gets into half guard and starts landing some nice elbows. Now Muhammad finds himself in side control and he’s trying to get to the mount. Wonderboy looks completely dejected on the bottom here.

Thirty seconds left and more elbows are landing for Muhammad. This is going to be a huge win for Belal Muhammad. The fight ends and it was a dominant performance for Belal Muhammad.

Belal Muhammad def. Stephen Thompson by Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-26)

UFC Vegas 45 Preview: Stephen Thompson – Belal Muhammad

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 45 is a showdown between top welterweight contenders. Former title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (16-5-1) returns to take on Belal Muhammad (19-3, 1 NC).

The last time we saw Wonderboy was back at UFC 264. That night, he lost a decision to Gilbert Burns. That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak. Had he won that night, he would’ve likely earned a UFC title shot.

However, Burns was able to best him which has caused him to reset. Wonderboy is still near the very top of the welterweight division but he needs to string together another set of wins before setting his eyes on the title.

The first of those wins could come at UFC Vegas 45. However, he has a tough test in Belal Muhammad. Muhammad hasn’t suffered a true loss in the UFC since his decision loss to Geoff Neal back in 2019.

He’s gone 5-0, 1 NC in his last six fights. The last time we saw Muhammad was against Demian Maia back at UFC 263. It was a lackluster fight but Muhammad got the decision win. He’s looking for his biggest UFC win tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 45 Prediction

A lot of this fight is going to come down to the takedowns. I don’t think anyone believes that Belal Muhammad can win a striking fight with Wonderboy at UFC Vegas 45. If he’s distance striking with Wonderboy, he will lose all three rounds.

Muhammad needs to fight with a lot of pressure and he needs to try and force clinches. Gilbert Burns was able to get Wonderboy down and neutralize him. That game plan will be one that Muhammad needs to follow.

I expect Muhammad to try and make this fight dirty tomorrow night. Expect him to try and force a lot of clinches and shoot for takedowns. However, I don’t think he’s going to be successful enough to get the W.

In the end, I see UFC Vegas 45 being Wonderboy’s night. I just think he’ll be too slick on the feet and I think he’ll score enough points to offset whatever offense Muhammad has.

Prediction: Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson by Unanimous Decision

UFC Vegas 45 Preview: Derrick Lewis – Chris Daukaus

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 45, we will see a big time showdown in the heavyweight division. Former two-time title challenger Derrick Lewis (25-8) returns as he takes on the surging Chris Daukaus (12-3).

This is a massive step up in competition for Daukaus who is getting his first taste of a UFC main event. The last time we saw Daukaus was back in September when he took on Shamil Abdurakhimov.

Daukaus scored a second round knockout. That win moved him to 4-0 in the UFC and all four of those wins have come via knockout. Now, he’s taking on the greatest knockout artist in heavyweight history.

The record holder for the most knockouts in UFC history is ‘The Black Beast’. Derrick Lewis has ungodly one-punch knockout power and that power has made him a star with the promotion.

Well, that power and his personality. The last time we saw Lewis was at UFC 265 when he had a shot at the interim heavyweight champion against Ciryl Gane. He came up short that night, but he’s hoping to turn things around at UFC Vegas 45.

UFC Vegas 45 Prediction

If you want someone who can give Derrick Lewis problems, you want someone who is really fast and slick on the feet. Someone like a Ciryl Gane who was able to really expose Lewis when they fought.

Chris Daukaus possesses a lot of those qualities which will make him a challenge for Lewis at UFC Vegas 45. Daukaus is very quick on the feet and he does a great job of throwing combinations.

Not too mention he’s also very good on the ground, we just haven’t seen that part of his game. Daukaus is more technical and slick on the feet. That said, Derrick Lewis can win any fight he’s in due to his power alone.

It doesn’t matter how good Daukaus looks, Lewis can turn the lights off with one shot and we’ve seen Daukaus finished before. That power has really made the UFC Vegas 45 main event so intriguing.

I really like Daukaus as a prospect for the heavyweight division. However, I don’t think I can pick against Lewis here. The odds of him landing one bomb are decent and I’m not sure Daukaus will be standing after it lands.

Prediction: Derrick Lewis by KO – Round 2