Belal Muhammad fueled to become first Palestinian UFC champion: ‘Nobody is going to be able erase that’

Belal Muhammad has an opportunity to make history at UFC 304.

Muhammad (23-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) will run things back with welterweight champion Leon Edwards (21-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) in the July 27 main event  at the Co-op Live in Manchester, England.

With Israel’s continued military offensive against Palestine, Muhammad admits it’s been a difficult time to enjoy his recent success. The Palestinian-American has received plenty of support from his home country and plans on honoring them by becoming the first Palestinian to hoist UFC gold.

“Honestly it’s one of those things where you get very emotional when you think about it,” Muhammad told MMA Junkie. “You start thinking about little stuff. You think about how you want to be excited for yourself because this is a huge opportunity, this is a dream you’ve been working for. This is that moment. But you know your people are suffering. Your people are dying right now, and it’s the worst time of my life that I’m being able to witness and see this every single day. You feel guilty to be happy for yourself because you know what they’re going through over there. It’s going to fuel me to go that much harder in training. It’s going to fuel me to not cut any corners.

“It’s going to fuel me to make sure I get my hand raised because they need a victory more than anything. They need a victory. They need to have this flag raised with the UFC title. They need to have this flag raised with their colors associated with hit. It’s going to be in the history books forever. Nobody is going to be able erase that. Nobody is going to be able to go say anything about it. Nobody is going to be able to doubt that they’re going to have a Palestinian champion, 100 percent, 1,000 percent. If that one day, that one moment makes them forget about what they’re going through for 10, 15 minutes, that’s the least I could do.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 304.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie