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Athletes

The Right Doors Opened For Belal Muhammad

Welterweight Has Found Endless Ways For Audiences To "Remember The Name"

If there were a pound-for-pound ranking for characters in the UFC, Belal Muhammad would be right at the top of the list.

The UFC welterweight has captured the attention of many with his social media presence and with his “Remember The Show” gameshow / podcast hybrid, which is co-hosted by Jason Anik. Muhammad has built a unique following, connecting with fans by posting parody videos and creating memes, all the while encouraging fans to interact with him.

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When Muhammad first joined the UFC, he wasn’t sure how he should handle his social media. He initially thought he had to promote fitness and be motivational, but that wasn’t him. That’s when he decided to let his personality loose and show people who he really was outside the Octagon.

“I love connecting with people, with fans that love the sport and that are real ones. I can do that by fighting to my potential and by just being a regular guy when I’m not in the cage,” Muhammad told UFC.com. “Bro, I’m just a normal person. I want to have real conversations and I love people. If someone brings me good energy, that’s what I love. I’m attracted to people with good energy and that brings me energy.”

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“At first when I got on social media, I thought I had to act like a professional and it wasn’t getting me anywhere,” Muhammad said. “I just decided to be myself and show the social world my personality and it started taking off. Showing a different side of MMA fighters is important. We aren’t all serious and angry people. I’m a lot nicer than you would you expect. MMA fighters aren’t what a lot of people think they are. I know so many guys in the UFC that have great personalities, but they don’t show it and that sucks.”

Muhammad’s desire to show just how down-to-Earth fighters are is part of the reason why he decided to come up with his podcast “Remember The Show,” where he pits guests (typically fighters) against each other in game show format. By starting the podcast off with a game, Muhammad allows fighters to just be themselves and have fun rather than just participate in an ordinary interview.

It’s the perfect way to let people see fighters having fun in a competitive and interesting way.

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“The podcast space is so crowded, so I knew I wanted to do something different. The game show format allows my personality to come out and that’s what happens with the fighters that come on the show, too,” Muhammad said. “Normal interviews with fighters are typically the same old boring questions, but with the gameshow and with memes, it changes the tone of the show. It makes everyone more relaxed and that’s why I love hosting it.”

Muhammad has filmed 25 episodes of “Remember The Show” with over 60 guests, including fan favorites like Dustin Poirier, Frankie Edgar, Darren Till, Michael Bisping and Chris Weidman. Securing guests for the show is always an adventure, but Muhammad enjoys the chase and is always interested to see the responses he gets from his peers.

“Ninety percent of the time it’s the first time I’ve ever talked to a fighter, so I just usually slide into their DMs,” Muhammad laughed. “I message them until they see it. I’m really out here putting in work to get these guests. Two guys I’ve been trying to get are Daniel Cormier and Max Holloway. I haven’t got them yet, but I will, hopefully soon. I know they’ll like the show. Everyone loves the format and style of the show.”

As “Remember The Show” took off, so did Muhammad’s interest in commentating and being an analyst. He used the podcast as valuable reps to establish his tone and his timing as a host in case the podcast triggered a different opportunity.

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And sure enough, on May 22 it did just that, as Muhammad got the green light to appear on the UFC’s commentary desk for UFC Fight Night: Font vs Garbrandt.

“I’ve always wanted to be an analyst and I always thought that I could be good at it. I saw Paul Felder doing it and I’ve always been a good talker who isn’t boring,” Muhammad said. “There is a big learning curve to live TV; it’s not like I’m sitting at my kitchen table with my laptop anymore. There is timing to work on and doing replays was hard. I gained a ton of respect for the veterans of the broadcast game because it takes so much work and so much skill to be on point all the time.”

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Producers at the UFC let Muhammad know after the show that they enjoyed having him on and that he should expect to hear from them again. That was really all that Muhammad could have hoped for, as it was a new experience and the competitor in him can’t wait for his next shot on the ones and twos.

“I had a whole lot of positive messages afterward but, for me, I wanted the criticism,” Muhammad said. “I want to know what I need to fix, and I really think this is something I could be good at. I feel pretty lucky that I can just be myself and that people like what I have to say and how I say it.”

Even though Muhammad’s career with a mic in his hand is booming, he is still focused on his career inside the Octagon. At UFC 263, Muhammad will face a veteran contender in Demian Maia, as he hopes to bounce back after a disappointing no contest in his bout against Leon Edwards in March.

“If you’re winning fights, people respect you for winning. I don’t want to be known as the funny guy; I want to be known as a great fighter and contender who people tune in to watch because they love to see me fight and like me as a person,” Muhammad said. “I want to keep evolving as a fighter and I want to be a champion. If I can be the champion and be a personality that people connect with, then that means I’m making all the right moves.”

“As long as I’m true to myself and I’m not trying to be something that I’m not, the right doors will open for me.”

Don’t miss Muhammad’s UFC 263 welterweight fight with Maia, which will air exclusively on PPV at 10pm ET / 7pm PT on Saturday June 12. Order the PPV on ESPN+ here.