UFC on ESPN+ 1 Gets Welterweight Clash with Muhammad, Neal
With the UFC set to make their debut event on the new ESPN+ streaming platform in January, the card has already pitted a marquee welterweight matchup. Winner of four-straight, Belal Muhammad will put his win-streak on the line against fellow surging 170lb. talent Geoff Neal. The matchup was first reported by Mark La Monica of Newsday Sports. It’s unclear at this time where this fight will take place in the evening’s bout order. Although the event has not been formally named, UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place January 19, 2019 from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY. This will mark the debut event for the UFC in their five-year contract with ESPN.
The 30-year-old Belal Muhammad (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has spent all of 2017 and 2018 in the win column. After going 1-2 in his first three UFC outings, Muhammad has bested the likes of Randy Brown, Jordan Mein, Tim Means and Chase Rencountre, the last of which came this past June at UFC Utica. Muhammad was set to face rising-star Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos this past September but was forced to withdraw due to injury. Originally from Chicago, Muhammad does a majority of his training camps at the elite Roufusport MMA in Milwaukee, Wisconsin alongside UFC standouts Anthony and Sergio Pettis, Gerald Meerschaert, Erik Koch, Paul Felder and the recently-acquired Ben Askren.
Life is about laughing & living, in good & bad times. Getting through whatever comes our way & looking back & smiling.— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) November 1, 2018
Muhammad’s opponent has been on an absolute roll of his own. After scoring a quick, first-round finish on season 1 of the Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Dallas’ Geoff Neal (10-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has been nearly spotless thus far in the UFC. In February, Neal scored a first-round submission over Brian Camozzi at UFC Austin. This past October, Neal scintillated the home Dallas crowd with a picture-perfect head-kick knockout over Frank Camacho at UFC 228. Neal was scheduled to face Luke Jumeau in December at UFC Adelaide but an injury to Jumeau has shifted the 28-year-old to be rebooked on this card. Neal has been training at Fortis MMA under the direction of head-coach Sayif Saud. Neal is part of the Fortis team has put together a remarkable streak across all-levels of mixed martial arts over the last year-and-a-half.
As of now, this matchup is the only bout currently slated for UFC on ESPN+ 1.