UFC 288: Burns vs. Muhammad Sacrifices Top Contender for Short-Term Fix

by MKhanal Fri May,2023
UFC 288: Burns vs. Muhammad Sacrifices Top Contender for Short-Term Fix

The UFC 288 event saw a highly anticipated Welterweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad. However, the fight drew criticism from some fans and analysts, who felt that it sacrificed a top contender in pursuit of a short-term fix.

Gilbert Burns was initially scheduled to fight Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight title at UFC 256 in December 2020. However, Burns had to pull out of the fight after testing positive for COVID-19. Usman went on to defend his title against Jorge Masvidal, and Burns was left without a fight.

Belal Muhammad, on the other hand, was coming off a win against Dhiego Lima in February and was looking to make a name for himself in the division. The fight between Burns and Muhammad was seen as a chance for both fighters to move up in the rankings and establish themselves as top contenders.

However, some fans and analysts felt that the fight was a short-term fix for the UFC, rather than a meaningful matchup for the fighters. With Burns already being a top-ranked contender, many felt that he should have been given a more meaningful fight, rather than facing an up-and-coming fighter like Muhammad.

The fight itself was a closely contested bout, with both fighters showing their skills and trading blows. In the end, it was Burns who was able to come out on top, winning by unanimous decision. While the victory was important for Burns, many felt that it did little to further his status as a top contender in the division.

The criticism of the Burns vs. Muhammad fight highlights a larger issue within the UFC of sacrificing top contenders in pursuit of short-term fixes. With the UFC's focus on creating exciting matchups and building stars, many fighters are being passed over for more meaningful fights in favor of those that are seen as more marketable.

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