On March 14th, 2014, Belal Muhammad will be headed to Hammond Indiana to fight at Bellator 112. Muhammad will be seeking to gain his fifth straight victory since turning pro and will be facing AJ Matthews. Matthews (6-2) is an experienced fighter who trains at Alliance Training Center/Blackline MMA in California, and will be entering into his fourth Bellator fight. The Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Matthews is 2-1 in Bellator career and is coming off of a split deicison loss to Dom O'Grady. Muhammad is a talented local fighter and is poised to make his impact on the National mixed martial arts scene. Visit here for ticket information!
What attracted you to MMA?
The competition attracted me to mma, I’ve been a competitor my whole life with everything I do. I hate losing more than I love winning. Just the fact that it’s one on one, and you and only you can decide the outcome of the fight is what makes me love the sport. There’s no one to blame but yourself if you lose.
How long have you been training?
I’ve been training in mma for about 6 years but I’ve had boxing experience and wrestling experience since high school
Where are you currently training and why?
I like cross train a lot I like to train with the best guys in the area so I go to Elite mma in Chicago, team colon in Indiana, Duneland Vale Tudo in Hobart, and Chicago Fight Team.4. I train in these places because in my opinion the guys from these gyms are the best in the Midwest. More than half the guys I train with are gonna be on the big show and could compete with anyone from any gym in the world. They say iron sharpens iron and I’m definitely training with the best. These gyms always have their doors open and treat u like family everyone leaves their egos at the door and we just go hard.
How many amateur fights did you have prior to turning Pro?
I had 5 amateur fights in Chicago and one which was supposed to be pro but ended up not being sanctioned is Guadalajara Mexico.
This will be your second fight for Bellator, how do you feel fighting for Bellator again?
Yea this is my second fight for Bellator. I’m more excited just to be fighting again I love being under the lights no matter where those lights are. I’ve only fought for two companies since turning pro, HFC and Bellator, and both have treated me well so it’s not like I’m going from bar room brawls to the big show HFC is one of the top shows in the area.
What can you tell me about your opponent AJ Matthews?
About my opponent, he looks like a striker he’s 6-2 with 5 knockouts so I’m assuming he may have some decent standup skills.
How do you see the fight going?
I’m not big on game plans, everyone has a plan until they get hit. I train with the best guys and they’re all well rounded so I’m comfortable with wherever the fight goes I’ve been in every situation during practice so it’s gonna be like second nature come fight time
Anyone you would like to thank or final thoughts?
Yeaj I would like to thank the fellas from Team Elite, Team Colon, Duneland Vale Tudo and Chicago Fight Team. These are the best gyms in the area and their doors are always open so don’t be afraid to get new some new looks in training. I also want to thank my strength and conditioning coaches Moody Sulieman and Asef Askar, my nutritionists Alex and Oscar and to everyone that continues to follow and support me on my road to the top.