Belal Muhammad will remain on next month’s UFC return to Sydney against arguably his toughest test as a pro.Muhammad (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) was set to fight “TUF 25” winner Jesse Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) before a failed drug test took Taylor out of their bout at UFC Fight Night 121. Instead, Muhammad will take on veteran welterweight Tim Means (27-8-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC). UFC officials announced the new booking following an initial report from the Daily Telegraph. UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Nov. 18 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.Means got back in the win column in June with a unanimous decision over Alex Garcia at UFC Fight Night 112 in Oklahoma City. Prior to that, he had a pair of bouts against Alex Oliveira. Their first meeting ended in a no-contest when Means landed a pair of illegal knees and Oliveira said he couldn’t continue in Brazil at UFC 207. In their rematch in March, Oliveira submitted Means in the second round. Prior to those fights, he had won six of seven, including a pair of bonus-winning stoppages of George Sullivan and John Howard. His only loss in that stretch was a submission to Matt Brown at UFC 189.
Muhammad has won back-to-back fights and three of his past four. He’s been busy since coming to the promotion for his debut at UFC Fight Night 90 in July 2016, just 13 months ago. Although he lost a decision to Alan Jouban that night, he picked up a “Fight of the Night” bonus.Since then, he has a TKO win over Augusto Montano at UFC Fight Night 94 in Texas, and now consecutive decision wins over Randy Brown and Jordan Mein to get him back on track after a knockout loss to Vicente Luque at UFC 205 this past November at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Taylor completed one of the most memorable long-term comebacks in UFC history in July when he submitted Dhiego Lima in the second round to win Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Taylor was a finalist on Season 7 of the show, but a drunken meltdown caught on camera forced UFC President Dana White to remove him from the final against eventual winner Amir Sadollah, and he was replaced by C.B. Dollaway.But the glory from that “TUF 25” win didn’t last very long. In September, it was revealed that a potential USADA drug testing violation had forced him out of the fight against Muhammad. The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card includes:
Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alex Volkanovski
Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
For more onUFC Fight Night 121, check out theUFC Rumorssection of the site.