UFC 288: Conor McGregor reacts to 'piss poor' Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns fight (Video)

UFC 213: Nunes vs Shevchenko
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UFC 288: Conor McGregor criticizes Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns.

Belal Muhammad defeated Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision (50–45, 49–46, 49–46) at UFC 288 ... but some people were not impressed with the fight.

Never one to keep quiet, former UFC champion Conor McGregor criticized the UFC 288 co-main event. McGregor called the bout, "piss poor."

"You give me eight weeks, I'll beat Jon Jones. You give me three weeks, I'll beat any welterweight in the world... My first thoughts are New Jersey you suck. Leon (Edwards), Colby (Covington), I'm coming for both of you," said Muhammad.

The two rights traded strikes to open the fight. Muhammad continually switched between stances. Burns landed a leg kick but Muhammad answered right back with a straight left. Muhammad won the first grappling exchange but Burns was able to quickly separate. Burns continued to find success with his kicks but after every kick, Muhammad would land a counter. By the end of the round, Burns' nose started bleeding.

Muhammad opened the second round with a kick to the body. Burns continued to score with low outside leg kicks. Burns landed a powerful right but could not follow it up. Burns landed another right that sent Muhammad stumbling but he recovered fast. Muhammad landed another kick to the body.

Gilbert Burns fought with one arm after mi-fight injury

Burns opened the third round with a powerful low outside leg kick. The two fighters had slowed noticeably since their pace in the first round. Burns corner suggested that he might have suffered a shoulder injury in the fight. Muhammad continued to mix his strikes in with his high kick.

Between rounds Burns told his corner that he cannot throw his left hand. Muhammad landed a powerful body kick. Burns landed back to back right hands. Muhammad continued to attack Burns with left kicks. Burns attempted to pick an ankle but gave up on it. Burns landed a body kick. Muhammad landed a knee to the body. Muhammad started walking down Burns and attacking the injured shoulder. Burns connected with a big right hand to the jaw.

Burns changed levels and immediately gave up on the takedown. Muhammad continued to take the middle of the Octagon and control the fight. Muhammad continued to land powerful punches more often than Burns. Following the end of the fight, the UFC broadcast showed the takedown attempt in the first round. Daniel Cormier explained that the weight of both fighters landed on Burns' left shoulder and could have been when the injury occurred.

Both fighters entered Saturday's fight knowing a win would earn them a future title shot. Muhammad entered as the fourth-ranked welterweight, one spot ahead of Burns. The two fighters agreed to the fight on short notice after the previous co-main event between Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush was rescheduled for UFC 289. With the victory, Muhammad becomes the top contender in the welterweight division. Muhammad will face the winning of the Leon Edwards and Colby Covington fight.

Muhammad entered the Octagon unbeaten in his last nine fights, with eight victories. The lone fight that Muhammad did not win was a no-contest against Edwards on March 13, 2021. In his last fight, Muhammad knocked out Sean Brady. The loss was the first of Brady's career and earned Muhammad a performance of the night bonus. With his victory, Muhammad improved to 22-3, with one no-contest.

Burns last fought at UFC 287 when he easily defeated Jorge Masvidal. The fight was Burns' ninth victory in his last 11 fights. The only fighters to beat Burns since UFC 231, almost five years ago, are Kamaru Usman and Khazmat Chimaev. Burns dropped to 22-6.

UFC 288: Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo took place on Saturday, May 6, 2023, live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.