LAS VEGAS – Belal Muhammad thinks a win over Stephen Thompson opens the door for some big fights.

Muhammad (19-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) meets Thompson (16-5-1 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) in the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 199 event and if he can get past another former title challenger in “Wonderboy,” Muhammad expects title-implication bouts next.

“The only guys who have beaten (Thompson) in the last whatever years is either the champion or Gilbert Burns, who’s fought for the title,” Muhammad told MMA Junkie at UFC Fight Night 199 media day. “(Thompson has) fought for the title twice so if he fought for the title twice, I just beat (Demian) Maia who fought for the title twice – ‘Bully B’ needs to fight for the title once.”

Unbeaten in his past six fights, Muhammad is coming off a unanimous decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 263 in June. He’s been calling Colby Covington (16-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) out for years and would love nothing more than to get that fight next if victorious on Saturday.

“I truly dislike him,” Muhammad said of Covington. “I don’t like him. I hate him, and I just want to punch him in the face. So after beating this guy, then it’s either Colby or Leon (Edwards) or, in the words of Justin Gaethje, ‘We riot.’”

Another name Muhammad is open to is Khamzat Chimaev (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), who’s being touted as the most avoided fighter on the roster. Although Muhammad is higher ranked, he sees plenty of perks in fighting a rising star like Chimaev.

“He’s the biggest name right now, the biggest star, has the most momentum, the biggest hype,” Muhammad said. “He has Conor McGregor hype where it’s like you beat him, you gain more from beating him than anybody else in the division – where he has this stigma of him being the boogeyman of how he just dominated everybody. So you beat somebody like that, you’re the next star. You steal all of his hype, you steal all of his momentum. So it’s like, why not?”

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