It’s a tall order for Alan Jouban and Belal Muhammad to provide the same kind of thrills as Joe Duffy did against Mitch Clarke, but they’re slated for the next fight, so they’re going to have to try.
Muhammad is making his Octagon debut, and maybe there’s some rookie jitters at play when Jouban clocks him with a punch and sends him to the canvas early. But Muhammad starts putting him through the submission ringer, forcing Jouban to escape from an armbar and a guillotine attempt. They stand and trade a bit, and then… boom! Jouban starches him with a shin to the face. Somehow, Muhammad recovers, despite taking a beating on the ground, and the horn sounds with them on the feet.
They’re much less reckless in the opening of Round 2, with neither man committing to anything that can get them into trouble. But after two minutes Muhammad steps forward and once more Jouban cracks him with a cross and drops him. The Octagon noob recovers and tries to control the fight from the clinch. In the final ten seconds Muhammad briefly gets a takedown; it’s doubtful that gives him the round, though.
Like a Terminator, Muhammad keeps coming despite the damage, and in Round 3 the constant pressure is making Jouban a tired punch-magnet. The hits are steady, but in the final minute, holy cow does Jouban take a beating. He survives to the final horn, providing some great drama.
Result: Alan Jouban def. Belal Muhammad via Unanimous Decision