Is BMF belt now an official UFC title?

May 22, 2023

When the BMF belt was the prize at the end of the rope for Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz at UFC 244, it was supposed to be a one-and-done opportunity. But all of a sudden, the Baddest Motherf**ker championship is again in play. So what gives?

Masvidal and Diaz headlined UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2, 2019. It was one of the rare pay-per-view events where the UFC didn’t have an official weight category championship on the line.

The Masvidal vs. Diaz bout was a popular one to make at the time, as the two had been jawwing with each on social media and via interviews. Both were also popular for their never-say-day fighting styles that weren’t enough to earn either a championship.

But making the bout a little more enticing was the idea that the winner would declare himself that baddest motherf**ker in the sport, so UFC president Dana White made it an official unofficial designation. He even went so far as to have a special BMF championship belt designed for the winner.

At the time, he said it would be a one-and-done thing. He did not expect or even seem to want the winner to defend the belt. It was simply a promotional tool to help sell the fight.

UFC 291 headlined by BMF championship

Now, four years later, welcome to the BMF championship mark two. Fan favorites Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje are set to fight for the BMF belt in the UFC 291 headliner on July 29 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What happened with the one-and-done idea? It’s pretty simple really. The UFC had somewhat committed to a pay-per-view event near the end of July. Initially they wanted that to be Leon Edwards defending his welterweight title opposite Colby Covington in England.

When the Edwards vs. Covington bout was put on hold because of Edwards saying he wouldn’t be fighting again until at least October, there was a bit of a scramble. With most champions already tied to other events, a five-round Poirier vs. Gaethje bout made for an enticing main event. But how to sell it as a pay-per-view with no champions involved?

Thus the BMF belt was resurrected. Though it was supposed to be one and done, the BMF belt is a simple way to add a little something extra to an already enticing fight and help make it PPV main event worthy.

“War room sh*t,” White said, when asked following UFC Vegas 73 about bringing back the BMF belt. “We were putting that card together for Utah. We thought that Poirier and Gaethje is such an awesome fight. Masvidal retired. So we put the BMF (belt up for grabs).”

Everybody wants the BMF belt

Now that the belt has been resurrected, there would certainly seem to be a stronger possibility of it continuing. At least former UFC champion Daniel Cormier thinks it should happen.

“Is this new champion going to defend the BMF title?” Cormier questioned via a video on his YouTube channel. “Because if we’re gonna keep rolling it out, it has to become a thing that gets put on the line.”

The interest is certainly there. Fans have been drawn to the allure of the title, particularly when the bout involves fighters that are known for putting everything on the line and giving everything they have in the cage to finish the fight. And White certainly sounds as if fighters want the belt to be a regular thing.

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“You have no idea how many of these fighters want to fight for the BMF title,” White said. “They all want to fight for that belt. It’s fun, it’s different, so we’ll do it again (with Poirier vs. Gaethje).

“(Masvidal and Diaz) were the two right guys, and these are the two right guys. Everybody wants that belt, so what the hell?”

It hasn’t been determined what happens if the winner then goes on to become a divisional champion or whether they’ll be expected to defend the belt, but it certainly seems that the BMF belt is here to stay.