Nate Diaz | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Dana White is pumping the brakes on the hype surrounding the UFC’s newest championship title.
The UFC president announced earlier today that not only will fan favorite welterweights Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal headline the upcoming UFC 244 pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden, they’ll also be competing for a brand new “BMF belt.”
While he’s serious about creating unique prize for the two to fight over, White made it clear at the UFC 242 post-fight presser on Saturday that the BMF title will not be treated like a standard championship nor will it be defended after Nov. 2.
“No. It’s a one-and-done,” White said when asked to elaborate on the future of the title. “Whoever wins, wins the belt and claims the title. ‘BMF.’”
The letters “BMF” probably don’t need any explanation, but White gave credit to Diaz for the concept. Diaz recently returned from a three-year hiatus to defeat Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 and afterwards he used some colorful language to call out Masvidal, who was in attendance.
“This fight is one of those fights that sort of took on a life of its own,” White said. “Nate said in his interview this is a fight to see who’s the baddest motherf**cker in the game. He’s like, ‘That’s what this championship is.’ So alright, I’m in.”
This unorthodox approach to building up a main event only occurred after talks broke down between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and top contender Colby Covington. White confirmed that a matchup between Usman and Covington has long been in the works, with UFC 244 being a logical destination for the grudge match, but for reasons that he declined to discuss further, the two sides could not come to a bout agreement.
So his team knuckled down to put together the Masvidal-Diaz fight and within 12 hours the UFC 244 main event was a go.
“That fight started to come together late last night and we got it done,” White said. “We offered Usman fights and they didn’t jump on it, so we rolled and we made another fight.”
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