UFC president, Dana White has defended the return of the controversial BMF championship – previously held by Jorge Masvidal, claiming “everybody” under the promotion’s banner wants to clinch the symbolic championship, ahead of its return at UFC 291 in July.
The championship, which was introduced into the promotion back in November 2019, was scheduled to feature just once inside the Octagon – with the victor of a Madison Square Garden clash between welterweight alums, Masvidal, and Nate Diaz competing for the one-and-done crown.
Securing a fourth round doctor’s stoppage TKO victory over Stockton veteran Diaz in New York in the main event of UFC 244, Masvidal managed to mint himself as the inaugural – and purported one-and-only BMF champion, before going on to drop four consecutive losses since winning the symbolic title.
However, given the Miami native’s retirement from mixed martial arts competition back in April following UFC 287, White has confirmed the title is once more up for grabs – and will take center stage between former interim lightweight champions, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje during their long-awaited rematch at UFC 291 on July 29. in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The BMF belt will be on the line once more at UFC 291 in July
Receiving criticizm for the inclusion of the symbolic title in the much-anticipated rematch of Poirier and Gaethje, White has defended the reintroduction of the symbolic belt, claiming everybody wants to clinch it.
“(Jorge) Masvidal retired so we put the BMF belt up,” Dana White told assembled media following UFC Vegas 73. “You have no idea how many of these fighters want to fight for the BMF title. They all want to fight for that belt, so, it’s fun, it’s different. So, we’ll do it again.”
“I mean, when you think about coming up with it the first time, those two were the right guys,” Dana White explained. “So, are these [Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje]. These are the two right guys for that, too. Whether that things in play or not in play, that fight is what it is. But everybody wants that belt, so, what the hell?” [H/T Essentially Sports]