Earlier this month, the UFC introduced a brand new belt design to mixed martial arts (MMA) fans.
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo was the first champion to have the new design wrapped around his waist. This came after his stunning first-round knockout victory over TJ Dillashaw. Many fans are split on the new design, with some hating it, and others liking the new look. However, theres’s one aspect of the tradition that has changed for good.
When a champion successfully defends their title, they will no longer receive a new belt. Instead, a new stone will be added to the champion’s title plates, keeping the same belt. It was unknown why the UFC decided to make this change, but former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping might have just provided some insight.
Speaking on a recent edition of his podcast, Bisping revealed that former 205-pound champion Rashad Evans divulged to him that UFC President Dana White once said it cost $300,000 to produce the old title designs (via Fightful):
“Rashad Evans, former champion, has a belt at home,” Bisping said. “He was having a conversation with Dana White, Dana White told him that the old belts, the ones that we have are worth $300,000 each.
“That’s what Dana White told Rashad Evans. Mine’s just been gathering dust back there. There’s another one in the other room just gathering dust, if I’d known they were worth $600,000 between them I might get them insured for one and then they get stolen … I’m joking.
“I might at least put them in some kind of case and keep the dust off of them. Apparently Rashad Evans swears they’re worth $300,000 apiece. Which yeah, I was happy. That’s good to know.”
Rather than spend $300,000 on a new belt every time a champion retains their title, the UFC has opted to go a much cheaper route. That will save them a ton of cash in the long