In the upcoming UFC 291 main event, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje will battle it out for the vacant “BMF” title, a decision that has garnered approval from the previous champion, Jorge Masvidal.
Following his defeat to Gilbert Burns at UFC 287, Masvidal retired from MMA, consequently leaving the BMF belt vacant. However, the UFC chose to reintroduce the belt for the forthcoming Poirier-Gaethje clash, a decision that Masvidal wholeheartedly supports.
Expressing his enthusiasm, Masvidal stated on The MMA Hour, “I love it. Keep it alive. They picked the right fighters to do it, that are going to give their all. The first BMF fight showcased what it should be about: two guys going all out, pushing forward relentlessly. If the referee hadn’t intervened, I would have had to go all the way and finish Nate Diaz, because he just kept coming and coming. I was more than ready to take him out. That’s the intensity it should have. When you step into that octagon, you have to go all in, put on a show for the entire world. I believe they made the right choice with these two contenders.”
The concept of the BMF belt originated from Nate Diaz in 2019 after his victory over Anthony Pettis at UFC 241. Diaz expressed his desire to defend the fictional belt against Masvidal. Eventually, the UFC embraced the idea, creating their first non-weight class or tournament-specific title since the Superfight championship in the late 1990s. Masvidal emerged as the inaugural BMF champion by defeating Diaz at UFC 244, and he believes his teammate Poirier is well-equipped to carry on his legacy.
“Obviously, I’m heavily favoring Dustin, not only because he beat him convincingly the first time,” Masvidal affirmed. “I think he’s going to do it even better and cleaner in the rematch. Dustin is just exceptional, and he keeps improving. I train with him, I witness his progress. Gaethje will be playing catch-up from the mistakes he made last time. ‘Let me not do this, let me do that.’ Without revealing too much, I think Dustin will surprise him with some new tactics he has been working on. It’s going to be a fantastic fight, and my boy Dustin will come out victorious, adding another belt to his collection. It’s going to be a memorable night.”
Although the UFC did not consult Masvidal before announcing the return of the BMF title, they did reach out to him for interviews related to the fight. Masvidal is open to that idea, but what he truly desires is to pass the torch to the next champion, similar to how Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson did for him, by officially presenting the belt to the new titleholder.
“Dana, let me be there, let me place the belt on Dustin’s waist,” Masvidal requested. “Let’s make it happen. Dana, Hunter [Campbell], I don’t know whom you’re considering, but I wholeheartedly agree [that I should do it]. And then Dustin can pass the belt to the next fighter. It’s about maintaining tradition.”
When this proposal was presented to Dana White at UFC 290, he appeared receptive to the idea.
Poirier and Gaethje previously squared off in 2018, delivering an intense battle that was recognized as MMA Hook’s Fight of the Year. Poirier emerged victorious with a fourth-round TKO. Now, five years later, they are set to clash again, with a probable No. 1 contender position at stake. However, Masvidal mentioned that if Gaethje were to win, despite his retirement, he might be tempted to return and reclaim what was once his.
“Since I left, I’ve always said I’m gone for now, but who knows? I love this sport too much,” Masvidal revealed. “Whenever I have a good training session, it’s counterproductive because I start thinking, ‘I told you, Mike Brown! I’m ready to get back in there!’ And then Mike Brown gives me praise, saying, ‘Man, you’ve never looked better!’ Before you know it, I’m booking a fight.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about BMF title
What is the BMF title in the UFC?
The BMF (Baddest Motherf*****) title in the UFC is a non-weight class or tournament-specific championship. It was created in 2019 after Nate Diaz expressed his desire to defend a fictional belt against Jorge Masvidal. The UFC embraced the idea and introduced the BMF title, which represents the toughest and most exciting fighters in the promotion.
Why was the BMF title vacated?
The BMF title was vacated by Jorge Masvidal when he retired from MMA after his loss to Gilbert Burns at UFC 287. Masvidal’s retirement led to the UFC’s decision to bring back the belt for the upcoming fight between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje at UFC 291.
Who will fight for the vacant BMF title?
Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje are set to fight for the vacant BMF title at UFC 291. Both fighters have a reputation for their toughness and exciting fighting styles, making them fitting candidates for the belt.
What does Jorge Masvidal think of the BMF title fight?
Jorge Masvidal is personally thrilled with the decision to bring back the BMF title for the Poirier-Gaethje fight. He believes that both fighters are the right candidates for the title and expects them to give their all in the octagon. Masvidal has a strong bond with Poirier and is confident in his ability to carry on his legacy as the BMF champion.
Is there a chance for Jorge Masvidal to come out of retirement?
Although Jorge Masvidal retired from MMA, he has hinted that he might return in the future. If Justin Gaethje were to win the BMF title, Masvidal suggested that he might be tempted to come back and reclaim what was once his. However, it remains uncertain whether Masvidal will make a comeback or if his retirement will be permanent.