UFC president Dana White has answered one of the big questions going into UFC 251: Will Jorge Masvidal’s “BMF” belt be up for grabs when he fights Kamaru Usman?

The answer is no.

Since Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC) stepped into Saturday’s headliner in place of Gilbert Burns to challenge Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) for the welterweight title, questions have lingered if “Gamebred” will put up the special strap that was created for his fight with Nate Diaz in November. It was promoted as a one-time thing leading up to the event, but Masvidal has made it part of his identity, and Usman has said he wants it.

Usman thinks Masvidal’s belt is worthless and nowhere as decorated as the official UFC championship in his possession. He said he wants to take it from Masvidal, though, just so he can “throw it in the closet” and take the “BMF” status off his rival.

White revealed that Usman has shown an eagerness behind the scenes to have that stipulation added to the UFC 251 headliner, but it’s not happening.

“It is not on the line,” White told TMZ. “Usman wants it to be on the line so bad, he will not stop texting me saying, ‘I don’t understand why this belt isn’t on the line. This guy’s running around saying he’s the ‘BMF’ champ. I want to squash it all. He’s not going to win my title, and I’m going take his ‘BMF’ belt.’ Believe me, Usman has not stopped terrorizing me about this. That was like a one-and-done, the ‘BMF’ title.”

Although the “BMF” belt will not be there for the taking, there are still massive stakes. The UFC booking Usman vs. Masvidal on such short notice was a stunning move, especially after the recent contract dispute with Masvidal and logistical issues that could’ve (and still may) interfere with the pair stepping in the octagon.

Despite the tensions between Masvidal and the UFC brass, it appears both are now closer to being on the same page. White praised Masvidal for taking the opportunity, and he admitted he now has a bigger fight than the original UFC 251 headliner between Usman and Burns.

“It was brilliant of Masvidal to slide in after Gilbert Burns tested positive,” White said. “Gilbert Burns is the No. 1 ranked guy in the world. Great fight, it fell out. The fight the people want to see, the people’s fight, is this fight. It was absolutely brilliant of Masvidal to slide into this slot and take the fight.”

UFC 251 takes place at Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Usman vs. Masvidal headlines the pay-per-view main card, which follows prelims on ESPN and ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.

, , , News, UFC

Read More

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here