Jorge Masvidal will rematch the welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, at UFC 261 for the title. Kamaru Usman, who hasn't lost a single fight since May 2013 and is unbeaten in the UFC, has defended his title three times. At UFC 251, he dominated Masvidal in a well-rounded display of striking and grappling.
But with Jorge Masvidal coming off a full camp this time around, the UFC welterweight champion has it all on the line. Masvidal, on the other hand, has nothing to lose despite having the BMF title on his shoulder.
'Gamebred' won the BMF title against Nate Diaz at UFC 244 via TKO (doctor stoppage), proving that he was the 'Baddest Motherfu***r' in the promotion. Custom dictates that Jorge Masvidal hand his belt over to Kamaru Usman on being defeated but that is not the case.
This feature, therefore, looks at three reasons why the BMF title should be on the line for Jorge Masvidal vs Kamaru Usman at UFC 261.
#3 - Kamaru Usman is the 'Baddest Motherfu***r'
After defeating Anthony Pettis at UFC 241, Nate Diaz challenged Jorge Masvidal to a fight. Masvidal was coming off a 5-second KO win against Ben Askren, the fastest knockout in the history of UFC, and was a hot prospect at the time.
Saying that there were only two real gangsters in the business - Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal - the Stockton native challenged 'Gamebred' to a fight that would prove who the 'baddest motherfu***r (BMF)' was.
Setting up a fight between Diaz and Masvidal, the UFC created a title, i.e., BMF belt, that would be strapped around the winner of the event. The two fighters met at UFC 244 and put on an absolute war. With Nate Diaz not being allowed to continue due to doctor stoppage, Jorge Masvidal was announced the BMF title winner.
Jorge Masvidal is set to face Kamaru Usman at UFC 261 for the welterweight title but the BMF belt is not on the line. While Masvidal said that Kamaru Usman is not worthy of the BMF title, the welterweight champion is a deserving candidate.
Kamaru Usman is one of the most successful fighters not just in MMA but in the UFC. With a 18-1 MMA record, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' has absolutely dominated the UFC welterweight division. His only loss came in his second professional fight, via submission in 2013. Kamaru Usman has since gone unbeaten and has defended his title thrice in the UFC, against some of the deadliest MMA fighters ever.
With a 17-fight win streak, Kamaru Usman has the best record compared to UFC's entire current roster. In his recent bouts, he has put away MMA legends like Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, and Jorge Masvidal. The BMF title would most certainly suit Kamaru Usman, and therefore should be on the line for UFC 261.
#2 - Gives UFC a reason to pit Nate Diaz against Kamaru Usman
In an upset, Nate Diaz lost the opportunity to win the BMF title after getting thrashed by Jorge Masvidal in November 2019. The Stockton native hasn't returned to the octagon ever since and remains unlisted in the UFC welterweight rankings.
Nate Diaz is now set to return at UFC 262 against Leon Edwards. While Nate Diaz going against the number 3 welterweight fighter despite being unranked shows his pull in the UFC, the bout is meant to be a stepping stone for Leon Edwards to move higher up in the division.
However, Nate Diaz could have resurrected his MMA career had two conditions been fulfilled. One, him defeating Leon Edwards in May 2021. Two, him getting a shot against Kamaru Usman for the BMF title.
The BMF title was originally meant to be for Nate Diaz. However, losing the bout against Masvidal due to an unlucky stoppage killed whatever chances he had at getting regular UFC fights. If Usman was provided a chance to win the BMF felt, however, it would have opened a way for Nate Diaz to challenge the welterweight king, thus reviving the MMA legend's dying career.
#1 - The BMF belt stays relevant
Had the BMF title been on the line for UFC 261, Jorge Masvidal's loss would have kept it relevant. However, with the strap sticking with 'Gamebred', its relevance takes a hit because there's only so many fights Masvidal is going to take in a year.
And with Jorge Masvidal going out of action, the BMF belt goes into obscurity, too. In any ideal scenario, the UFC would not want the 'Baddest Motherfu***r' title rotating between just two fighters - Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal.
With the BMF title being on the line for Jorge Masvidal vs Kamaru Usman at UFC 261, people would have talked about it more, turning it into more of a hot property. It would have opened up various bouts in the UFC welterweight division's lower rankings, eventually proving good for promotion's PPV numbers.
Right now, the BMF belt sits cold with no takers. Speaking at the UFC 261 pre-fight conference, even Kamaru Usman said that he did not care about "that piece of sh*t". UFC president Dana White better bring that belt into play more if the promotion wants its creation to be relevant.