“This is stupid”: Justin Gaethje denounces BMF belt credibility ahead of bout vs Dustin Poirier at UFC 291

Former interim champion Justin Gaethje is set to make his comeback at UFC 291 on July 29th.

The highly anticipated event will feature Gaethje in the main event, as he takes on Dustin Poirier in a rematch.

The fight will also be for the now-vacant ‘baddest motherf–r’ title.

Justin Gaethje
Justin Gaethje after his win over Rafael Fiziev

How many titles has Justin Gaethje won?

Justin Gaethje, known as “The Highlight,” boasts an impressive professional record of 23 wins and 4 losses.

Currently ranked #3 in the UFC Lightweight rankings, Gaethje previously held the Interim Lightweight Championship.

In an electrifying showdown at UFC 286 in London on March 18th, 2023. Justin secured a unanimous decision victory over Rafael Fiziev, showcasing his explosive fighting style.

During a recent interview with Cageside Press, the 34-year-old Justin openly expressed his thoughts about the title he will be fighting for and shed light on the circumstances that led to his agreement.

Justin Gaethje
Justin Gaethje after his win over Rafael Fiziev

True to form, Gaethje offered candid responses, discussing his initial rejection of the offer for a five-round bout against Poirier.

“(The UFC) called me and they said ‘Do you want to fight Poirier on July 29th? Five rounds.’ And I was, like, ‘F—k that, I don’t want to fight for five rounds if I don’t have to.’ There’s no reason for me, I get paid the same, no matter what.

According to Justin, the UFC added an enticing incentive by offering the title.

Initially, the concept of being the “BMF” champion didn’t hold much appeal for Gaethje, much like many others. 

The UFC’s ‘Baddest Motherf–r’ title was introduced in 2019, following a lighthearted suggestion by renowned fighter Nate Diaz during a press conference. 

What is the importance of the BMF belt?

The belt made its debut at UFC 244, with Diaz and Jorge Masvidal competing for the inaugural title. Masvidal emerged victorious through a doctor’s stoppage.

However, after considering it from a business perspective, Gaethje began to see the value in holding the “BMF” title.

It gradually started to make sense to him and became a more appealing prospect.

“Honestly, my true assessment, like when Masvidal and Diaz fought for it, I was, like, ’This is stupid.’ And I still think it’s kind of stupid.

However, to the fans that say it’s stupid, I say that it’s ultimately the UFC giving one more fighter one more opportunity to win and to gain an opportunity to get pay-per-view points. 

“This belt — just like interim belts — on paper, are championships. You are a champion in the eyes of the UFC. And when you are a champion in the eyes of the UFC, you’re paid different.

In the final analysis, Justin Gaethje expresses his gratitude for the opportunity presented to him.

What are your thoughts regarding this? Let us know in the comment section below.

Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


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