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Can a Fighter Who’s Lost More Than a Third of Their Professional Fights Really be Called the “Baddes

A post shared by Dana White (@danawhite) on Oct 25, 2019 at 9:20pm PDT

On Saturday night at The Garden, Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz will face off in the headliner of the biggest UFC event so far in 2019. UFC 244 has drawn more mainstream attention than any UFC event since UFC 229, which was headlined by the return of Conor McGregor, facing off with current lightweight king and star in his own right Khabib Nurmagomedov. The guest list has been massive, featuring the likes of The Rock, who will be presenting the winner with the “BMF Belt,” as well as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and even Donald Trump is rumored to be in attendance. To say this event is massive would be a drastic understatement, and the card is certainly worth every penny for us fight fans. Except…well, there’s just one problem. The headliner, while a great fight, just seems…wrong. And that’s not to say the fight shouldn’t necessarily happen, but that it’s for a belt. A made up belt. Almost as if it was an impromptu move on the UFC’s part due to the fear of not having a title fight headline a pay-per-view event, let alone one of this magnitude.

A post shared by Jorge Masvidal (@gamebredfighter) on Jul 7, 2019 at 6:57am PDT

Jorge Masvidal (34-13) and Nate Diaz (21-11) have been at or in title contention respectively throughout their entire careers. But, their records, for title fight participants are…odd. Not because they aren’t entertaining, or great fighters, but because…well, it just doesn’t seem right to call a fighter with one loss for every three wins the “baddest motherf*cker.” Isn’t that a right we reserve for champions? And not just any champion, the heavyweight champion? Isn’t Stipe Miocic regarded as “the baddest man on the planet?” The UFC’s promotional machine has always taught me, the fan, that the heavyweight champion of the world truly was, and again I quote, “the baddest man on the planet.” But now, for some reason, that changes, and I just want to ask why.

A post shared by Nate Diaz (@natediaz209) on Aug 19, 2019 at 1:37pm PDT

Like I mentioned above, I understand that this was, at best, an impromptu decision made by the UFC to attach a “title” to this event, but again I ask, why? Why did the UFC feel compelled to do this? All this idea of the “BMF belt” arose from was a post fight interview from Diaz, and while I’ll be the first to agree with the idea of Diaz being a mainstream star at this point in time, creating a belt strictly because it came from his mouth seems…premature? Odd? And perhaps the most terrifying, precedent setting? Could this mean they’ll give Conor McGregor the, “Welcome Back, Here’s a Belt Because We Need You to Have One Belt”? I’m exaggerating, of course, but the very idea alone of introducing a “BMF belt” now gives me the idea to put this out there, when before, the very idea of anything of the sort was just a simple piece of imagination lodged deep within the one madman’s narcissistic brain.

But, criticizing the “BMF belt” is moot, because it’s a real thing now, and even though I disagree with its creation, I admire Dana White’s creativity in scrambling to create it and to put it at stake between two action-packed, surging stars. But, again I ask, can a fighter who’s lost a third of his professional fights really be the baddest motherf*cker in the game?

A post shared by KAMARU USMAN (@usman84kg) on Oct 25, 2019 at 6:58am PDT

This is not a cut on Masvidal or Diaz, they’re both obviously fantastic fighters, and they’re both bad motherf*ckers, but can one of them really be the baddest? That’s where the grey area lies here. Are these two even the baddest motherf*ckers in their own division? Wouldn’t the baddest motherf*cker at welterweight be Kamaru Usman, you know, the champ? Or in Diaz’s case, lightweight could also apply, so the baddest motherf*cker at lightweight would be Khabib Nurmagomedov, right? If we’re also applying contenders ranked ahead of each fighter, well then Usman, Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington, and Leon Edwards (yes, haters, Leon Edwards!) would all be badder motherf*ckers than Masvidal, and you can add Rafael Dos Anjos and Demian Maia (Yeah, that’s right, DEMIAN MAIA!) to that list ahead of Diaz. And before I catch hate amongst hate amongst hate, that’s not even according to me. That’s according to the rankings panel at the UFC.

A post shared by colbycovington (@colbycovmma) on Aug 8, 2019 at 12:39pm PDT

A post shared by Leon "Rocky" Edwards (@leon_edwardsmma) on Sep 17, 2019 at 12:58pm PDT

A post shared by Rafael Dos Anjos (@rdosanjosmma) on Mar 14, 2019 at 12:35pm PDT

A post shared by Demian Maia (@demianmaia) on Jun 17, 2019 at 1:01pm PDT

So, what am I getting at with this? Masvidal and Diaz are great fighters, with legitimate real title potential. But to call them the baddest motherf*ckers in the game when they aren’t even the baddest motherf*ckers in their division just isn’t fair, and isn’t accurate. The baddest motherf*cker in the welterweight division is Kamaru Usman. He’s the champion. He defeated Tyron Woodley in one of the most dominant title captures in MMA history to earn that distinction, and he’s defending that crown, along with the real welterweight belt, against Colby Covington in December at UFC 245.

A post shared by KAMARU USMAN (@usman84kg) on Oct 28, 2019 at 3:44pm PDT

This is not me being a hater, I’m a massive fan of UFC 244 as a card, and the main event itself, but as I say in so many of these articles, let’s call a spade a spade. These two could’ve headlined MSG with name value and fight of the night potential alone, we didn’t need to attach some meaningless, one-time, WWE-esque gimmick belt to dilute its value as a great fight. It’ll be a fun fight that will no doubt deliver on excitement, but even as The Rock wraps the pseudo belt around the winner, it still will be impossible for me to consider either one of these guys the baddest motherf*cker. Once the winner beats Kamaru Usman or Colby Covington, then, and officially then, that title, the man holding the real welterweight strap, will officially be the baddest m*therfucker, and it will be his title to lose.

Enjoy the fights.■

Follow Johann on Twitter: @thejohanncastro

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