‘It’s even more prestigious than a UFC title’ – Justin Gaethje does full 180 on BMF belt critique

Justin Gaethje retracted his previous statements about being a BMF champion, saying it is 'more prestigious' than a UFC title.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 months ago
‘It’s even more prestigious than a UFC title’ – Justin Gaethje does full 180 on BMF belt critique
IMAGO | Zuma Wire

Justin Gaethje previously had slightly denigrating comments about the UFC ‘BMF’ belt that he is fighting for. He will be facing Dustin Poirier in a rematch at the top of the bill of UFC 291, with the symbolic title on the line. 

Now, Gaethje has gone the exact opposite direction with his statements, as he now holds the BMF title in the highest regard. 

Justin Gaethje’s previous statements about the BMF title

Gaethje recently did an interview where he was asked about how the Poirier rematch came about and how the ‘BMF’ title fight was brought to the table. He says he wasn’t convinced with the initial offer until the company ‘threw a bone’ at them in the form of a ‘championship’ bout. 

As for the BMF belt, Justin Gaethje didn’t think too highly of it at first. 

“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. 

Gaethje made a complete turnaround with new statement

This week, both Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier were interviewed by Daniel Cormier for ESPN. This time, “The Highlight” gave an exact opposite statement when the BMF title was brought up. 

“You’re gonna find past interviews of me kind of being a little bit critical of the ‘BMF’ title. But as we come along and as I get put in the position to fight for it, you really understand how prestigious this championship is, and what it actually means. 

“With it, comes a shot at the undisputed title. It’s a beautiful belt, it’s gonna look great next to one of our UFC belts.” 

Gaethje went further by saying being a BMF champion holds much more weight than holding an undisputed UFC title. 

“You can’t put yourself in those shoes until you’re there. With it being so prestigious… you don’t want to say it’s even more prestigious than a UFC title, but it actually is. Nobody’s fighting for this. 

“It takes the résumé of Dustin Poirier, the résumé of Justin Gaethje, and of course, it’s gonna headline a main event.” 

The UFC 291 fight card so far

Right before the headlining BMF title fight between Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier is a light heavyweight matchup between Alex Pereira and Jan Blachowicz. Fresh off his knockout loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 287 in April, “Poatan” has decided to move up to 205. And right off the jump, he is paired against a former champion of the division. 

Preceding the co-headliner is the returning Tony Ferguson, who will face Bobby “King” Green. The 39-year-old “El Cucuy” will look to erase the current five-fight skid on his record.

The card also features a middleweight bout between Paulo Costa and Ikram Aliskerov, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. Michel Pereira, and Derrick Lewis vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima, among many others. 

UFC 291 takes place on July 29th in Salt Lake City. 

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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