Don’t call it a comeback.
UFC 291 on July 29, 2023, marks the return of the Baddest Motherf—ker (BMF) title. In the evening’s Lightweight main event, two of the most exciting fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) history go toe-to-toe for the second time. It’s Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje part two.
A lot was made about the BMF crown when created in Nov. 2019 for a Welterweight affair between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz. Boasted as a special occasion one-off title, Masvidal’s recent retirement and the non-title main event nature of Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 was enough for UFC President, Dana White, to go back on his word. Therefore, leading to mixed reactions from the community as well as those involved.
“It is what it is,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “I’ve seen people excited about the BMF title. I’ve seen people talking s—t about it. To me, if you look at our track record, look at Justin’s history, look at my history. It just makes sense. … All the Fight of the Year contenders we’ve been in. He has other ones from other organizations coming into the UFC, Fight of the Year contenders. It just makes sense. This is going to be a great fight.
“It never crossed my mind that I would be fighting for a BMF belt, but it’s awesome,” he continued. “I would love to hang it up in my living room. … I don’t think the BMF belt’s stupid. I like it. And it’s going to get wrapped around my waist.”
Poirier, a friend and teammate of Masvidal’s at American Top Team (ATT), defeated Gaethje in the pair’s first encounter. At UFC on Fox 29 in April 2018, Poirier and Gaethje put on a “Fight of the Year” contender, resulting in a Poirier victory via fourth round technical knockout.