Dana White explains the decision behind booking Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje 2 for the ‘BMF’ belt

On July 29, UFC 291 will feature a rematch between lightweights Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. The fight is for the BMF Championship, a largely ceremonial title. When Jorge Masvidal beat Nate Diaz to become champion in 2019, it was a one-and-done deal. The UFC president has given his reasoning for the return of the championship. 

Dana White confirmed the location of UFC Fight Island
UFC President Dana White looks on during the UFC 225: Whittaker v Romero 2 event at the United Center on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Dana White discussed the reason behind bringing back the belt at the UFC Vegas 73 post-fight press conference. He stated:

“Masvidal retired, so we put the BMF up. You have no idea how many of these fighters want to fight for the BMF title. They all want to fight for that belt, so- it’s fun, it’s different. So, we’ll do it again.

“I don’t know. I mean, when you think about coming up with it the first time, those two [Jorge Masvidal & Nate Diaz] were the right guys. [And] so are these. These are the two right guys for that, too.

“Whether that things in play or not in play, that fight is what it is. But everybody wants that belt. So, what the hell?”

Dana White responds to fan criticism regarding the scheduling of Paulo Costa and Sean Strickland against unpopular opponents

UFC president Dana White has explained his thought process behind Paulo Costa and Sean Strickland’s next fights. Across the last few months, Paulo Costa and Sean Strickland haven’t been afraid to go back and forth with one another on social media. Both are considered to be big personalities, especially within the context of the middleweight division.

In the eyes of many, it would’ve made sense for them to compete against one another at some point this year. Instead, though, Dana White has opted to go in a different direction. Sean Strickland is set to face Abus Magomedov in a Fight Night main event at the start of July. Then, later in the month, Paulo Costa will collide with Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 291. When asked about these match-ups against unproven new faces in the division, Dana White had the following to say.

“Costa hasn’t fought in a long time, Strickland’s been fighting a lot,” White said. “We like to bring guys in and see where they’re at. The dude that Paulo Costa is fighting is tough as nails, you don’t know how good some guys are until you get them in there against the Top 15. When we’re in the matchmaking room, we think some guys are ready for that step, and some guys we don’t know…we challenge people. No. 8 doesn’t always fight No. 6 or No. 5, it’s just not the way it works.”

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