UFC always has been considered the most important three letters in mixed martial arts. Apparently, that’s all changed. At least it will Saturday night at the Garden where the BMF belt is on the line.

Jorge Masvidal of Miami and Nate Diaz of Stockton, Calif., will meet in the main event of UFC 244 in a welterweight bout where the “Baddest Motherf–ker” belt is on the line — and with President Donald Trump expected to be in attendance. What began as a funny gimmick has taken on real meaning as two of the best in the UFC meet with a mythical championship at stake. The main card will be live streamed on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

“If you want to go to a fight, you want to see the baddest motherf–kers fight,” Diaz said recently. “You don’t want to see some of these champions fight. I don’t mean to disrespect anybody. There’s a lot of great fighters doing a lot of really good things. But it’s hard to think of who’s the best fighter. All I can think of is me and my brother [Nick] and Jorge. I like warriors. I like real fighters.”

A BMF belt has been commissioned by the UFC for the fight and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has said he will present the winner with the belt.

“It’s going to be an electrifying night,” Johnson said on social media.

Diaz said he is not surprised the attention the bout is getting. The popular veteran who owns a victory over Conor McGregor is one of the most accomplished in the sport. His fans embrace his brawling style and fight-to-the finish mentality.

A non-conformist, Diaz (21-11) came up with the BMF title which suits his persona.

“I’m defending the title” Diaz insisted. “It would be cool if Mike Tyson was here. Wasn’t he the baddest motherf—er on the planet?”

Masvidal (33-13) said he likes the whole idea of the BMF belt.

“It’s all legacy. It’s all heart and drive,” he said. “Nate isn’t the most skilled [fighter], but he’s one of the biggest dogs the sport has ever seen and that right there to me means a lot. That’s a guy I want to beat.”

Masvidal weighed-in at 169.6 pounds on Friday, while Diaz was 170.4. It’s a much-anticipated showdown that appeared in jeopardy when Diaz threated to pull out of the bout after reports surfaced he had tested for “elevated levels” from “tainted substances.”

Diaz, a vegan, denied any wrongdoing and was angry at being looked at like a cheater. A day later, the UFC announced Diaz had been cleared and “not subject to any sanctions.”

Diaz said he lost sleep over the incident.



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