The idea quickly became a reality and Dana White explained to fans why the ‘BMF’ belt will never be defended after the main event at UFC 244.
“No. It’s a one-and-done,” White said when asked to elaborate on the future of the title. “Whoever wins, wins the belt and claims the title. ‘BMF.’”
White gave credit to Diaz for the concept after the Stock-native’s use of colourful language to call out Masvidal, who was in attendance in California.
“This fight is one of those fights that sort of took on a life of its own,” White said. “Nate said in his interview this is a fight to see who’s the baddest mother f****** in the game. He’s like, ‘That’s what this championship is.’ So alright, I’m in.”
But if these two are the baddest in the game, who are their closest competitors?
Anyone who steps into the octagon deserves respect, but there are some who are just that little bit more charismatic; be it with their fighting style or with their enigmatic personality.
So, without further ado, we have counted down the unofficial top 10 baddest m***** f******s in the UFC at this very moment in time. Check it out below!
10. Lerone Murphy
Four weeks before UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, Murphy was given a call by the UFC to see if he wanted to fight Zubaira Tukhugov.
The Mancunian Featherweight went into the contest as an underdog, but secured a split decision draw after landing 80 strikes in the three-round contest and did not look out of place, despite the late call up.
Nicknamed ‘The Miracle’, it actually is a wonder the 28-year-old is even alive.
At 3.30pm on Saturday, May 25 in 2013, Murphy was shot in the neck n a suspected gang-related activity.
Murphy still bears the scars from the entry wounds but, after spitting out the bullets himself, the slugger understandably fears no man.
9. Francis Ngannou
Before he became one of the most fearsome finishers in the UFC, Ngannou was fighting to survive and reach his teenage years.
Born in Batie, Cameroon, Ngannou had a limited education and lived in complete poverty. By the age of 12, he was working in a sand quarry to try and support his family.
After rejecting the chance to join several gangs, Ngannou decided to stick to fighting and began undertaking boxing training at the age of 22. He moved to Paris four years later in an attempt to fulfil his dream, but was forced to live on the streets.
With no money, no friends and no place to live, the ‘Predator’ trained for free and was eventually introduced to the world of MMA by coach Didier Carmont.
The rest, as they say is history; Ngannou possesses freakish power and took a combined 96 seconds to finish former UFC world heavyweight champions Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
8. Mike ‘Platinum’ Perry
Prior to his promising career as a UFC welterweight, Mike Perry spent six months in a Central Florida prison after falling into a life of drugs and crime.
“I felt like, ‘I’m stronger, tougher and badder than everyone else. Why can’t I have what I want? I’m tough enough to take it, so I’m gonna go get it,'” Perry told ESPN’s Five Rounds.
“I went about it the wrong way. Now, in fighting, I actually get to be the tougher guy and go take it — and it’s legal. It’s really crazy I get this opportunity. I didn’t get any guidance earlier.
“The things I looked up to were drug dealers and thieves, who had what I and my family never had — nice house, nice cars, nice clothes. I said, ‘Well, I’m strong. I can go get these things.'”
Perry is famous for his no-nonsense style of fighting and his desire to engage opponents at every opportunity.
While a title shot seems some way away, Perry’s bravery was never more evident during his previous contest against Vicente Luque where, despite sustaining one of the most brutal broken noses seen in the sport. However, he managed to escape a guillotine despite being unable to breathe through his nose.
7. Conor McGregor
While even the most ardent Conor McGregor cannot forgive the Notorious’ latest indiscretions, there is no doubting his place on the list.
McGregor arrived in the UFC in 2013 and set about wiping out the entire featherweight division in his quest for gold.
After a brutal run of knockouts, he fought Chad Mendes on 10 days notice to win the interim belt. He finally got his chance to become undisputed featherweight champion against the pound-for-pound king Jose Aldo, who was unbeaten in a decade. The Irishman knocked him out in 13 seconds.
After that, he jumped up two weight classes to take on Nate Diaz, beating him in a rematch widely considered to be one of the best in the history of the welterweight division.
McGregor then became the first fighter in history to hold two belts simultaneously after beating lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, before going ten rounds with the greatest boxer of all time.
After two years out of the octagon, he decided to jump straight back in against the fearsome Khabib Nurmagomedov. Although he was unsuccessful, the 31-year-old is as game as they come and the sport would be worse if he never returned to competitive action.
6. Khabib Nurmagomedov
While there are plenty of boxers who can spend most of their career protecting an unblemished record, the feat is far more difficult to replicate in MMA.
However, Khabib Numragomedov has mauled 28 men in his professional career and arguably only ever lost one round in his entire career.
The Dagestani destroyer wrestled bears as a child and was hardened by the environment he was raised in, his father Abdulmanap pushed the youngster all the way.
But Khabib never lost sight of the respect of martial arts and has shown compassion and cruelty in equal measure to his opponents. During his annihilation of Michael Johnson at UFC 205, he told the southpaw to quit so he could stop pulverising his face.
After vaulting the cage at UFC 229 after his win over Conor McGregor, the ‘Eagle’ was handed a suspension and a $500,000 fine.
But he refused to fight unless his friends, who were also involved in the brawl, were given lesser sentences. Proof that loyalty cannot be bought.
5. Derrick Lewis
Derrick Lewis one of the most lovable and hilarious chacracters in MMA, but the ‘Beast’ has a dark past.
One of seven siblings, Lewis was raised by a single mother in New Orleans, Louisiana, where trouble followed him. He took to street fighting, until the family moved to Houston, Texas.
Boxing training helped the 34-year-old, but the gym he as training at shut while he was 17 and his life was plunged into chaos. Violence and crime went hand in hand for Lewis, who was charged with aggravated assault, and was placed on probation two weeks after graduating high school.
He was then given a full scholarship to Kilgore College to play American Football, but Lewis violated his probation and was sentenced to five years in prison, up serving three and a half.
Boxing was again his saviour, but he soon developed a love for MMA and, after spells in Bellator and Legacy FC, the heavy-hitter made his way to the UFC and racked up a string of impressive wins.
4. Justin Gaethje
In a sport filled with drama and excitement, earning a reputation as ‘The Human Highlight Reel’ suggests you are doing something right.
Justin Gaethje is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling fighters to watch in the UFC, earning four Fight of the Night and two Performance of the Night awards in his five fights in the UFC.
Born in Arizona, Gathje wrestled from the age of four and became a a two-time Arizona state champion as a wrestler at Safford High School, and an NCAA Division I All-American during his time at the University of Northern Colorado.
But the 30-year-old very rarely attempts takedowns in the octagon and would rather stand and trade heavy leather with his opponents in a gun fight – which can end disastrously.
Given his wrestling ability, powerful striking and ability to absorb punishment like kitchen roll, there are many who believe Gaethje may well be the man to finally end Khabib’s unbeaten streak in MMA.
3. Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone
Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is certainly guaranteed a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame when he decides to hang up his gloves and his hat.
Nobody in the world perhaps embodies the ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ philosophy as much as the veteran. And while a world title has evaded him in two different weight classes, the 36-year-old will forever be etched into the history books.
After defeating cocky young rising star Alex Hernandez in 2018, Cowboy earned his 21st win in the UFC and his 15th stoppage – the most in history.
"Ooh, right out of Cowboy's boot, and I'm sure it's been a long day!"
Gamebred is currently on the back of two devastating KO’s. First, he stopped Darren Till in London with a brutal barrage of punches, before ending Ben Askren’s undefeated streak via a flying knee in just 5 seconds – the fastest knockout in UFC history.
Masvidal has been dropped three times in fights before going on to win and has never been stopped in his MMA career. The Miami native is as tough as they come and is a born fighter.
Before we reveal who holds the unofficial BMF title in the UFC, we would like to take this chance to deliver some honourable mentions:
Tony Ferguson, Robbie Lawler, Max Holloway, Robert Whittaker, Korean Zombie, Amanda Nunes
MOST READ IN MMA
'I fed you to the canvas in 90 seconds' - McGregor hits out at Poirier after call out
Khabib can't even say McGregor's name when talking about respect
Fans not happy with Conor McGregor's tweet after Khabib defeated Dustin Poirier
Moroccan killer scores massive one-punch knockout on Khabib vs Poirier undercard
McGregor vs Nurmagomedov rematch given go ahead but only on one condition
Michael Bisping reveals why he thinks GSP will beat Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib earns £5m for defeating Poirier at UFC 242… as loser takes home just £235k
1. Nate Diaz
Nate Diaz is without doubt the master in the subtle art of not caring what anyone thinks about you and has achieved celebrity status in MMA.
Born and raised in Stockton California, the younger brother of Nick, Nate has become the ultimate anti-hero for the UFC. The 34-year-old threatened to become nothing more than a entertaining journeyman until he shocked the world.
On 11 days notice, Diaz submitted Conor McGregor in 2016 and when asked by Joe Rogan post-fight how it felt to have shocked the world he replied; “I’m not surprised mother f*****s.”
The image of Diaz bloodied and cut became a mural in his home town. But perhaps the reason behind Diaz’s super-stardom is the fact he just does not care. Prior to his comeback fight against Anthony Pettis, Diaz strolled into the open workout and smoked a CBD joint in front of the crowd, before passing it to fans.
“Myself and the fans, his fans, have just come to learn that he is very unique,” the U.F.C. president, Dana White, said in a phone interview. “He looks at things completely different than most normal people do.”
Although his record in MMA is not outstanding (21-11) Diaz has endeared himself to fans by entertaining and surprising in equal measure. After securing a triangle choke against Kurt Pellegrino, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert flung two middle fingers into the sky.
When a potential rematch with McGregor was teased, Diaz told Dana White to take him out for a steak dinner, just as he had for the Irishman, to hash out terms. Diaz also convinced White to let him deliver the infamous ‘Stockton Slap’, which the fighter promptly posted on Instagram.
“That’s what this culture loves,” White said, explaining that Diaz gives the finger to ‘The Man’ and does his own thing. “Nate Diaz is absolutely difficult to deal with, but I don’t dislike Nate Diaz.”
Conor McGregor insists he is ‘prepared’ for a trilogy fight against old rival Nate Diaz.
The Notorious sent a message on social media to congratulate Diaz on his mixed martial arts comeback, with the California-born fighter beating Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 last Saturday.
The bout in Anaheim was Diaz’s first since losing to McGregor in an epic rematch on August 20, 2016.
And McGregor was full of praise for his old rival following his successful return to action.
On Wednesday, the 31-year-old wrote on Instagram,: “Three years to the day myself and this Mexican warrior went to war.
“Congrats on the win this weekend Nate, it was motivating to see it for my own comeback. I don’t blame you not mentioning me for the trilogy bout post fight, you know what I’m like when I get going. Vicious.
LATEST MMA NEWS
UFC 241: A shocking 13 fighters on 'best card of the year' broke weight gain rules
Ronda Rousey almost slices her finger off after a boat door fell on her
Kurt Angle says the one fight Brock Lesnar wants is Jon Jones - 'Bones' responds
MMA News: Miocic won by not 'fighting like a b****', Pettis reveals injury
Irish boxer claims Conor McGregor has ‘agreed to fight’ after heated argument
Nate Diaz defeats Pettis and then calls out Jorge Masvidal, not Conor McGregor
Jon Jones kicks Daniel Cormier while he's down with stinging tweet after KO loss
Stipe Miocic brilliantly knocks out Daniel Cormier to regain heavyweight title
UFC 241 Cormier vs Miocic: UK fight time, live stream, TV channel and undercard
White issues warning to McGregor, Khabib has stern words for rival and more
“I loved the round three style from round one that you implemented. It’s what I was hoping you would implement for this bout and was glad to see you do it.
“I’ll be prepared for it when we go again. If we go again.
“If not, respect always. A war for the ages. No b**** talk. Just real s***.”
And the new champion revealed exactly how he pulled off the comeback.
“Stop fighting like a bitch,” Miocic told the media at the evening’s post-fight presser when asked what was going through his head when Cormier was out-striking him.
“I was fighting like a bitch, I really was. To take nothing from D.C., he’s tough. He fought the best in the world, he beat the best in the world, and it just took me a little time to get my mojo, I just couldn’t feel it.
“One coach told me, ‘When you walked into that fourth round, I knew it was gonna be over. I just see it in your face, your swagger, your hips are moving, I knew it was gonna be good.’”
Anthony Pettis reveals gruesome injury after UFC 241 loss
Taking to Instagram after the pulsating welterweight scrap, Pettis uploaded a picture of his baldy swollen foot and revealed he had broken it in the first round.
This is not the first time the former lightweight champion has suffered an injury midway through a fight as he was forced to retire from his clash at UFC 229 with Tony Ferguson due to a broken hand.
He also received a conditional six-month suspension after that bout because of a nasal fracture.
Dana White reveals ruckus caused by Colby Covington
UFC president Dana White has revealed he had to intervene when several stars were agitated by the presence of welterweight contender Colby Covington.
The controversial star defeated Robbie Lawler in his previous contest and was one of a host of stars in attendance to watch the fights in Anaheim, California.
And with his Donald Trump hat on and UFC belt strapped to his shoulder, it seems as though the grappling specialist caused quite the disturbance.
“Everybody in that section kept fighting with Colby,” White said at the post-event news conference. “So security kept coming over to me 50 times to get him out of there. And I said, ‘No, everybody needs to start acting like (expletive) professionals because I don’t have another seat in this entire building.’
“… That (expletive) game you play in kindergarten was going on over there when I went over there. So I asked those guys (to) listen to me: ‘We’ve got a big night going on here. We have a big fight. I don’t need a fight breaking out with you knuckleheads. Stop it.’”
White confirmed that UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will return before 2019 comes to a close to defend his gold against Covington.
“Yeah, (expletive) will happen by the end of the year,” White said.
The Diaz brothers are the master of mind games and have enggaed in psychological warfare throughout their careers.
Both Nick and Nate both happen to be particularly good at getting inside people’s heads during fights – just ask Robbie Lawler, Michael Johnson and Anderson Silva.
And in case you hadn’t noticed, both are also proud of their Stockton roots as Clay Guida (22-8-0) revealed when discussing his split decision win against the Nate (20-11-0) in January 2009.
“It was the second round of my UFC 94 fight against Nate Diaz,” he explained to Fight! Magazine later that year.
“He was sort of on my back near the cage and he kept yelling: ‘209, b***! 209, b***!’ and I looked up and there was like 3:12 left on the clock. Later on I said to my coach: ‘Dude, this guy can’t even tell time. He kept yelling ‘209, b***!’
LATEST SPORTS NEWS
UFC 241 Cormier vs Miocic: UK fight time, live stream, TV channel and undercard
Arsenal vs Burnley and Man City vs Spurs among live talkSPORT games
Andy Ruiz Jr claims he knows Anthony Joshua’s game plan for rematch
Anthony Joshua fires shot at Tyson Fury over next fight against Otto Wallin
Conor McGregor punches man in Dublin pub over alleged drink dispute
Lennox Lewis v Anthony Joshua records: How the fighters compare amid war of words
Archer shows exciting signs on debut, but Australia hold upper hand at Lord’s
Ngannou a Hollywood star, McGregor in trouble with police and Diaz lights up
big strong boi
Tyler Bate: Working with HHH and HBK, NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff, WWE future
Jon Moxley's NJPW deal, Buddy Murphy wasn't supposed to be in Reigns storyline
“Then he told me 209 is Stockton, California’s area code and not the time left on the clock. I had to laugh.”
No doubt Anthony Pettis is well aware his eardrums are in for a battering at UFC 241 when he meets Diaz, who is fighting for the first time since 2016 when he lost the second of two epic fights with Conor McGregor.
His fight with Pettis takes place in California, the state that shaped him into the man known as ‘The Stockton Slugger’ and will have advantage on his side.
“So I guess you can say it was mutual. I had a project that was very, very important to me, and to the MMA community and fans, and I needed to put me, my son, my training and that first before I had anything to give to the UFC,” she added.
“It’s shitty timing, but it happens, and I’m still a fighter and ready to fuck shit up.”
Her career has seen wins over the likes of Meisha Tate and Amanda Nunes, before losing to Ronda Rousey in 14 seconds in 2015.
‘Yeah I talked to him last week,” White confirmed. “He wants to come back so what he is doing is looking to see how everything plays out in September.
“I was just saying out there; as of right now, Khabib and Poirier are fighting. You know how this business works, anything can happen and usually does.
“So I think he is just sort of waiting to see how it all plays out and does he have an opportunity somewhere to jump in and make something happen.”
While the undisputed lightweight title fight at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi is still scheduled, Nurmagomedov’s struggles with weight cuts are well documented.
White also went on to say a fight at welterweight against Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal is unlikely due to the size difference between the pair, but McGregor has never shied away from a fight.
Given the 31-year-old’s star power and how his fame has transcended fight sports. there are no shortage of fighters on the UFC roster who would want a fight with McGregor.
So who could get their ‘red panty night’ against the former two-weight world champion? Here at talkSPORT.com, we have assessed the potential opponents and explained why they deserve a lucrative shot against Conor McGregor.
LATEST FOOTBALL STORIES
Bale takes part in Real Madrid training session after missing Germany trip
Newcastle agree £16.5m deal to sign French starlet, five-year contract penned
Liverpool transfer news live: Pepe rejects Reds for Arsenal, Lovren to Roma latest
Arsenal confirm record Pepe deal, Newcastle seal £16.5m swoop, £80m Maguire bid
'He is incredible' - Lowdown on Arsenal's new £73m signing Nicolas Pepe
Crusaders vs Wolves live on talkSPORT: Free commentary stream for Europa League tie
Arsenal transfer news live: Emery hails £73m Pepe deal, Rugani bid, Koscielny update
Arsenal make Nicolas Pepe fourth summer signing for club-record fee
Incredible moment Fenerbahce captain walks off pitch after being bood by own fans
best coach evra?
Evra reveals inspiring Ferguson team talk before Champions League final
Ins and outs
When does the transfer window close? Premier League, EFL and European dates
Liverpool vs Man City: What time is the Community Shield? Why are the Reds playing?
Winner of Khabib vs Poirier
We start with perhaps the most obvious path for McGregor, given White’s comments and the star power the Irishman possesses.
His last appearance in the Octagon, the lightweight title fight against Khabib at UFC 229 in October heralded 2.4 million pay-per-view buys.
Given the animosity and the controversy surrounding that fight and the immediate aftermath, fans would no doubt love to see McGregor head back in after his fight with Poirier.
But the interim lightweight champion should not be overlooked. A former featherweight contender, the Coconut Creek-native made the decision to move up to the 155-pound division and has not looked back since.
After destroying the likes of Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez, Poirier earned his interim shot against Max Holloway and delivered with a stunning performance.
The American Top Team member has power in both hands and is skilled on the ground, plus his history with McGregor is evident.
At UFC 178, the Irishman stopped Poirier inside the first round and a rematch at lightweight certainly poses more questions than their first fight at 145-pounds.
Winner of Gaethje vs Cerrone
The MMA community rejoiced when Dana White confirmed this lightweight fight would headline UFC Vancouver in September.
Both Gaethje and Cerrone are certified fan favourites and are never in dull fights, with neither man afraid to stand and trade – taking shots in order to dish them out.
‘Cowboy’ seemed to be heading for a title shot with Khabib, only for Tony Ferguson to hand the UFC veteran a debilitating loss in his last bout. Prior to that, the 36-year-old had lit up Alex Hernandez and then delivered a clinic on Al Iaquinta to put himself firmly within a shot at the title.
Conversely, Gaethje has jumped back into the wins column with a brace of significant victories. The ‘Highlight’ starched Jason Vick at UFC Lincoln before stopping Edson Barboza at UFC Philadelphia.
Similarly, Gaethje has never been shy to put his name forward for a fight with McGregor. Back in April, the 30-year-old promised to KO the former Cage Warriors champion in his home country.
The winner of this fight will not only walk away from Canada with a huge pot from the bonuses this fight will incur, but a shot in early 2020 against Conor McGregor is a real possibility.
No one in the UFC, let alone the lightweight division, is on a run quite like ‘El Cucuy’.
The 35-year-old is on a 12-fight win streak, the longest in the history of the division, and is generally seen as the bogeyman at 155-pounds. Nasty on the feet, with a mean ground game and a rock solid chin, critics argue Ferguson presents the greatest challenge to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s perfect 27-0 record.
And his performances have not gone unnoticed, with Dana White insisting Ferguson is next in line for the belt.
However, a fight with Conor McGregor while the world waits for the outcome of the title fight in Abu Dhabi would make perfect sense. The UFC are preparing to go back to New York in November once again for their annual card at Madison Square Garden.
As it stands, there are no fights in line to headline that card and the lack of star power is evident given Jon Jones is by far the biggest name in the light-heavyweight division and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is fighting Stipe Miocic in August.
Nate Diaz III
In 2016, Conor McGregor seemed capable of beating any man on the UFC roster. After bringing Jose Aldo’s decade-long reign as the featherweight king to a crumbling halt, the Irishman was then set to face Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 for the chance to become a two-weight world champion.
But the Brazilian pulled out and in stepped Diaz on 11 days notice, subsequently shocking the world.
The rematch was a pulsating affair, with McGregor claiming his revenge via a majority decision after five hard rounds.
Diaz is finally set to return on August 17 against Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 on August 17. Provided the Stockton-native can get through ‘Showtime’ a trilogy fight surely beckons.
The question is not ‘If’ these two throw down again, ‘it is simply ‘where’ and ‘when’. After two fights at 170-pounds, the suggestion is both men would drop down to lightweight, making the contest even more enthralling than last time.
Jose Aldo II
McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017 may have catapulted the slugger to worldwide fame, but his fight with Jose Aldo two and-a-half years prior was the making of the legend.
After years of verbal spars and one cancelled fight, the bitter rivals finally met and McGregor threw that trusty left hand to KO the only featherweight world champion.
A rematch was never arranged, despite the Brazilian pleading and admitting he would move up a weight class to fight the Irishman once more.
According to @TalkMMA, McGregor vs. Aldo 2 is being rumoured for the upcoming UFC 244 event at Madison Square Garden, scheduled for November 2 in New York City.
“A source tells me that Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo 2 is being rumored for #UFC244 at MSG,” the tweet reads. “UFC was looking to resign Aldo. Conor was the bait that reeled him in. Not to mention, Conor has to get back into the good graces of the NYSAC. Has some making up to do.” [sic]
A fight between the two would certainly bring a tremendous amount of hype once again, with both men coming off the back of defeats after Aldo’s loss to Alexander Volkanovski in May.
Should the 32-year-old level the scores, a trilogy fight could even be on the cards in years to come.
This fight is a win-win for everyone; the UFC gets to bring the McGregor show back to Las Vegas, Conor gets to fight against a striker and the legendary Cerrone gets a lucrative ‘red panty night’.
Khabib Nurmagomedov v Tony Ferguson
The lightweight division is currently brimming with talent at the moment, but there is very little doubt these two superstars are the best in the world right now.
After taking out Anthony Pettis on the McGregor v Khabib undercard, Ferguson is in direct line for a title shot next.
The UFC have tried to make this fight on four separate occasion, but injuries and outside issues suffered by both fighters caused the bouts to be cancelled.
With Nurmagomedov free to fight in July, both fighters have plenty of time to get fit and ready for the fifth booking. ‘El Cucuy’ represents the most dangerous challenge to the Russian’s undefeated streak.
Jon Jones v Daniel Cormier III
While many of the rivalries you see in fight sports are engineered to sell fights, these two have a genuine animosity for one another.
Having outpointed Cormier in 2015, Jones was then suspended. Another failed drugs test for Jones prevented a rematch at UFC 200 before they finally got to run it back a year later.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.