UFC Championship Belts: Facts & Fiction

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Championship belts in the UFC have become one of the hottest contended belts on the planet. Gone are the days of the WWE belts that were all just choreographed anyway (and ruined my childhood dreams).

Now, enter the illustrious golden, and sometimes jeweled, UFC Championship Belts that sort the kings and queens from those that are just entering the octagon for a paycheque.

There’s a lot of white lies that go around about the UFC Championship Belts, and in this article, I’m going to tell you about them and most importantly answer plenty of common questions. So let’s get stuck in.

The Old Vs New UFC Championship Belts

The old UFC Championship Belt
Andrius PetruceniaCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Between 2001 to 2018, the UFC used a golden-covered belt design that resembled the look of wrestling belts like the WWE. In 2019, the belt was changed to a new type called the “Legacy” Championship belt which is why there are two different-looking belts.

The new UFC Legacy Championship belt version has a different design and features from the previous one.

The main differences and additions to the newer Legacy belt include:

  • Most notably, the Legacy UFC belt is only ever given once to a championship winning fighter. Before 2019, every single time a fighter won a championship fight they would be given an entirely new belt. With the newer Legacy version, the fighter is only given one belt and their successive championship wins are highlighted with red stones
  • 25 stones surrounding the UFC logo on the main section, representing the 25th anniversary of when the UFC began
  • Flag iconography in between those anniversary stones, highlighting the countries of the first 8 UFC champions
  • The Legacy belt has a left-side plate which is customized for the champion fighter which includes 8 stones surrounding it. When the fighter successfully wins a championship bout, including defending their title, one of the stones will be replaced with a red stone to highlight it
  • The right-side plate is similar in that it has 8 extra stones in case any fighter succeeds in winning more than 8 championship fights
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The UFC Championship Interim Belt Explained

An Interim UFC belt is a provisional temporary belt given to the winner of an “Interim Title Fight” between two leading ranked fighters for that division. This fight usually takes place because the actual champion of the belt is currently unable to fight due to injury or suspension.

This is the reason that even though there are 12 weight class divisions in the UFC (for men) there have been occasionally 13 or 14 current belt-holders. This would be a mix of actual Champions, live and temporarily unavailable, and Interim belt-holders.

The fighters that are chosen to participate in the Interim Title Fight are usually within the top five ranked fighters of that division.

You would expect it would be the fighters ranked in positions one and two, but often this isn’t the case. Timing is often a big factor in fights being made in the UFC. At the top level of the sport, Championship-potential fighters will only fight up to three times a year and often less.

Having any two fighters fit and ready to fight, at the same time, can be a bit of a headache for fight event scheduling. It’s one of the reasons you could be surprised by the fights that get made, especially for Interim belts.

There’s also the hype factor and overall money to be made. If the fans really want to see a particular two people throw down, or their names just bring in lots of excitement, then they make a great reason to put them ahead of someone ranked even higher than them for a belt.

The UFC BMF Belt Explained

The UFC BMF Belt was commissioned by Dana White and the UFC to create special hype around the UFC 244 main event. It was specially created to settle the dispute between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz as being the Baddest MotherF****r in the UFC.

The pair have some of the best trash talk the UFC has ever seen, so it was only natural that these two would eventually face off. Jorge Masvidal won that fight at UFC 244 and claimed his BMF belt, still holding it to this day.

There was plenty of debate whether the belt should have been on the line for UFC 251 when Masvidal was to take on Kamaru Usman. Even though it was a title fight for Usman’s belt, the BMF was not on offer in exchange.

The creation of the BMF belt has inspired another belt creation called the NMF (Nicest MotherF****r) belt, which couldn’t go to anyone else but Stephen Thompson. Stephen is quite literally one of the most respectful guys in the UFC as he rarely talks smack about his opponents except to offer truthful critique or pleasant banter.

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UFC Belts: Fact From Fiction

Coming up I’ll cover answering many of the common questions about UFC Championship belts.

Many answers you hear from your mates have often misunderstood whispers or just straight-up lies! Here, I’ll separate the facts from the fiction

What are UFC Championship belts made from?

UFC Championship belts are made from a mixture of gold, silver, copper, and potentially other metals to keep them resistant and withstanding any friction or environmental factors to remain in good quality for a long time.

Are UFC belts real gold?

The UFC belts are not made out of pure gold but are a mixture of different metals to make them more durable and resistant to corrosion. It’s unknown just how much gold is included in the metals, but some people say around 10-percent of it is actually real gold.

Do UFC belts have real diamonds?

The UFC belts include diamond-looking gemstones in the Legacy belts version, which were introduced in 2019. The gemstones aren’t real diamonds but are designed to look like them. No one knows the true value of these stones.

How much is a UFC belt worth?

A UFC championship belt can be worth up to $330,000 because of the gold materials and diamonds. They become worth more with each title defense, as the diamonds are replaced with more expensive ruby gems. The fighter’s name could also increase the belt’s worth.

How much does a UFC replica belt cost to buy?

UFC Championship replica belts have been sold on the internet for varying prices between $150 for the classic replica belt and up to $500 for belts actually signed by the champion of the belt.

Where can I buy a UFC replica belt?

UFC replica belts are often sold on Amazon and include both the original UFC belt design and the updated “Legacy” UFC belts.

How much does a UFC Championship belt weigh?

Each UFC Championship belt weighs around 10.5 lbs (pounds). Approximately 2.5 lbs of that are made out of actual gold, which is what makes the belt so valuable. The gemstones aren’t particularly valuable or add much weight.

When you win a UFC belt do you get to keep it?

Any fighter who wins a UFC Championship is awarded a belt for their triumph. They get to keep the belt as a trophy for the achievement. If they defend their title whilst holding the title of Champion, then gemstones are added to their belt to signify each successful defense.

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That’s our breakdown of UFC Championship Belts. By now, you know some interesting facts about these belts to share with your friends whilst watching the next UFC event at the pub!

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