Henry Cejudo wore the first-ever UFC ‘legacy’ design belt after defending his flyweight title from bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw with a 32-second TKO finish. Former middleweight king Michael Bisping now reveals the reason behind the change in belt layout.
The most prestigious mixed martial arts promotion has recently unveiled the ‘legacy’ belt ahead of its debut on ESPN+1 last January 20. Apparently, the change isn’t only a matter of design for the UFC.
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Always remember fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose . I’ve dreamed a lot . I am tired now from dreaming , but not tired of dreaming. I will always dream big. As I I lay my head down with the new UFC Legacy Belt I can rest easy knowing a new era of the flyweight division is upon us . Sleep well flyweights, they tried to kill us , but we live to fight another day. #livingthedream
Flyweight titlist Cejudo was the first champion to wrap the new belt design around his waist after finishing Dillashaw via TKO, 32-seconds to the opening round in the main event of Fight Night 143 in Brooklyn. Fans have a split opinion on the shift but it was a change for good.
In the past, every time a champion defends their title, he gets a new belt while if the challenger seizes the win, he gets a different one as well. After a while, it got too expensive that they made a champ of more than once keep a single belt while winning challengers get another.
However, the UFC came to a better innovation with the legacy belt with fighters adding a stone to their belt with every successful title defence. On his recent podcast, the former middleweight champion provided more insight into how the promotion came to this idea.
“Rashad Evans, a former champion, has a belt at home. He was having a conversation with Dana White, Dana White told him that the old belts, the ones that we have are worth $300,000 each,” Bisping said.
According to the fighter-turned-MMA-analyst, former 205-pound champion Evans revealed his conversation with White where the UFC executive once said old title designs cost $300,000 each.
Stones Instead of Belts
Continuing, Bisping joked about getting his belts insured if Evans’ information turns out absolute.
“That’s what Dana White told Rashad Evans. Mine’s just been gathering dust back there. There’s another one in the other room just gathering dust if I’d known they were worth $600,000 between them I might get them insured for one and then they get stolen… I’m joking,” said the English analyst.
“I might at least put them in some kind of case and keep the dust off of them. Apparently, Rashad Evans swears they’re worth $300,000 apiece. Which yeah, I was happy. That’s good to know.”
Instead of spending $300,000 on a new belt every time a champion retains their title, the UFC has it cheaper while giving a better legacy to the fighter through his increasing number of stones. It will also save the promotion tons of cash in the long run, especially if reigns like that of Demetrious Johnson’s 11 title defence wins happens again.
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Michael Bisping and Instagram/UFC