Thursday, January 21, 2021

UFC unveil new championship belts

The UFC teased the release of new championship belts ahead of UFC 233 in December, however fans were disappointed to realise in the main event that the debut of these new titles had been pushed back, as announced by Dana White later that night. Whether his reasoning (due to the Jon Jones debacle) was true or not, we don’t know. It’s entirely possible the UFC decided to delay the release so the could showcase the new belts on their first Fight Night on ESPN.

The unveiling video on YouTube shows some of the most iconic champions in UFC history, and the evolution of the belt up to this point, however the design of the new championship is already cause for complaint to some fans. It does feel like a step back from the previous edition, however it does feature some interesting additions that fans and fighters have been screaming out for, for years.

UFC Championship belts

UFC Championship Belts

The new belt will be customised for each fighter with their country, weight class, and number of title defences. It also features the flags of the first eight countries to have a UFC champion – the list is certainly more interesting than I expected. The new belts should definitely make the experience of winning a title just that much sweeter for any fighter, and retaining the belt will be slightly more satisfying, read the full details on the new belts below:

The belt’s main plate is highlighted by the UFC logo. Made from high-polished gold, the logo is centered on a pattern comprising squares and octagons. The octagon contains 25 lines that represent UFC’s silver anniversary, which it celebrated in 2018. Each square has eight lines that represent the eight sides of the Octagon.

The belt’s flag iconography is highlighted throughout the design as a way to honor the first eight countries to have a UFC champion:

• Belarus (Andrei Arlovski)
• Brazil (Murilo Bustamante)
• Canada (Carlos Newton)
• Ireland (Conor McGregor)
• Netherlands (Bas Rutten)
• Poland (Joanna Jedrzejczyk)
• United Kingdom (Michael Bisping)
• United States (Mark Coleman)

The belt’s left-side plate will recognize the titleholder’s name and weight class, with their native country showcased with flag iconography. Eight stones border the plate, and for each victory in a championship bout, one of the stones will be replaced with a red ruby. The date and location of the win will be engraved adjacent to the stone. If an athlete successfully defends their belt more than eight times, red stones will be added to the right-side plate to continually acknowledge the accomplishment. The belt’s right-side plate is adorned by a gold UFC World Champion logo and bordered by eight stones. UFC’s jewelry partner, Bixler, will donate all stones and engravings.”

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