New UFC Belt Getting Mixed Reviews, Will Premiere on ESPN

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The UFC will debut a new UFC belt. The UFC is continuing to revamp as much as possible ahead of the new ESPN era. There were several reports about new championship belts coming out prior to UFC 232, but it was postponed for internal reasons. Some believe it had to do with the controversy surrounding the light heavyweight title bout between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. In any case, the UFC waited till the new year to unveil any sort of information regarding their new championship belts.

Today, as per the UFC website and social media pages, it became official. The UFC has completely changed their championship belts, and the first new title belt will be given to the winner of the highly-anticipated Champion vs. Champion bout between TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo this weekend. Here is a look at the promotional video released by the UFC earlier today.

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New Year, New UFC

Looking back at how 2018 came to an end, the new UFC era could not have come at a better time. Despite the return of arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time, from picograms to past transgressions, there were certainly mixed emotions for Jones’ comeback. Jones won his UFC belt back and is now scheduled to fight Anthony Smith later this year.

With the Jones saga on hold, the UFC is looking to turn a new leaf in 2019. ESPN will debut as the UFC’s primary network tomorrow night in Brooklyn, and revealing the new UFC belt will be part of the spectacle. Not to mention, this makes a lot more sense as the UFC on ESPN era takes flight. On top of that, the UFC has done a fine job in putting together a memorable card for their inaugural ESPN show. The UFC also recently released their ESPN schedule for the first half of 2019.

Photo courtesy of the UFC

This is truly the start of something new for the UFC. There has been plenty of controversy over the last few years, and many loyal fans have started to pay more attention to the UFC’s competitors. Could this be the year they bring it back around? The UFC holds the title for the leading source of quality MMA action, but there are plenty of suitors trying to make their mark. All in all, let alone for the UFC, 2019 should be a massive year for MMA in general.

UFC Belt Not Getting Much Love

The UFC took to social media to reveal the new belt in more detail earlier today as well.

Despite the intricate additions that make this belt unique, there are certainly mixed reviews across the board. Some of the Twitter reactions paint a fairly negative picture of the new UFC belts.

Fellow MMASucka writer Mike Skytte got into the action and phrased his opinion in a short but perfect tweet.

On the flip side, there was a special someone who took to Twitter with his thoughts. It is almost guaranteed that all the Conor McGregor fans have fallen in love with this belt now too.

That’s Just How She Goes

Whether you’re a fan of the belt or not, it’s here to stay. Much like the UFC’s other business decisions, they take a chance and run with it. While there are complaints, in the beginning, time heals all wounds. The move from Las Vegas to Los Angeles last month was crazy for all involved and we thought it was one of the lowest points in UFC history. But again, time heals all wounds.

The nostalgic folk will be the most upset, and likely for the longest period of time. On the bright side, the new UFC belt signifies a massive move in MMA and should be looked at as such. The UFC made the transition to FOX and created a new presence in the mainstream market. With moving on to ESPN, the reach, especially from a sports market perspective, is substantial. ESPN is where the UFC wants to be, and it is incredible to see their growth continue.

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My love for MMA, writing, and journalism as a whole, brought me to MMASucka in June of 2013. Jeremy has been a great mentor while covering this sport, and also bestowed the honour of covering UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre. I graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science. and have pursued a role in the online sports journalism community ever since.

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