The UFC has sent out two somewhat cryptic videos on social media recently. The first one on Instagram, shows what seems to be a design with gold and diamonds, with flags to represent the US and Canada. The short video ended with the date “12.29.2018.”
A week later, they posted another clip on twitter, revealing what seems to be more gold and diamond designs, with “UFC World Champion” written. The Octagon shaped plaque seems to be on top of a black leather design, and the clip ended with the same date.
There’s been a lot of speculation from fans, but multiple people in the know have since suggested that the UFC will be unveiling new redesigned championship belts. That date corresponds to the company’s year ending PPV, which is UFC 232, headlined by Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson.
Jones responded to the very Instagram post above (HT: MMA World), commenting “Tell me that’s not what I think it is.” His manager and coach also replied, with Malki Kawa and Brandon Gibson saying “And it’s all yours,” and “Let’s add a few to your collection,” respectively.
Former champion Michael Bisping also mentioned the new belt design on his Believe You Me podcast, explaining the USA and Canada flag designs that were briefly shown.
“A while ago, a little birdy told me this from the UFC that shall be unnamed,” Bisping said, before worrying that he could be ruining the promotion’s big announcement. “I know they were talking about bringing out new belts, a new designed belt. And they’re going to have, for every country that has won a belt, their flag would be on the belt, represented.”
The UFC has basically been using the same design for their current titles since 2004. They also used a similar but less intricate version of this previously, dating back to 2001.
Bisping noted that he first heard rumblings of a new belt roughly 18 months ago, and wasn’t sure when it would actually happen. The timing of releasing this at end the year does make sense, as the UFC moves through a whole new chapter with ESPN in 2019.
As Bisping’s co-host noted though, does a new belt design really deserve multiple cryptic video posts? Or will this just be a part of an even bigger announcement for the UFC?
Well, for what it’s worth, having new belts certainly wouldn’t be the UFC’s weirdest letdown after constantly teasing an “exciting” major announcement.