HISCOE: Filling out the Nate Diaz Baddest M-F’er Division

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Columnist

Nate Diaz gesturing toward Conor McGregor at UFC 202 (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today Sports)

Nate Diaz returned to the cage last weekend at UFC 241 and he looked as good as he ever has. Diaz thoroughly outstruck and outclassed a game Anthony Pettis to take a unanimous decision win. Speaking to reporters later that night, Diaz had the following to say about where he thinks he stands in the current UFC landscape.

“I’m going to take what’s mine. That’s what I’m talking about, the baddest motherf-ing title. I need that belt made as soon as possible.”

While I can’t help him get that belt made, I can definitely throw some names out there to help flesh out the Baddest Motherf-er (BAMF) division.

But first, some ground rules

A true BAMF doesn’t play by the rules, but we’ll need some sort of guideline to help define this division. First off, you have to be a BAMF, that much is obvious. So that means you have to be willing to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere. And when the fight goes down, takedowns are allowed but highly discouraged. Also, the BAMF title can change hands in or out of the cage. Weight cutting is for pussies, but all BAMF fighters should at least be within shooting distance of 170 pounds. Weigh-ins are optional and non-binding.

So with that out of the weight, let’s name the ten fighters we’ll be sending to the BAMF division.

Champion – Nathan Diaz
Record against other BAMF fighters: 2-1

Diaz is the inaugural, reigning, defending, self-proclaimed BAMF champion. Diaz proved his worth with the Pettis win at UFC 241 last week. In true BAMF form, Diaz called his next shot, and it’s against a truly bad MF’er.

Jorge Masvidal
BAMF Record: 1-1

Mar 16, 2019; London, UK; Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Darren Till (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Masvidal earned BAMF status earlier this year with his brutal knockout of Darren Till followed by his punking of Leon Edwards mid-backstage interview. He cemented his status last month when he made UFC history with a 5-second knockout of Ben Askren. A fight between Masvidal and Diaz is super necessary to determine who is truly the baddest.

Al Iaquinta
BAMF Record: 1-1

Al Iaquinta (photo credit Christopher Hanewinckel © USA Today Sports)

Iaquinta earned his BAMF status last year when he stepped up on a day’s notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight championship. He came up short but put up a better fight than most have against Khabib. Iaquinta also earned his stripes by cursing at fans who booed his split decision win over top BAMF contender Masvidal.

Nick Diaz
BAMF Record: 1-0

Nick Diaz (photo credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea © USA Today Sports)

Nick Diaz might be the O.G. BAMF. No, he’s not going to fight his brother, but he was linked to a fight with Masvidal earlier this year that fell through. It’s been nearly half a decade since we’ve seen him in the cage, but a true BAMF only fights when he wants to.

Tony Ferguson
BAMF Record: 1-0

Tony Ferguson (photo credit Etzel Espinosa © PWTorch)

Tony Ferguson is an absolute animal. Just look at his recent destructions of Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis. He’s had his troubles outside of the cage recently, but a true BAMF is able to overcome such transgressions and continue winning.

Conor McGregor
BAMF Record: 1-1

I debated not including Conor McGregor in this list. Does a BAMF punch old dudes in a bar because he didn’t want some whiskey? Does a BAMF smack phones out of the hands of a fan and then stomp on the thing right in front of him? After much debate, I’ve decided the answer is yes. Besides, McGregor has unfinished business with Diaz, so he needs to be here in order to settle the score.

Robbie Lawler
BAMF Record: 1-1


Robbie Lawler is another O.G. BAMF along with Nick Diaz. In fact, a long-awaited rematch between Lawler and Diaz might be the best fight for both guys right now. The loser must hand in his BAMF card.

Artem Lobov
BAMF Record: n/a

Artem Lobov, Twitter

I know. Lobov is a terrible mixed martial artist. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a BAMF. If you don’t believe me, check out his bareknuckle boxing wins over Jason Knight and Paulie Malignaggi. Besides, Conor might need some backup.

Donald Cerrone
BAMF Record: 1-4

Jun 8, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Donald Cerrone reacts after losing to Tony Ferguson (not pictured) during UFC 238 at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

No one embodies the BAMF spirit better than Donald Cerrone. Anytime a spot on a fight card opens up, Cerrone is there to take the fight. Perhaps it is because of this BAMF spirit, that his record against other BAMF fighters is so poor. Still though, “Cowboy” has to be in, and he might be fighting to find out who is next in line for a BAMF title shot when he takes on our last entrant.

Justin Gaethje
BAMF Record: n/a

Aug 25, 2018; Lincoln, NE, USA; Justin Gaethje (red gloves) reacts to fight against James Vick (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Gaethje is untested against other BAMF fighters, but he’s clearly earned his status with his reckless fighting style. His upcoming fight against Cerrone should be a BAMF #1 contender fight with the winner getting the Diaz-Masvidal winner.

Is there someone you think is missing from this list? Anyone you would remove? Let us know in the comments, or hit us up on Twitter @MMATorch or @MikeHiscoe. You can also discuss this on our Facebook page

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