Khabib Nurmagomedov and Glover Teixeira have both criticised the UFC for their continued use of the term ‘interim title’ to describe the stakes involved in certain fights.
When Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo meet at UFC 200 there will be an interim featherweight title on the line. Conor McGregor is the current featherweight champion however he has somehow earned a rematch with Nate Diaz in another weight division and so is unable to defend his title at this time.
Jon Jones’ fight with Ovince Saint Preux will also be for the interim 205 pound strap after the reigning holder, Daniel Cormier, was forced out of UFC 197 with an injury.
An interim belt is created when the champion of a particular weight division is temporarily unable to defend his or her championship because of reasons that are beyond his or her control.
In this scenario, two highly ranked contenders will fight for the interim championship of the same weight division.
Once the champion is able to return, he or she must fight against the interim champion.
If the champion cannot return or moves to a different weight division, the interim champion becomes the world champion.
Nurmagomedov does not buy that idea and recently lambasted the use of the term.
“I think it’s b******t,” Nurmagomedov said after his open workout ahead of Saturday’s UFC on FOX Fight Night.
“Interim champion, what is this? I don’t understand it. For me, it’s nothing. I don’t know how you can take fake belt when you have a real belt in your way. This is b******t.”
Teixeira shared a similar sentiment.
“I don’t know about the interim title or whatever the title is called. It’s like martial arts and different belt colors. Who knows?” he said.
Both Nurmagomedov and Teixeira will feature in the main card of Saturday’s UFC on FOX Fight Night against Darell Horcer and Rashad Evans respectively.