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UFC Weight Classes & Their Champions: A History

The 13th Heavyweight Champion – Randy Couture (Mar. 3, 2007-Nov. 15, 2008)

Couture defeated Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 by unanimous decision to become the 13th heavyweight champion for a record third time. He defended his title once before losing it to Brock Lesner at UFC 91.

The Seventh Welterweight Champion – Matt Serra (Apr. 7, 2007-Apr. 19, 2008)

Matt Serra

Serra defeated Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69 by 1st-round TKO to become the UFC’s seventh welterweight champion. He did not defend his title as GSP won the rematch at UFC 83.

The Sixth Light Heavyweight Champion – Quinton Jackson (May 26, 2007-July 5, 2008)

Jackson knocks out Liddell at UFC 71

Jackson defeated Chuck Liddell by first round KO at UFC 71 to become the sixth light heavyweight champion. He defended his title once before losing it to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86.

The Fourth Lightweight Champion – B.J. Penn (Jan 19, 2008-Apr. 10, 2010)

Penn defeated Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 by second-round submission (rear naked choke) to win the vacant lightweight championship. He defended his title three times before losing it to Frankie Edgar at UFC 112.

The Eighth Welterweight Champion – Georges St- Pierre (Apr. 19 2008-present)

In the rematch, GSP defeated Matt Serra to become the welterweight champion for the second time. He has defended his title six times since.

The Seventh Light Heavyweight Champion – Forrest Griffin (July 5, 2008-Dec. 27, 2008)

Forrest Griffin

Griffin defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by unanimous decision at UFC 86 to become the seventh light heavyweight champion. He did not defend his title as Rashad Evans defeated him in his next bout at UFC 92.

The 14th Heavyweight Champion – Brock Lesnar (Nov. 15, 2008-Oct. 23, 2010)

Brock Lesnar

Lesner defeated Randy Couture at UFC 91 by TKO in the second round to become the 14th UFC Heavyweight Champion. He defended his title twice before losing it to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121.

The Eighth Light Heavyweight Champion – Rashad Evans (Dec. 27, 2008-May 23, 2009)

Rashad EvansEvans defeated Forrest Griffin by a third-round TKO at UFC 92 to become the eighth light heavyweight champion. He did not defend his title as Lyoto Machida defeated him in his next fight at UFC 98.

The Ninth Light Heavyweight Champion – Lyoto Machida (May 23, 2009-May 8, 2010)

Lyoto MachidaMachida defeated Rashad Evans by a second-round KO at UFC 98 to become the ninth light heavyweight champion. Machida defended his title once before losing to Mauricio Rua at UFC 113.

The Fifth Lightweight Champion – Frankie Edgar (Apr. 10, 2010-present)

Frankie EdgarEdgar defeated B.J. Penn at UFC 112 by unanimous decision to become the fifth lightweight champion in UFC history. He has defended his title twice since.

The 10th Light Heavyweight Champion – Mauricio Rua (May 8, 2010-Mar. 19, 2011)

Mauricio Rua

Rua defeated Lyoto Machida by a first-round knock out at UFC 113 to become the 10th light heavyweight champion. Rua did not defend his title as Jon Jones would defeat him in his next bout at UFC 128.

The 15th Heavyweight Champion – Cain Velasquez (Oct. 23, 2010-present)

Cain Velasquez

Cain Velasquez defeated Brock Lesner at UFC 121 by TKO in the second round to become the 15th heavyweight champion.

The First Featherweight Champion – Jose Aldo (Nov. 20, 2010-present)

Jose Aldo

Aldo became the first UFC Featherweight Champion without a fight. As he was the current WEC champion at the time of the merger between the UFC and WEC, Dana White, president of the UFC announced at UFC 123 that Aldo would be given the inaugural belt.

The featherweight division was created back at UFC 31 when the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts were adopted by the promotion. At the time there were no fighters for the division so it was left vacant. When the MMA gained more and more popularity, the WEC was created and it developed a market for the lower weight classes. The UFC decided to concentrate only on the higher weight classes until the merger.

Aldo defended his title for the first time at UFC 129, beating Mark Hominick by unanimous decision.

The Second Bantamweight Champion – Dominick Cruz (Dec. 16, 2010-present)

Dominick Cruz

Originally, the bantamweight division was created way back at UFC 26 to include every fighter under 155 pounds. Its first champion was Jens Pulver, who won the belt at UFC 30. But with the adoption of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts at UFC 31, Pulver and his bantamweight belt moved into the lightweight division (the former lightweight division was renamed to welterweight) and bantamweight was formed in the 125-135 pound weight range. The division remained dormant until the merger between the UFC and WEC.

At WEC 53, December 16, 2010, the last WEC event, it was determined that the bantamweight championship fight between title holder Dominick Cruz and challenger Scott Jorgensen would decide the new UFC Bantamweight Champion. Cruz defeated Jorgensen by unanimous decision to become the second ever bantamweight champion in UFC history.

The 11th Light Heavyweight Champion – Jon Jones (Mar. 19, 2011-present)

Jon Jones

Jones defeated Mauricio Rua by third-round TKO to become the UFC’s 11th light heavyweight champion.


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