A list of all the current UFC champions you need to know
Given the recent unprecedented lack of new productions due to state-enforced lockdowns (ostensibly for our own good), viewers are more hungry for new movies & TV shows than ever. Luckily, we have UFC fights to keep us busy during this time of social distancing.
New to the Ultimate Fighting Championship? Here are all the current UFC champions that will be defending their titles over the next few months.
Stipe Miocic: Heavyweight champion
Stipe Miocic has a long history in the UFC, fighting professionally for nearly a decade. He first became heavyweight champion when he beat Fabrício Werdum in September 2016. It was Wedum’s first loss in five years.
Miocic was able to defend his title three times before the shocking upset in 2018, when Miocic lost to Daniel Cormier in a first-round knockout.
Miocic & Cormier faced each other again in a rematch in August 2019, when Miocic reclaimed the heavyweight championship title in the fourth round – which earned him the Performance of the Night award. The two rivals faced each other again on August 15th, 2020, when Miocic won via unanimous decision.
Israel Adesanya: Middleweight champion
Israel Adesanya is a formidable fighter among the UFC champions with an undefeated record of 19-0. Before becoming middleweight champion, Adesanya won the interim middleweight championship in April 2019, known as one of the best fights of the year.
To gain his championship title, Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker on October 6th, 2019 in a second-round knockout. Adesanya defended his title after winning his bout against Yoel Romero on March 7th, 2020. He’s set to defend his title yet again on September 26th, 2020 in a fight against Paulo Costa, currently ranked the number 2 UFC middleweight fighter.
Kamaru Usman: Welterweight champion
Kamaru Usman became UFC welterweight champion in March 2019 when he defeated Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision. Before his professional career, Usman was a successful fighter in the NCAA, where he got the nickname “The Nigerian Nightmare”.
Usman has defended his title two times since his championship, most recently against Jorge Masvidal on July 5th, 2020. Kamaru Usman will have the chance to defend his title yet again on December 12th, 2020 against Gilbert Burns, notably ranked number 1 UFC welterweight.
Khabib Nurmagomedov: Lightweight champion
Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the best reigning UFC champions, holding the longest active winning streak in MMA history: 28-0. He’s also notably the first Muslim to win a UFC title.
Nurmagomedov defeated Al Iaquinta in April 2018 to win his lightweight championship title, and has since defended his title two times.
Nurmagomedov was scheduled for a bout against Tony Ferguson in April 2020, but the fight was cancelled because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, a unification bout against the interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is set for October 24th, 2020, when Nurmagomedov gets a third chance to defend his title.
Alexander Volkanovski: Men’s featherweight champion
Former featherweight champion Max Holloway wasn’t able to maintain the belt when Alexander Volkanovski managed to defeat Holloway via unanimous decision in December 2019.
When Volkanovski & Holloway rematched on July 11th, 2020, Volkanovski defended his title via split decision. However, Volkanovski’s win received an overwhelming amount of controversy. UFC President Dana White even commented on the fight, saying “bad judging” led to Volkanovski’s win. Rumors of a third fight have sprouted following the controversial bout, but a rematch hasn’t been confirmed.
Petr Yan: Men’s bantamweight champion
Petr Yan is the current men’s bantamweight champion, having recently defeated José Aldo in a five-round fight. The title was previously vacated by Henry Cejudo, who spontaneously announced his retirement immediately after he successfully defended his bantamweight title. Though Cejudo’s retirement was controversial & short-lived, Yan nevertheless became the new bantamweight champion.
Deiveson Figueiredo: Men’s flyweight champion
Dieveson Figueiredo is the most recent UFC champion, winning the men’s flyweight title on July 18th, 2020. The title was vacant after Henry Cejudo withdrew his title to focus on the bantamweight division. To win the title, Figueiredo defeated Joseph Benavidez, earning him the Performance of the Night award.
Figueiredo’s first opportunity to defend his title will be held on November 21st, 2020, when he’s set to face Cody Garbrandt, who recently announced his plan to move from the bantamweight to flyweight division.
Amanda Nunes: Women’s featherweight & bantamweight champion
Amanda Nunes is an incredibly skilled fighter, holding a multitude of UFC records. Nunes is the first woman to become a two-division UFC champion, meaning she’s the UFC champion in both featherweight & bantamweight divisions.
Nune’s also the third person & first female to hold championships in two divisions at the same time. Even more impressively, Nunes is the first fighter in UFC history to defend two titles while actively holding them.
Nunes first became a UFC champion in July 2016 when she beat Miesha Tate in the women’s bantamweight division. She’s defended her title five times and is still the current bantamweight champion four years later. Nunes has held her title for over 1,500 days, the longest women’s winning streak in UFC history.
Nunes became the featherweight champion in December 2018 when she defeated Cris Cyborg and has successfully defended her featherweight title once, still holding the championship title.
Nunes has also managed to beat six other UFC champions over the years, including Valentina Shevchenko & Ronda Rousey. Nunes was also the first openly gay champion in UFC history. She’s married to Nina Ansaroff, another UFC fighter who plays in the strawweight division.
Valentina Shevchenko: Women’s flyweight champion
Valentina Shevchenko started as a bantamweight fighter, but joined the flyweight division in 2017. She did extremely well against newcomer Priscilla Cachoeira in 2018, allowing Shevchenko to compete for the championship title.
Shevchenko faced returning flyweight Joanna Jędrzejczyk in December 2018 and won by unanimous decision, giving Schevchenko her new title of UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion.
Shevchenko successfully defended her title three times, most recently in February 2020 against Katlyn Chookagian. Shevchenko will get another opportunity to defend her title on November 21st, 2020 against Jennifer Maia, number 4 in the UFC women’s flyweight rankings.
Zhang Weili: Strawweight champion
Zhang Weili became the first Chinese champion in UFC history after beating Jessica Andrade in August 2019. She won Best Performance for her win in a mere single round ending in a knockout. Andrade was the favorite to win, making Weili’s championship even more impressive.
Weili managed to defend her title against former UFC Strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk in March 2020, her first successful UFC title defense.