The UFC Heavyweight Title: A Lineal History


Daniel Cormier at UFC 226 on Saturday knocked out Stipe Miocic to become the 20th undisputed heavyweight champion in Ultimate Fighting Championship history.

From its inception in 1997, the UFC's heavyweight division was marked in its early years by a dizzying series of twists and turns, including three different champions in its first year, multiple champs abandoning the title to fight elsewhere and two men losing their belts in the lab rather than the Octagon. The UFC's heavyweight title was also a clear second fiddle to its Pride Fighting Championships counterpart for most of that first decade. With the 2007 absorption of Pride and, a few years later, the acquisition of Strikeforce — including Cormier, incidentally, fresh from winning the heavyweight grand prix — the UFC's heavyweight division eventually gained the preeminent status it still enjoys. Today, the fighter wearing UFC heavyweight gold can lay a claim to “Baddest Man on the Planet” status that is hard to dispute.

Here is a graphic representation of the 21-year history of the undisputed UFC heavyweight title and the times it was won, lost or defended. Interim title fights are omitted, with the exception of Andrei Arlovski-Tim Sylvia 1, since…

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