Ahead of UFC 254: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje – what promises to be the MMA fight of the year – we thought it’d be a good time to look back on every UFC Lightweight Champion so far, from the early days of Jens Pulver all the way to Khabib himself.
It’s fascinating to note how the sport has evolved throughout the years in terms of the athletes and in-cage game plan, as well as all the (former) world-beating names who have come and gone since. Some athletes have obviously created a lasting legacy, some have eased off the pedal, while others have simply faded into obscurity.
One thing’s for certain… the UFC Lightweight Division is one which has perenially been loaded with combat talent; and heavy lies the crown of he who reigns supreme. Which only goes to demonstrate the Dagestani Eagle’s calibre of skill and sheer dominance given his undefeated record across a decade+ long career (as of: 22/10/20).
Every UFC Lightweight Champion In History (as of: 22/10/20)
- Jens Pulver – UFC 30
Reign: 393 days (stripped of title in 2002 due to contract dispute)
- Sean Sherk – UFC 64
Reign: 420 days (stripped of title in 2003 due to testing positive for steroids in post-fight drug test)
- BJ Penn – UFC 80
Reign: 812 days
- Frankie Edgar – UFC 112
Reign: 687 days
- Benson Henderson – UFC 144
Reign: 552 days
- Anthony Pettis – UFC 164
Reign: 560 days
- Rafael dos Anjos – UFC 185
Reign: 481 days
- Eddie Alvarez – UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs Alvarez
Reign: 128 days
- Conor McGregor – UFC 205
Reign: 511 days (stripped of title in 2018 due to inactivity)
- Tony Ferguson – UFC 216 [Interim]
Reign: N/A (stripped of title in 2018 due to injury)
- Khabib Nurmagomedov – UFC 223 [Current Incumbent]
Reign: 927 days (Defeated McGregor at UFC 229, Defeated Interim Champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242)
- Dustin Poirier – UFC 236 [Interim]
- Justin Gaethje – UFC 249 [Incumbent Interim]
Reign: 164 days
UFC 254 will go down this Sunday with the main card kicking off at 5 AM local time. In addition to Khabib facing off with Gaethje, Australia’s very own former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker will step into the cage to fight Jared Cannonier.
Should be a good one.