The heavyweight division is compiled from some of the most brutal bouts and athletes the sport has ever seen.
Jon Jones made his return at UFC 285, moved up a weight class, and defeated Ciryl Gane to be named the new heavyweight champion. Let's run through the lineage of all UFC heavyweight title holders.
Mark Coleman (1997) Defeats Dan Severn at UFC 12 (2/7/97) to become the first UFC heavyweight champion. (Watch on UFC Fight Pass)
Maurice Smith (1997) Defeats Mark Coleman at UFC 14 (7/27/97). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Smith successfully defends the title once, against Tank Abbott.
Randy Couture (1997-98) Defeats Maurice Smith at Ultimate Japan (12/21/97). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Couture loses his title after a contract dispute.
The Scorecard | UFC 285: Jones vs Gane
Bas Rutten (1999) Defeats Kevin Randleman at UFC 20 (5/7/99) to win the vacant title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Rutten vacates the title to move down in weight.
Kevin Randleman (1999-2000) Defeats Pete Williams at UFC 23 (11/19/99) to win the vacant UFC Heavyweight title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) He successfully defends the title once, against Pedro Rizzo.
Randy Couture (2000-2002) Returns to the UFC and regains his title by defeating Randleman at UFC 28 (11/17/00). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) He successfully defends the title twice against Pedro Rizzo.
Josh Barnett (2002) Defeats Couture at UFC 36 (3/22/02) to win the title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Barnett loses his belt after testing positive for steroids.
Ricco Rodriguez (2002-03) Defeats Couture at UFC 39 (9/27/02) to claim the UFC heavyweight title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass)
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Tim Sylvia (2003) Stops Rodriguez at UFC 41 (2/28/03) to become champion. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Sylvia successfully defends his title against Gan McGee, but then relinquishes his crown after testing positive for steroids.
Frank Mir (2004-05) Defeats Sylvia for the vacant title at UFC 48 (6/19/04). Mir is seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and forced to give up his belt while he rehabilitated his injuries.
History Of The Heavyweights
History Of The Heavyweights
Shane Carwin (2010) Defeats Frank Mir via first round KO at UFC 111 (3/27/10) to win interim UFC heavyweight title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Lost to Lesnar via 2nd round submission at UFC 116.
Cain Velasquez (2010-11) Defeats Brock Lesnar via TKO in the first round at UFC 121 (10/23/10) to win the UFC heavyweight title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Lost to Junior Dos Santos at UFC on FOX 1
Junior Dos Santos (2011-12) Defeats Cain Velasquez via KO in the first round at UFC on FOX 1 (11/12/11) to win the UFC heavyweight title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Successfully defended title against Frank Mir. Lost title to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155
Andrei Arlovski (2005-06) Defeats Tim Sylvia in the first round at UFC 51 (2/5/05) to claim the interim title, which is later upgraded to the full championship. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Arlovski successfully defends the title twice, against Justin Eilers and Paul Buentello.
Tim Sylvia (2006-07) Becomes only the second man to regain the heavyweight championship when he knocks out Arlovski at UFC 59 (4/15/06). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Sylvia defends the title against Arlovski and Jeff Monson.
Randy Couture (2007-08) Becomes the first man to win the heavyweight title three times when he decisions Sylvia over five rounds at UFC 68 (3/3/07). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Couture successfully defends title against Gabriel Gonzaga. After a period of inactivity, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Tim Sylvia were selected to fight for the interim title. Couture subsequently returned to active status in November of 2008.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (2008) Defeats Tim Sylvia in the third round to win the interim heavyweight championship at UFC 81 (2/2/08) (Watch On UFC Fight Pass)
Frank Mir (2008-09) Defeats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via TKO in the second round at UFC 92 (12/27/08) to win the interim heavyweight championship. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Lost to Brock Lesnar at UFC 100.
Brock Lesnar (2008-2010) Defeats Randy Couture via TKO in the second round at UFC 91 (11/15/08) to win the UFC heavyweight title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Defeated Mir via 2nd round TKO at UFC 100 to unify UFC heavyweight title. On hiatus due to illness, returned in July of 2010 to defeat Carwin via 2nd round submission at UFC 116. Lost to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121.
Cain Velasquez (2012-15) Defeats Junior Dos Santos via five round unanimous decision at UFC 155 (12/29/12) to regain the heavyweight title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Successfully defended title against Antonio Silva and Junior Dos Santos. When forced out of a UFC 180 bout with Fabricio Werdum due to injury, Werdum and Mark Hunt are selected to fight for the interim belt. Ultimately loses title to Werdum at UFC 188 in 2015.
Fabricio Werdum (2014-16) Defeats Mark Hunt at UFC 180 (11/15/14) for the interim heavyweight title. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Wins undisputed title at UFC 188 by submitting Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 (6/13/15). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Loses title to Stipe Miocic at UFC 198.
Stipe Miocic (2016-18) Defeats Fabricio Werdum via first round knockout at UFC 198 (5/14/16). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Successfully defends title against Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos and Francis Ngannou. Loses belt to Daniel Cormier at UFC 226.
View Athlete Profiles: Jon Jones | Ciryl Gane
Daniel Cormier (2018-19) Defeats Stipe Miocic via first round knockout at UFC 226 (7/7/18). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Successfully defends title against Derrick Lewis before losing belt to Miocic at UFC 241.
Stipe Miocic (2019-2021) Defeats Daniel Cormier via fourth round TKO to regain the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 241 (8/17/19) (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Successfully defends title against Daniel Cormier a second time, this time by unanimous decision at UFC 252 (8/15/2020) (Watch On UFC Fight Pass)
Francis Ngannou (2021-2023) Defeats Stipe Miocic by TKO in RD 2 at UFC 260 (3/27/21) (Watch On UFC Fight Pass)
Jon Jones (Present) Defeats Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 (03/04/2023) via submission 2:04 in round one. Moved up a weight class and came out of a three year hiatus to claim the heavyweight title.
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UFC 285: Jones vs Gane took place live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 4, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!