For years the UFC light heavyweight belt was held by some of the sports biggest names. See which athletes were able to climb the ladder and claim UFC gold in one of UFC toughest divisions:
Frank Shamrock - defeats Kevin Jackson at Ultimate Japan (12/21/97) to become the first UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. The title was then called the Middleweight title. Shamrock defends his title against Igor Zinoviev, Jeremy Horn, John Lober, and Tito Ortiz. He retires from the UFC in November of 1999.
Tito Ortiz – defeats Wanderlei Silva at UFC 25 (4/14/00) to win the vacant title. Ortiz defends his crown against Yuki Kondo, Evan Tanner, Elvis Sinosic, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ken Shamrock. After a period of inactivity, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture were selected to fight for the interim title.
Randy Couture – defeats Chuck Liddell at UFC 43 (6/6/03) for the interim title. He defeats Ortiz at UFC 44 (9/26/03) to claim the undisputed crown.
Vitor Belfort – defeats Couture at UFC 46 (1/31/04) to win the title.
Randy Couture – regains the championship by defeating Belfort at UFC 49 (8/21/04).
Chuck Liddell – wins the light heavyweight title by defeating Couture at UFC 52 (4/16/05). Liddell defended his title against Jeremy Horn, Couture, Renato Sobral, and Ortiz.
Quinton Jackson – wins the light heavyweight title by defeating Liddell in the first round at UFC 71 (5/26/07). Jackson defended the title against Dan Henderson.
Forrest Griffin – wins the light heavyweight title by decisioning Jackson at UFC 86 (7/5/08).
Rashad Evans – wins the light heavyweight title with a third round TKO of Griffin at UFC 92 (12/27/08)
Lyoto Machida – wins the light heavyweight title with a second round KO of Evans at UFC 98 (5/23/09). Defended the title against Mauricio Rua.
Mauricio Rua – wins the light heavyweight title with a first round KO of Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 (5/8/10)
Jon Jones – wins the light heavyweight title with a third round TKO of Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 (3/19/11). Defended the title against Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira, Daniel Cormier. Stripped of title in April 2015.
Daniel Cormier – wins the vacant light heavyweight title by defeating Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 (5/23/15). Defended the title against Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, Volkan Oezdemir. Vacated title on December 28, 2018.
Jon Jones – Defeated Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 (4/23/16) to win the interim light heavyweight title. Stripped of interim belt for failed drug test. Defeated Cormier for the undisputed light heavyweight title at UFC 214 (7/29/17). Failed drug test and was stripped of the title and the fight ruled a no contest. Cormier reinstated as champion.
Jon Jones – Defeated Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 (12/29/18) to win the vacant UFC light heavyweight title. Defended title against Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, Dominick Reyes. Vacated belt on August 17, 2020
Jan Blachowicz – Defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 (9/27/20) to win the vacant UFC light heavyweight title. Defended title against Israel Adesanya.