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Jan Blachowicz of Poland celebrates after defeating Dominick Reyes in their light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Athletes

UFC Light Heavyweight Title Lineage

Look At Every UFC Light Heavyweight To Become Champion:

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.

Legends Lookback: Tito Ortiz
Legends Lookback: Tito Ortiz
Legends Lookback: Tito Ortiz
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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.

Tito Ortiz puts the championship belt on Randy Couture after Ortiz was defeated by Couture after their light heavyweight championship bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on September 26, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Tito Ortiz puts the championship belt on Randy Couture after Ortiz was defeated by Couture after their light heavyweight championship bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on September 26, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Vitor Belfort – defeats Couture at UFC 46 (1/31/04) to win the title.

Vitor Belfort defeats Randy Couture to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 46 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on January 31, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Vitor Belfort defeats Randy Couture to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 46 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on January 31, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

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.

Chuck Liddell celebrates his victory over Randy Couture at UFC 52 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 16, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Chuck Liddell celebrates his victory over Randy Couture at UFC 52 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 16, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

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.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson celebrates his victory over Chuck Liddell at UFC 71.

UFC 71 Rampage Jackson

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson celebrates his victory over Chuck Liddell at UFC 71.

Forrest Griffin – wins the light heavyweight title by decisioning Jackson at UFC 86 (7/5/08).

FINDING FORREST: The Story of Forrest Griffin, a True UFC Original
FINDING FORREST: The Story of Forrest Griffin, a True UFC Original
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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.

LAS VEGAS - MAY 23:  Lyoto Machida (black/red shorts) def. Rashad Evans (black tight shorts) - KO 3:57 round 2 during UFC 98 at MGM Grand Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida (black/red shorts) def. Rashad Evans (black tight shorts) - KO 3:57 round 2 during UFC 98 at MGM Grand Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Mauricio Rua – wins the light heavyweight title with a first round KO of Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 (5/8/10)

 Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (white shorts) def. Lyoto Machida (black shorts) - KO - 3:35 round 1 during UFC 113 at Bell Centre on May 8, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (white shorts) def. Lyoto Machida (black shorts) - KO - 3:35 round 1 during UFC 113 at Bell Centre on May 8, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

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.

New UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones celebrates after defeating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 at the Prudential Center on March 19, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC)
New UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones celebrates after defeating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 at the Prudential Center on March 19, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC)

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.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 23:  Daniel Cormier reacts to his victory over Anthony Johnson in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 187 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 23: Daniel Cormier reacts to his victory over Anthony Johnson in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 187 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


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.

UFC 253: Jan Blachowicz Octagon Interview
UFC 253: Jan Blachowicz Octagon Interview
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