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Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka addresses the media during the UFC 282 media day
Athletes

UFC Light Heavyweight Title Lineage

Look Back 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 Randy Couture at UFC 46 (1/31/04) to win the undisputed 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 via TKO (doctors stoppage) at the end of the third round 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 in UFC 75's main event, winning the bout by unanimous decision.

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 defeating Quinton Jackson via unanimous decision 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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Glover Teixeira 

Wins the light heavyweight title by defeating Jan Blachowicz via submission (rear-naked choke) at UFC 267 (10/30/21).

Glover Teixeira of Brazil celebrates after his victory over Jan Blachowicz of Poland in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight

Glover Teixeira of Brazil celebrates after his victory over Jan Blachowicz of Poland in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 267 event at Etihad Arena on October 30, 2021 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Jiri Prochazka 

Defeats Glover Teixeira at UFC 275 (6/11/22) in Singapore via fifth round submission (rear-naked choke). Vacated title on November 23, 2022 due to a shoulder injury that requires a significant rehabilitation period.

Jiri Prochazka of Czech Republic celebrates after his submission victory over Glover Teixeira of Brazil in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight

Jiri Prochazka of Czech Republic celebrates after his submission victory over Glover Teixeira of Brazil in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 275 event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 12, 2022 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC 282's main event will feature former champion and No. 2 ranked light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz take on surging No. 3 ranked Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant, undisputed UFC light heavyweight championship.

UFC 282: Blachowicz vs Ankalaev

UFC 282: Błachowicz vs Ankalaev took place live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 10, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass