Jens Pulver (2001-02) defeated Caol Uno at UFC 30 (2/23/01) to win the UFC lightweight championship. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/29364 Pulver defends his title against Dennis Hallman and BJ Penn before leaving the organization and vacating the title. In 2002-03, a four-man tournament featuring BJ Penn, Caol Uno, Matt Serra, and Din Thomas is held to determine a new champion, but the title remains vacant after a five round draw between Penn and Uno in the final match at UFC 41. The division is then used sporadically until the UFC 49 bout between Yves Edwards and Josh Thomson in 2004. The division doesn’t return until UFC 58 in 2006.
Sean Sherk (2006-07) defeats Kenny Florian at UFC 64 (10/14/06) to win the vacant UFC lightweight title. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/30063 Defends title against Hermes Franca but is subsequently stripped of the belt after testing positive for steroids.
BJ Penn (2008-10) defeats Joe Stevenson in the second round at UFC 80 (1/19/08) to win the vacant UFC crown. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/28860 Penn successfully defended his title against Sherk, Florian, and Diego Sanchez.
Frankie Edgar (2010-12) defeats BJ Penn via unanimous decision at UFC 112 (4/10/10) to win the UFC crown. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/29134 Edgar successfully defended the title against Penn and Gray Maynard (Draw5 and KO4)
Benson Henderson (2012-13) defeats Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision at UFC 144 (2/26/12) to win the UFC crown. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/29704 Successfully defended title against Edgar, Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez
Anthony Pettis (2013-15) defeats Benson Henderson via submission at UFC 164 (8/31/13) to win the UFC crown. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/30179 Successfully defended title against Melendez.
Rafael Dos Anjos (2015-16) defeats Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision at UFC 185 (3/14/15) to win the UFC crown. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/36539 Successfully defended title against Donald Cerrone.
Eddie Alvarez (2016) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos via first round TKO on 7/7/16 to win UFC crown. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/40396
Conor McGregor (2016-18) defeats Eddie Alvarez via second round KO at UFC 205 (11/12/16) to win UFC crown. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/46526 Stripped of belt due to inactivity in April 2018
Tony Ferguson (2017-18) defeats Kevin Lee via third round submission at UFC 216 (10/7/17) to win interim UFC lightweight title. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/59755 Stripped of belt due to injury in April 2018.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (2018-present) defeats Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision at UFC 223 (4/7/18) to win the vacant UFC lightweight title. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/63230 Successfully defends title against McGregor and Dustin Poirier
Dustin Poirier (2019) defeats Max Holloway via unanimous decision at UFC 236 (4/13/19) to win the interim UFC lightweight title while Nurmagomedov serves a suspension. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/29074 Loses belt in UFC 242 (9/7/19) bout with Nurmagomedov. https://ufcfightpass.com/video/102899
For more information and updates, sign up for the UFC Newsletter here.