On February 13, Kamaru Usman defends his welterweight title for the third time against Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 258. Usman is the latest in the line of champions to rule over perhaps the toughest division in the UFC. And as you can see below, it’s a lineage that includes five UFC Hall of Famers.
1. Pat Miletich (1998-2001)
Miletich defeats Mikey Burnett at UFC Brazil (10/16/98) to win the UFC Welterweight title, which was then called the lightweight title. Miletich defends the title against Jorge Patino, Andre Pederneiras, John Alessio, and Kenichi Yamamoto.
2. Carlos Newton (2001)
Newton defeats Pat Miletich by submission at UFC 31 on May 4, 2001 to securing the UFC welterweight title.
3. Matt Hughes (2001-2004)
Hughes defeats Carlos Newton by knockout at UFC 34 on November 2, 2001 to win the UFC welterweight title. Hughes would go on to successfully defend his title against Hayato Sakurai, Carlos Newton, Gil Castillo, Sean Sherk, and Frank Trigg.
4. BJ Penn (2004)
Penn defeats Hughes at UFC 46 to win the UFC welterweight championship. Penn then leaves the organization, rendering the title vacant.
5. Matt Hughes (2004-2006)
In 2004, Hughes regained the UFC welterweight title by defeating Georges St-Pierre at UFC 50 on October 22, 2004 to win the title vacated by BJ Penn. Hughes defends the title against Frank Trigg and BJ Penn, and defeats Royce Gracie in a non-title bout.
6. Georges St-Pierre (2006-2007)
St-Pierre defeats Hughes by TKO on November 18, 2006 to win the UFC welterweight title.
7. Matt Serra (2007-2013)
Serra stops St-Pierre in the first round at UFC 69 on November 18, 2006 to win the UFC welterweight championship.
8. Georges St-Pierre (2007-2013)
St-Pierre wins interim title with win over Hughes at UFC 79 on December 29, 2007. He then regains the undisputed title by stopping Serra in the second round at UFC 83 on April 19, 2008. GSP successfully defended his title against Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and Johny Hendricks. Vacated title on December 13, 2013.
9. Carlos Condit (2012)
Condit won the interim welterweight title with a win over Nick Diaz at UFC 143. Lost to St-Pierre at UFC 154.
10. Johny Hendricks (2014)
Hendricks won the UFC welterweight vacant title with his win over Robbie Lawler at UFC 171.
11. Robbie Lawler (2014-2016)
Lawler defeated Hendricks at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014 to win the UFC welterweight title. He successfully defended the belt against Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit.
12. Tyron Woodley (2016-2019)
Woodley defeated Lawer at UFC 201 on July 30, 2016 to win the UFC welterweight title. He successfully defended the title against Stephen Thompson (twice), Demian Maia and Darren Till.
13. Colby Covington (2018)
Covington wins the UFC welterweight interim title by defeating Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225 on June 9, 2018. Stripped of the interim belt due to injury in September of 2018.
Usman defeated Woodley at UFC 235 on March 2, 2019 to win the UFC welterweight title. He has successfully defended his title against Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.