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List of All UFC Heavyweight Champions & Championship History

ufc-HEAVYweight-champions-Championship

UFC Heavyweight Championship is the title for the Heavyweight division which is for fighters more than 205 lbs or 93 kgs. We will cover the complete list of UFC Heavyweight Champions, the current Heavyweight champion, and title history in this article.

UFC Heavyweight Championship Title History


UFC Heavyweight Championship was introduced on 7 February 1997 at UFC 12 by uniting the UFC Superfight Championship and UFC Tournament Championship. Mark Coleman(Tournament Champion) defeated Dan Severn(Superfight Champion) via submission to become the inaugural UFC Heavyweight Champion. Maurice Smith dethroned Coleman in his first title defense at UFC 14 by decision in a fight that went into two overtimes.

Smith later became the first fighter to defend the Heavyweight title successfully at UFC 15 against Tank Abbott. Randy Couture won the title next at UFC Japan in December 1997. Couture was stripped of the title when he left UFC after a contract dispute. Bas Rutten defeated Kevin Randleman for the vacant title at UFC 20. Rutten also vacated the title as he decided to drop down to the Light Heavyweight division.

Kevin Randleman won the title in his second attempt as he defeated Pete Williams at UFC 23. Couture won the title for the second time as he defeated Randleman via TKO in the third round at UFC 28. Couture defended the title against Pedro Rizzo successfully before losing it to Josh Barnett by TKO. Barnett was found positive for anabolic steroids in a post-fight drug test and was stripped of the title on 26 July 2002.

Ricco Rodriguez defeated Couture via submission to win the title at UFC 39. Tim Sylvia won the title from Rodriguez at UFC 41 with a TKO. After his successful first defense, Sylvia was stripped off the title after being found positive for Stanozolol. Frank Mir defeated Sylvia for the vacant title at UFC 48. Mir was involved in a motorcycle accident on 17 September 2004 and left with injuries in his femur and knee ligaments. Andre Arlovski became the interim Heavyweight Champion by defeating Tim Sylvia. Arlovski was later promoted as the undisputed champion after Mir failed to recover from injuries.

Arlovski had defended against Justin Eller as the interim champion. He also defended the title against Paul Buentello before dropping it to Tim Slyvia in a TKO loss at UFC 59. Sylvia became the second fighter to win the heavyweight title twice. Randy Couture defeated Sylvia in his third title defense to win the UFC Heavyweight title at UFC 68, becoming the first fighter to win the title thrice. Another dispute between Couture and UFC resulted in UFC booking another interim championship fight. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defeated Tim Slyvia via submission to become the interim Heavyweight Champion at UFC 81.

After a long dispute, Couture returned to UFC but lost the Heavyweight title to Brock Lesnar at  UFC 91 via TKO. On the other side, Frank Mir defeated Nogueria for the interim championship. Lesnar became the undisputed champion by defeating Mir with TKO at UFC 100. Lesnar went on a spell of illness and was later diagnosed with mononucleosis and diverticulitis. Another interim champion was crowned as Shane Carwin defeated Frank Mir at UFC 111. Then, Lesnar once again united the Heavyweight title by defeating Carwin at 116.

Cain Velasquez dethroned Lesnar at UFC 121 with a TKO win. He lost the title to Junior Dos Santos in what was his first UFC loss. After a successful defense against Frank Mir, Dos Santos lost the title back to Velasquez. Velasquez had successful defenses against Antonio Silva and Dos Santos in their trilogy fight. With Velasquez dealing with injuries, Fabricio Werdum faced Mark Hunt and became interim champion with a TKO win. Werdum became the undisputed champion by defeating Velasquez.

Stipe Miocic dominated the Heavyweight scene after winning the title at UFC 198. Over the next two years, Miocic defended the title against Alistair Overeem(first-round KO), Junior Dos Santon(TKO) and Francis Ngannou(unanimous decision). Miocic lost the title to Daniel Cormier in a shocking fashion with a first-round KO after a debilitating eye poke from Cormier. Cormier defended the title against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220.

Miocic defeated Cormier in their rematch at UFC 241 with a TKO in the fourth round. Miocic also won their trilogy fight with a unanimous decision at UFC 251. Miocic dropped the title to Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 after getting knocked out in the second round.

Current UFC Heavyweight Champion


Francis Ngannou UFC Heaveyweight Champion

Francis Ngannou is the current UFC Heavyweight Champion. He won the title from Stipe Miocic with a second-round TKO win at UFC 260. He is yet to defend the title.

Ngannou’s teammate Ciryl Gane became the interim Heavyweight champion at UFC 265 on 7 August 2021 by defeating Derrick Lewis by TKO.

List of UFC Heavyweight Champions


Ciryl Gane interim UFC World Heavyweight Champion

Interim – Ciryl Gane

  • Title Won Date: August 7, 2021
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day:
  • Event: UFC 265
  • Notes: Gane defeated Derrick Lewis to become interim Heavyweight Champion at UFC 260.
Francis Nganuou Champions Heavyweight

22. Francis Ngannou

  • Title Won Date: Mar 27, 2021
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day: 145 Days
  • Event: UFC 260
  • Notes: Ngannou won the title by defeating Miocic at UFC 260.
Stipe-Miocic UFC Heavyweight Champions

21. Stipe Miocic

  • Title Won Date: Aug 17, 2019
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 589 days
  • Event: UFC 241
  • Notes: Miocic won the title back from Cormier with a TKO win.
Daniel-Cormier

20. Daniel Cormier

  • Title Won Date: Jul 7, 2018
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 407 days
  • Event: UFC 226
  • Notes: Cormier won the title in a shocking first round win from Moicic.
Stipe-Miocic UFC Heavyweight Champions

19. Stipe Miocic

  • Title Won Date: May 14, 2016
  • Defenses: 3
  • Reigns Day: 785 days
  • Event: UFC 198
  • Notes: Miocic won the title from Fabricio Werdum.
Fabrício-Werdum

18. Fabrício Werdum

  • Title Won Date: Jun 13, 2015
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day: 336 days
  • Event: UFC 188
  • Notes: Wedrum was promoted from interim to undisputed champion.
Fabrício-Werdum

Interim – Fabrício Werdum

  • Title Won Date: Nov 15, 2014
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day: 180 days
  • Event: UFC 180
  • Notes: With Velasquez injured, Werdum became the interim champion by defeating Mark Hunt.
Cain-Velasquez

17. Cain Velasquez

  • Title Won Date: Dec 29, 2012
  • Defenses: 2
  • Reigns Day: 896 days
  • Event: UFC 155
  • Notes: Velazquez won the title back from Dos Santos.
junior-dos-santos-heavyweight-champion

16. Junior dos Santos

  • Title Won Date: Nov 12, 2011
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 413 days
  • Event: UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos
  • Notes: Dos Santos won the title from Velasquez at UFC on FOX debut.

15. Cain Velasquez

  • Title Won Date: Oct 23, 2010
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 385 days
  • Event: UFC 121
  • Notes: Velasquez defeated Lesnar to become Heavyweight Champion.
Shane Carwin UFC Heavyweight Champion

Interim – Shane Carwin

  • Title Won Date: Mar 27, 2010
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day:
  • Event: UFC 111
  • Notes: When Lesnar was suffering with illnes, Carwin defeated Mir to become interim champion.
Frank Mir UFC Heavyweight Champions

Interim – Frank Mir

  • Title Won Date: Dec 27, 2008
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day:
  • Event: UFC 92
  • Notes: Mir defeated Nogureira to win the interim championship. He lost the undisputed title match to Lesnar.
Brock Lesnar UFC Heavy Weight Champions

14. Brock Lesnar

  • Title Won Date: Nov 15, 2008
  • Defenses: 2
  • Reigns Day: 707 days
  • Event: UFC 91
  • Notes: Lesnar defeated Couture to win Heavyweight title.
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira UFC HeavyWeight Champions

Interim –Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira

  • Title Won Date: Feb 2, 2008
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day:
  • Event: UFC 81
  • Notes: Nogueira became interim champion when Couture was having dispute with UFC.
Randy Couture Heavyweight Champions

13. Randy Couture

  • Title Won Date: Mar 3, 2007
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 623 days
  • Event: UFC 68
  • Notes: Couture became the first 3-time Heavyweight champion by defeating Slyvia.
Tim Sylvia UFC Heavyweight Champions

12. Tim Sylvia

  • Title Won Date: Apr 15, 2006
  • Defenses: 2
  • Reigns Day: 623 days
  • Event: UFC 59
  • Notes: Slyvia became the second 2-time champion by defeating Arlovski.
Andrei Arlovski UFC Heavyweight Champions

11. Andrei Arlovski

  • Title Won Date: Aug 12, 2005
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 246 days
  • Event: UFC 59
  • Notes: Arlovski was promoted as the undisputed champion after Mir became inactive.
Andrei Arlovski UFC Heavyweight Champions

Interim- Andrei Arlovski

  • Title Won Date: Feb 5, 2005
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day:
  • Event: UFC 51
  • Notes: Arlovski defeated Tim Slyvia to win the interim title.
Frank Mir UFC Heavyweight Champions

10. Frank Mir

  • Title Won Date: Jun 19, 2004
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day: 419 days
  • Event: UFC 48
  • Notes: Frank Mir defeated Sylvia to win the vacant title. Mir was removed as the champion due to inactivity after a motorcycle accident.
Tim Sylvia UFC Heavyweight Champions

9. Tim Sylvia

  • Title Won Date: Feb 28, 2003
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 229 days
  • Event: UFC 41
  • Notes: Slyvia defeated Ricco by TKO to win the title. He was stripped off the title after positive test for Stanozolol.
Francis Ngannou UFC Heaveyweight Champion

8. Ricco Rodriguez

  • Title Won Date: Sep 27, 2002
  • Defenses:
  • Reigns Day: 154 days
  • Event: UFC 39
  • Notes: Ricco defeated Couture via submission to win the title.
Francis Ngannou UFC Heaveyweight Champion

7. Josh Barnett

  • Title Won Date: Mar 22, 2002
  • Defenses: 0
  • Reigns Day: 126 days
  • Event: UFC 36
  • Notes: Barnett defeated Couture via submission to win the title. He was removed as champion after positive drug test.
Randy Couture Heavyweight Champions

6. Randy Couture

  • Title Won Date: Nov 17, 2000
  • Defenses: 2
  • Reigns Day: 490 days
  • Event: UFC 28
  • Notes: Couture became the first two times Heavyweight Champion by defeating Randleman via TKO.
Francis Ngannou UFC Heaveyweight Champion

5. Kevin Randleman

  • Title Won Date: Nov 19, 1999
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 364 days
  • Event: UFC 23
  • Notes: Randleman won the vacant title by defeating Pete Williams.
Francis Ngannou UFC Heaveyweight Champion

4. Bas Rutten

  • Title Won Date: May 7, 1999
  • Defenses: 0
  • Reigns Day:
  • Event: UFC 20
  • Notes: Bas Rutten defeated Kevin Randleman for the vacant title at UFC 20. Rutten vacated the title after going to Light Heavyweight division.
Randy Couture Heavyweight Champions

3. Randy Couture

  • Title Won Date: Dec 21, 1997
  • Defenses: 0
  • Reigns Day:
  • Event: UFC Japan
  • Notes: Couture defeated Smith at UFC Japan. He was stripped off the title in Janaury 1998 after he left UFC due to a contract dispute.
Francis Ngannou UFC Heaveyweight Champion

2. Maurice Smith

  • Title Won Date: Jul 27, 1997
  • Defenses: 1
  • Reigns Day: 147 days
  • Event: UFC 14
  • Notes: Smith defeated Coleman(decision) to win the title. First fighter to defend the Heavyweight title successfully.
Francis Ngannou UFC Heaveyweight Champion

1. Mark Coleman

  • Title Won Date: Feb 7, 1997
  • Defenses: 0
  • Reigns Day: 170 days
  • Event: UFC 12
  • Notes: Inaugural Heavyweight Champion and united Superfight & Tournament Championship

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