First, a run-down of the particulars:

  • Due to potential metric conversion issues and weight class changes, a limit of 137 pounds is observed for this list.
  • Inception of the championship occured on 7/29/1989, the fifth known professional fight taking place at or below 137 pounds, which included the first two winners of Bantamweight bouts in a previous event (the other two bouts were draws).
  • Periodic inactivity was a sporadic issue in the Bantamweight division. In early history, ranked fights were so sporadic, that the winners of these “best available” matches were used to fill gaps. Idea is to not allow title vacancy for more than 2 years. In later Bantamweight history, only fights between established 1/2, 1/3 or 2/3 were used.

Your current lineal Bantamweight champion is TJ Dillashaw.

The full history is below. Note, the colored backgrounds indicate a title change.

MMA Bantamweight Lineal Championship History


Date Champion Outcome Challenger Notes
1989-10-19 Kazuhiro Sakamoto W Kenichi Tanaka
1990-07-07 Kenichi Tanaka W Kazuhiro Sakamoto
1990-09-08 Kenichi Tanaka W Kazuhiro Sakamoto
1991-03-29 Hiroyuki Kanno W Kenichi Tanaka
1991-08-25 Hiroyuki Kanno W Makoto Mizoguchi
1991-10-17 Kazuhiro Sakamoto W Hiroyuki Kanno Sakamoto’s 2nd reign.
1992-03-27 Noboru Asahi W Kazuhiro Sakamoto
1992-07-23 Noboru Asahi D Kenichi Tanaka
1992-09-25 Noboru Asahi W Yiroyuki Kanno
1993-04-26 Kazuhiro Sakamoto W Mamoru Okochi Asahi vacates, moves to Feather.  Sakamoto’s 3rd reign.
1995-01-21 Kazuhiro Sakamoto W Imre Hagendoom
1995-05-12 Kazuhiro Sakamoto W Rene Stigter
1995-09-26 Kazuhiro Sakamoto W Leonid Zaslavsky
1997-01-18 Uchu Tatsumi W Mamoru Okochi Vacant title. “Best available match-up”.
1997-10-12 Uchu Tatsumi W Paul Coonin Tatsumi moved out of the division.
1998-01-17 Hisao Ikeda W Jin Akimoto Ikeda/Akimoto next ‘best available’ match-up.
1998-03-01 Hisao Ikeda W Omar Salvosa
1998-08-29 Jin Akimoto W Masaru Gokita
1999-04-09 Jin Akimoto D Takeyasu Hirono
1999-09-05 Mamoru Yamaguchi W Jin Akimoto
1999-11-04 Mamoru Yamaguchi W Ryan Diaz
1999-12-07 Mamoru Yamaguchi W Baret Yoshida
2000-03-17 Mamoru Yamaguchi D Masaru Gokita
2000-08-27 Mamoru Yamaguchi W Yoshinobu Ota
2000-12-17 Mamoru Yamaguchi W Jin Akimoto
2001-11-25 Masahiro Oishi W Mamoru Yamaguchi
2002-09-16 Masahiro Oishi D Hisao Ikeda
2003-08-10 Ryota Matsune W Masahiro Oishi
2004-06-27 Ryota Matsune W Daniel Lima
2004-11-12 Ryota Matsune W Kentaro Imaizumi Matsune goes on prolonged inactivity. No legitimate successors.
2006-07-21 Ryota Matsune D Takeya Mizugaki Returns with quality defense, but goes inactive again.
2008-02-13 Miguel Torres W Chase Beebe Vacant title. “Top Contender” match-up.
2008-06-01 Miguel Torres W Yoshiro Maeda
2008-12-03 Miguel Torres W Manny Tapia
2009-04-05 Miguel Torres W Takeya Mizugaki
2009-08-09 Brian Bowles W Miguel Torres
2010-03-06 Dominick Cruz W Brian Bowles
2010-08-18 Dominick Cruz W Joseph Benavidez
2010-12-16 Dominick Cruz W Scott Jorgensen
2011-07-02 Dominick Cruz W Urijah Faber
2011-10-01 Dominick Cruz W Demetrious Johnson Dominic Cruz stripped of UFC title for inactivity.
2014-02-01 Renan Barao W Urijah Faber  Vacant title.
2014-05-24 TJ Dillashaw W Renan Barao
2014-08-30 TJ Dillashaw W Joe Soto
2015-07-25 TJ Dillashaw W Renan Barao
2016-01-18 Dominick Cruz W TJ Dillashaw
2016-06-04 Dominick Cruz W Urijah Faber
2016-12-30 Cody Garbrandt W Dominick Cruz
2017-11-04 TJ Dillashaw W  Cody Garbrandt  Dillashaw’s second reign



  1. jcs February 6, 2017 at 11:48 pm Reply

    Looking for info on the Asahi/Sakamoto fight in 1992. Initially thought this was a 65kg match but may actually have been a 62kg, which would have resulted in a diff lineage… though it possibly could’ve went back to Sakamoto.. as Asahi jumped to 143.

    This’d actually affect Bantam and Feather lineal histories..

  2. codfather January 1, 2017 at 2:21 pm Reply

    Cody No Love is champ now!!

  3. jcs September 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm Reply

    Let’s see if Barao/Cruz is the next fight for Barao..

  4. oleg September 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm Reply

    So is it time to award the linear to Barao yet?

  5. Jimmy March 3, 2013 at 2:38 am Reply

    How would Galvao have had it?
    Does that mean Dantas would now have it, if that was the case?

  6. jcs October 28, 2012 at 9:45 am Reply

    Your comment does bring up an interesting point.. in that this is the only division where the title was given away so quickly due to simple inactivity (not retirement). Sakamoto returned to the div within two years and even though his opposition after this was pathetic — I do see your point.

    Had the site been alive during this time, it probably wouldn’t have went down this way. Then again, given the fact his last four fighters had records of 0-0 (@ Feather), 0-0, 0-0, 0-1, it was as if he just came back from inactivity to earn a few bucks.. not to necessarily rule a division. I may need to re-evaluate this one.

  7. Film_Ninja October 28, 2012 at 12:11 am Reply

    I’m still a fan of the idea that Marcos Galvao currently has it. Though, Sakamoto did go inactive for a RIDICULOUS amount of time, He did eventually fight in the weight class and the “TITLE” however fictitious did move on. Hopefully, the two thought threads will merge into one definitive and true Lineal Bantamweight Champion.

  8. spike September 27, 2011 at 4:29 am Reply

    Lineal Championship History… but it would be even better if there were the name of the event where the fight took place.

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