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 Cody Garbrandt.

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



Comments (8)

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    • jcs says:

      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..

    • codfather says:

      Cody No Love is champ now!!

    • jcs says:

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

    • oleg says:

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

    • Jimmy says:

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

    • jcs says:

      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.

    • Film_Ninja says:

      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.

    • spike says:

      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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