Light Heavyweights

First, a run-down of the particulars:
  • Due to potential metric conversion issues and weight class changes, a limit of 206 pounds is observed for this list.
  • Inception of the championship occurred on 12/21/1997. The late start was due to the lack of guidance by an organization, with no semblance of matchmaking. Before the UFC, the Light Heavyweight division was used a “stop gap” between Middleweight and Heavyweight.
  • Only one period of inactivity was seen in this lineage.
  • The lineage is retroactively restarted with Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson II due to Jon Jones’ USADA violation at UFC 214.
Your current lineal Light Heavyweight champion is Daniel Cormier

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

MMA Light Heavyweight Lineal Championship History

Date Champion Outcome Challenger Notes
1997-12-21 Frank Shamrock WIN Kevin Jackson
1998-03-13 Frank Shamrock WIN Igor Zinoviev
1998-05-15 Frank Shamrock WIN Jeremy Horn
1998-10-16 Frank Shamrock WIN John Lober
1999-04-23 Frank Shamrock DRAW Kiyoshi Tamura
1999-09-24 Frank Shamrock WIN Tito Ortiz
2000-12-10 Frank Shamrock WIN Elvis Sinosic Shamrock went inactive.
2003-09-26 Randy Couture WIN Tito Ortiz Top contender match
2004-01-31 Vitor Belfort WIN Randy Couture
2004-08-21 Randy Couture WIN Vitor Belfort
2005-04-16 Chuck Liddell WIN Randy Couture
2005-08-20 Chuck Liddell WIN Jeremy Horn
2006-02-04 Chuck Liddell WIN Randy Couture
2006-08-26 Chuck Liddell WIN Renato Sobral
2006-12-30 Chuck Liddell WIN Tito Ortiz
2007-05-26 Quinton Jackson WIN Chuck Liddell
2007-09-08 Quinton Jackson WIN Dan Henderson
2008-07-05 Forrest Griffin WIN Quinton Jackson
2008-12-27 Rashad Evans WIN Forrest Griffin
2009-05-23 Lyoto Machida WIN Rashad Evans
2009-10-24 Lyoto Machida WIN Mauricio Rua
2010-05-08 Mauricio Rua WIN Lyoto Machida
2011-03-19 Jon Jones WIN Mauricio Rua
2011-09-24 Jon Jones WIN Quinton Jackson
2011-12-11 Jon Jones WIN Lyoto Machida
2012-04-21 Jon Jones WIN Rashad Evans
2012-09-22 Jon Jones WIN Vitor Belfort
2013-04-27 Jon Jones WIN Chael Sonnen
2013-09-21 Jon Jones WIN Alexander Gustafsson
2014-04-26 Jon Jones WIN Glover Teixeira
2015-01-03 Jon Jones WIN Daniel Cormier

Jones stripped of the UFC title and faced a potentially long hiatus.

Lineage temporarily restarted with the top contender bout of Cormier vs Johnson.

2016-04-24 Jon Jones WIN Ovince St. Preux

Jones lineage is resumed as he makes a successful return to MMA.

Cormier’s wins over Johnson and Gustafsson are erased from the lineage.

2017-04-08 Daniel Cormier WIN Anthony Johnson

After Jones’ tests positive for performance enhancing drugs after UFC 214, Jones vs Cormier II is declared a No Contest.

Lineage retroactively restarted with Cormier vs Johnson II as a top contender bout.

2018-01-20 Daniel Cormier WIN Volkan Oezdemir


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    1. oleg April 10, 2018 at 3:55 pm Reply

      NC does not count as a defense. But with this whole 205 lineage in general… damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    2. Russell Ash April 10, 2018 at 2:21 pm Reply

      Jones is still the lineal champion for my money.

      The belt should only become vacant if the champion goes 18 months+ without defending. Jones has never done that.

      Jones vs Cormier was an NC, not a DQ, so that counts as another defense for Jones.

      Also, the lineage should only start over when the number 1 fights the number 2.

    3. oleg August 25, 2017 at 1:07 pm Reply

      As for Tito, you seem to be confusing the UFC title with the world lineal MMA title – this list is the latter. The UFC lineage resumed with Ortiz-Silva after Shamrock left UFC and subsequently retired for the first time. We don’t recognize this as a world lineage fight as it was #3 vs #8 at the time (

      An argument could be made for restarting the lineage with Ortiz-Silva or Ortiz-Kondo, but we kept it vacant until Ortiz-Couture, which was the only #1 vs #2 fight since Shamrock’s retirement (

      Tito not fighting Liddell is neither here nor there… though if they had fought earlier the lineage should have restarted with that fight as it would have been #1 vs #2 or #3, depending on when it would have happened.

    4. oleg August 25, 2017 at 12:53 pm Reply

      I don’t know what to do about the Jones lineage, and I’m not sure what you’re suggesting we should do either.

      The Tyson comparison is not valid. Tyson lost the lineal title to Buster Douglas and never regained it. There was no lineage to erase or rewrite when he went to prison.

      I believe we jumped the gun with restarting the lineage with Cormier-Johnson after Jones’ car crash incident. Jones didn’t lose in the cage or on the scale. He didn’t lose period, and was only out for a little over a year. He had his first PED violation after coming back, but the outcome of OSP fight was not reversed. He still never lost to Cormier – even if the second fight changes to a No Contest, the first one had no controversy. I can’t justify just handing off the lineage to #2 because the champion did some dumb shit after the fight.

      Now? I have no idea what to do. So far, he has not been stripped of the title by UFC and the fight outcome has not yet been reversed by CSAC. I guess let’s wait and see.

    5. James August 25, 2017 at 10:58 am Reply

      Now let’s talk about Tito Ortiz, who today is still the 2nd longest defending “Lineal Champion” @205 2nd to only Jon Jones. Tito’s record is under (May Be At Threat) by DC depending what happens with Jon & looks like the belt might be given back to DC. But you have erased DC in the past? But with Tito yes he should have fought his then friend (Chuck Liddell) win or lose, I’m sure even he wishes he had now. But why is he STILL MISSING FROM YOUR CHAMPIONS LIST? He can even be easily found on (which had tried to delete him) but since his re-retirement this time from Bellator he even shows up on UFC shows including “UFC Top10” Title Reigns as #9 But still NOT on your sight WHY???

    6. James August 25, 2017 at 3:16 am Reply

      Let’s start with Jon Jones you can lose the Belt inside & outside the ring including on the scale. To continue Jon’s “Lineal” Tital is BS & condones his Bad behavior. Specially with Kon fighting OSP NOT the current Champ DC. So to erase his Lineal championship & wins while Jon was gone? [SHOULD THEY HAVE DONE THE SAME WHILE MIKE TYSON WAS IN PRISON & WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP WHEN HE ALSO RETURNED?] NO & I’m a Big Tyson fan he lost prime years. Also with Jon’s latest Drug test coming up dirty just proves my point. (We’ll Have To See How Things Work Out But Looks Like Belt Will Go Back To DC & Jon Will Lose MORE Of His Prime Years)…

    7. oleg April 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm Reply

      Will be updated this evening.

    8. codfather April 24, 2016 at 5:41 pm Reply

      Continue with Jones’ lineage

    9. oleg March 13, 2016 at 8:30 pm Reply

      UFC title is not the same as the lineal title.

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