First, a run-down of the particulars:
  • Due to potential metric conversion issues and weight class changes, a limit of 187 pounds is observed for this list.
  • Inception of the championship occurred on 5/18/1989, the first fight in the division.  This is certainly debatable, but Kawaguchi remains the first titleholder with any realistic starting point.
  • Sporadic periods of inactivity were observed throughout the first half of the lineage. Clear “top contender” matches took place to determine the next champion.

Your current lineal Middleweight champion is Driscus du Plessis

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

MMA Middleweight Lineal Championship History

Date Champion Outcome Challenger Notes
1989-05-18 Kenji Kawaguchi W Tadashi Yokoyama
1989-07-29 Kenji Kawaguchi D Yuji Ito
1989-10-19 Kenji Kawaguchi W Mitsuo Fujikura
1990-01-13 Kenji Kawaguchi W Naoki Sakurada
1991-05-31 Kenji Kawaguchi W Manabu Yamada
1991-08-25 Kenji Kawaguchi D Kazuhiro Kusayanagi
1991-10-17 Kenji Kawaguchi W Satoshi Honma
1992-07-23 Kenji Kawaguchi W Manabu Yamada
1992-11-27 Kenji Kawaguchi D Satoshi Honma
1994-07-29 Jan Lomulder W Kenji Kawaguchi
1995-09-03 Naoyuki Taira W Jan Lomulder
1995-12-01 Naoyuki Taira W Maurice Travis Taira goes inactive.
1997-03-16 Johil de Oliveira W Jose Landi Jons
1997-12-10 Wallid Ismail W Johil de Oliveira Ismail left division.
2000-09-24 Nate Marquardt W Shonie Carter Vacant Title. Top contender match.
2000-12-04 Nate Marquardt D Kiuma Kunioku
2001-03-31 Nate Marquardt W Hikaru Sato
2001-05-13 Nate Marquardt W Masaya Kojima
2001-10-30 Nate Marquardt W Yuji Hoshino
2001-12-01 Kiuma Kunioku W Nate Marquardt
2002-12-21 Nate Marquardt W Kiuma Kunioku Marquardt’s 2nd reign.
2003-03-08 Nate Marquardt W Izuru Takeuchi
2003-09-06 Nate Marquardt W Steve Gomm
2003-10-04 Nate Marquardt W Yuji Hisamatsu
2003-11-30 Ricardo Almeida W Nate Marquardt
2004-05-23 Ricardo Almeida W Ryo Chonan Almeida goes inactive.
2007-10-20 Anderson Silva W Rich Franklin Vacant Title. Top contender match.
2008-03-01 Anderson Silva W Dan Henderson
2008-10-25 Anderson Silva W Patrick Cote
2009-04-18 Anderson Silva W Thales Leites
2010-04-10 Anderson Silva W Demian Maia
2010-08-07 Anderson Silva W Chael Sonnen
2011-02-05 Anderson Silva W Vitor Belfort
2011-08-27 Anderson Silva W Yushin Okami
2012-07-07 Anderson Silva W Chael Sonnen
2013-07-06 Chris Weidman W Anderson Silva
2013-12-28 Chris Weidman W Anderson Silva
2014-07-05 Chris Weidman W Lyoto Machida
2015-05-23 Chris Weidman W Vitor Belfort
2015-12-12 Luke Rockhold W Chris Weidman
2016-06-04 Michael Bisping W Luke Rockhold
2016-10-08 Michael Bisping W Dan Henderson
2017-11-04 Georges St. Pierre W Michael Bisping George St. Pierre goes on hiatus with no plans to return to middleweight division.
2018-06-09 Robert Whittaker W Yoel Romero Top contender matchup
2019-10-06 Israel Adesanya W Robert Whittaker
2020-03-07 Israel Adesanya W Yoel Romero
2020-09-26 Israel Adesanya W Paulo Costa
2021-06-12 Israel Adesanya W Marvin Vettori
2022-02-12 Israel Adesanya W Robert Whittaker
2022-07-03 Israel Adesanya W Jared Cannonier
2022-11-13 Alex Pereira W Israel Adesanya
2023-04-08 Israel Adesanya W Alex Pereira
2023-09-10 Sean Strickland W Israel Adesanya
2024-01-20 Driscus du Plessis W Sean Strickland


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