First, a run-down of the particulars:

  • Due to potential metric conversion issues and weight class changes, a limit of 172 pounds is observed for this list.
  • Inception of the championship occured on 1/13/1990, the first fight between two top fighters that resulted in a clear #1.
  • 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 Welterweight champion is Leon Edwards.

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

MMA Welterweight Lineal Championship History

Date Champion Outcome Challenger Notes
1990-01-13 Yasuto Sekishima W Yoshimasa Ishikawa The first top-contender match-up.
1990-03-17 Yasuto Sekishima D Kenji Kawaguchi
1990-05-12 Yasuto Sekishima W Yoshimasa Ishikawa
1990-07-07 Yasuto Sekishima W Naoki Sakurada
1990-11-28 Yasuto Sekishima D Naoki Sakurada
1991-01-13 Yasuto Sekishima W Manabu Yamada
1991-03-29 Yasuto Sekishima W Takashi Tojo
1991-08-03 Yoshimasa Ishikawa W Yasuto Sekishima Ishikawa leaves division.
1991-10-17 Naoki Sakurada W Yasuto Sekishima Vacant title.
1991-12-23 Naoki Sakurada W Kazuhiro Kusayanagi
1992-05-29 Yuichi Watanabe W Naoki Sakurada Watanabe retires.
1992-09-25 Naoki Sakurada W Kazuhiro Kusayanagi Vacant title.
1994-07-29 Naoki Sakurada D Yasushi Warita
1995-01-21 Naoki Sakurada W Maurice Roumimper Sakurada leaves division.
2001-11-02 Matt Hughes W Carlos Newton Vacant title.
2002-03-22 Matt Hughes W Hayato Sakurai
2002-07-13 Matt Hughes W Carlos Newton
2002-11-22 Matt Hughes W Gil Castillo
2003-04-25 Matt Hughes W Sean Sherk
2003-11-21 Matt Hughes W Frank Trigg
2004-01-31 B.J. Penn W Matt Hughes
2004-05-22 B.J. Penn W Duane Ludwig
2006-03-04 Georges St. Pierre W B.J. Penn
2006-11-18 Georges St. Pierre W Matt Hughes
2007-04-07 Matt Serra W Georges St. Pierre
2008-04-19 Georges St. Pierre W Matt Serra
2008-08-09 Georges St. Pierre W Jon Fitch
2009-01-31 Georges St. Pierre W B.J. Penn
2009-07-11 Georges St. Pierre W Thiago Alves
2010-03-27 Georges St. Pierre W Dan Hardy
2010-12-11 Georges St. Pierre W Josh Koscheck
2011-04-30 Georges St. Pierre W Jake Shields
2012-11-17 Georges St. Pierre W Carlos Condit
2013-03-16 Georges St. Pierre W Nick Diaz
2013-11-17 Georges St. Pierre W Johny Hendricks St. Pierre relinquishes UFC title and goes on hiatus.
2014-12-06 Robbie Lawler W Johny Hendricks Vacant title
2015-07-12 Robbie Lawler W Rory MacDonald
2016-01-02 Robbie Lawler W Carlos Condit
2016-07-30 Tyron Woodley W Robbie Lawler
2016-11-12 Tyron Woodley D Stephen Thompson
2017-03-04 Tyron Woodley W Stephen Thompson
2017-07-29 Tyron Woodley W Demian Maia
2018-09-08 Tyron Woodley W Darren Till
2019-03-02 Kamaru Usman W Tyron Woodley
2019-12-14 Kamaru Usman W Colby Covington
2020-07-11 Kamaru Usman W Jorge Masvidal
2021-02-13 Kamaru Usman W Gilbert Burns
2021-04-24 Kamaru Usman W Jorge Masvidal
2021-11-06 Kamaru Usman W Colby Covington
2022-08-21 Leon Edwards W Kamaru Usman
2023-03-18 Leon Edwards W Kamaru Usman
2023-12-16 Leon Edwards W Colby Covington


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