Looking at the UFC's champions at the beginning and end of the decade (2010-2019)
We’re getting ever closer now to the end of the decade (2010-2019), and it’s certainly been an eventful one for the UFC. The world’s biggest MMA promotion has grown massively over the last ten years, absorbing sister promotions WEC and StrikeForce and adding seven new weight classes along the way.
Great fighters have come and gone over that time, and unsurprisingly, none of the UFC’s champions at the start of 2010 still hold their titles at the end of the decade. Here is a look at the UFC champions in each weight class at the start of the decade, and at the end of the decade too.
Note: for the purposes of this article, where the UFC has imported a division from another promotion during the decade, with the existing champion being automatically declared UFC champion, I have taken that promotion’s champion to be de facto UFC champion at the start of the decade.
Heavyweight: Brock Lesnar and Stipe Miocic
As 2010 dawned, the Heavyweight division was still very much in the era of Brock Lesnar. ‘The Beast Incarnate’ had defeated Frank Mir to unify his UFC Heavyweight title with Mir’s interim title at UFC 100 in July 2009, but his next title defense – against Shane Carwin – had to be postponed due to Lesnar’s ongoing battle with diverticulitis.
2010 actually began with another interim title fight – Carwin brutally defeated Mir – before July saw Lesnar return in another unification match, beating Carwin by second round submission in an instant classic. Unfortunately for fans of the former WWE superstar, he was comprehensively defeated in his next defense by Cain Velasquez, and returned to professional wrestling shortly after one final loss to Alistair Overeem.
Today’s Heavyweight champion is Stipe Miocic, who began his second title reign this August by defeating the man who dethroned him a year prior, Daniel Cormier. Miocic’s first title reign saw him defend his crown successfully against Overeem, Junior Dos Santos and Francis Ngannou, and the current plan involves a third fight with Cormier at some point in 2020.