Rose Namajunas once again shattered the odds when she knocked out Weili Zhang to reclaim the UFC strawweight title in the co-main event of UFC 261.
In doing so, Namajunas has set a couple of records in the UFC. Namajunas became the only fighter in the UFC women's division to lose a title and recapture it. Unfortunately, Namajunas (10-4) also joined a club of current UFC champions with the worst pro-MMA records.
This could be attributed to the fact that Namajunas started her career as a 20-year-old. Understandably, most athletes in their early 20s haven't refined their skills yet. That was the case for Namajunas as she suffered back-to-back losses against Tecia Torres in her last fight in Invicta FC, and in her UFC debut against Carla Esparza.
Namajunas then went on a three-fight winning streak before suffering her third career defeat against Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 201. She bounced back with three straight victories, including a title-capturing upset against Joanna Jedrzejczyk and a successful title defense when the pair rematched.
Namajunas dropped the strawweight title to Jessica Andrade in a shocking knockout. She would avenge her loss the following year to earn a title shot against Weili Zhang. The rest, of course, is history.
Who joins Rose Namajunas as UFC champions with the worst records?
It might come as a surprise to many, but Francis Ngannou (16-3) has one of the worst records among active UFC champions.
As of late, 'The Predator' may have looked unstoppable, but he did not get to the UFC heavyweight mountaintop without suffering a few setbacks.
Ngannou was riding a six-fight winning streak in the UFC before his first fight with Stipe Miocic. However, Ngannou's ascent was delayed when he suffered his first loss in the UFC after Miocic took advantage of his deficient wrestling defense.
Ngannou seemed to have lost confidence following that loss as he appeared wary and was outpointed by Derrick Lewis at UFC 226. But since then, Ngannou has bounced back by stringing together four KO victories before finally taking Miocic down to win the UFC heavyweight title.
Jan Blachowicz (28-8) is a late bloomer, and as a result, he is among the UFC champions with the worst records. Early in his career, Blachowicz suffered consecutive losses against Jimmy Manuwa and Corey Anderson. He bounced back against Igor Pokrajac but once again dropped two straight fights against Alexander Gustafsson and Patrick Cummins.
Blachowicz's most devastating career setback came in the form of a TKO loss against Thiago Santos in 2019. However, Blachowicz displayed his resilience when he scored three consecutive victories before putting Dominick Reyes away to capture the UFC light heavyweight crown.
At the end of the day, a UFC fighter's main goal is to reach the top of their respective divisions. For UFC champions, what their record says doesn't matter as long as they get the gold belt wrapped around their waists.