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Top 10 UFC champions who never successfully defended their titles

Across 10 UFC divisions, 12 new full and interim champions have been crowned in 2016 alone.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18:  UFC heavyweight champion contender Frank Mir speaks to media during the Ultimate Media Day on March 18, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Frank Mir features on our list

Across 10 UFC divisions, 12 new full and interim champions have been crowned in 2016 alone. The shuffle in gold this past year has been larger than ever before in the world’s top MMA promotion and it has been at the cost of many UFC champions, divisions and respective contenders.

But 2016 is not the only year where we’ve seen a large contingent of championships change hands. In fact, throughout the UFC’s 20+ year existence, the promotion has seen a large number of champions never successfully defend their titles.

Whether it’s a vacated title, never actually defended or lost within its first title defence, here are Sportskeeda’s top 10 champions who never successfully defended their titles.


#1 Luke Rockhold

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18:  Luke Rockhold prepares to fight against Lyoto Machida of Brazil in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Rockhold couldn’t keep the strap

Rockhold had pretty a stellar 2014-2015 sustaining a 5-fight win streak in the UFC. It was so successful that he found himself facing former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman for the division’s crown at UFC 194.

It took the AKA fighter 4 rounds to finish Chris Weidman to become the UFC middleweight champion of the world. But his glory didn’t last more than a couple of months when he agreed to take on Michael Bisping, a former rival, on short notice at UFC 199 in his first title defence.

Also read: 5 shortest championship reigns in UFC history

In perhaps one of the shocking upsets of 2016, Bisping knocked Rockhold out cold within the first round to snatch his title. It was a clear mark of underestimation on Rockhold’s part – something he later admitted and hopes to avenge.

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