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
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.
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.