UFC Heavyweight Title History

Superfight Championship (defunct)

An openweight title used before the introduction of weight classes in 1997. It was designed to create a reigning UFC Champion for the UFC tournament winners to challenge.[34]

No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie fought to a draw on April 7, 1995 at UFC 5 in Charlotte, NC, USA for the inaugural Superfight title.[1]
1 United States Ken Shamrock
def. Dan Severn
UFC 6
Casper, WY, USA
Jul 14, 1995 308 days 1. drew with Oleg Taktarov at UFC 7 on Sep 8, 1995
2. def. Kimo Leopoldo at UFC 8 on Feb 16, 1996
2 United States Dan Severn UFC 9
Detroit, MI, USA
May 17, 1996 266 days
Mark Coleman defeated Severn on February 7, 1997 at UFC 12 in Dothan, AL, USA. This bout unified the UFC Superfight Championship with the UFC Tournament Championship to determine the inaugural UFC Heavyweight Champion.[4]

Heavyweight Championship

206 to 265 lb (93 to 120 kg)
The UFC Superfight Championship was unified with the UFC Tournament Championship to determine the inaugural UFC Heavyweight Champion on February 7, 1997, when Mark Coleman defeated Dan Severn at UFC 12.[4]

No. Name Event Date Reign
(Total)
Defenses
1 United States Mark Coleman
def. Dan Severn
UFC 12
Dothan, AL, USA
Feb 7, 1997 170 days
2 United States Maurice Smith UFC 14
Birmingham, AL, USA
Jul 27, 1997 147 days 1. def. David Abbott at UFC 15 on Oct 17, 1997
3 United States Randy Couture UFC Japan
Yokohama, Japan
Dec 21, 1997 ? days
Couture was stripped of the title in January 1998 when he left the UFC due to a contract dispute.
4 Netherlands Bas Rutten
def. Kevin Randleman
UFC 20
Birmingham, AL, USA
May 7, 1999 ? days
Rutten vacated the title in June 1999 in order to drop down to Light heavyweight. He retired soon after due to training injuries.[14]
5 United States Kevin Randleman
def. Pete Williams
UFC 23
Tokyo, Japan
Nov 19, 1999 364 days 1. def. Pedro Rizzo at UFC 26 on Jun 9, 2000
6 United States Randy Couture (2) UFC 28
Atlantic City, NJ, USA
Nov 17, 2000 490 days
(490+ days)
1. def. Pedro Rizzo at UFC 31 on May 4, 2001
2. def. Pedro Rizzo at UFC 34 on Nov 2, 2001
7 United States Josh Barnett UFC 36
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Mar 22, 2002 126 days
Barnett was stripped of the title on July 26, 2002, after testing positive for anabolic steroids in a post-fight drug test.[15]
8 United States Ricco Rodriguez
def. Randy Couture
UFC 39
Uncasville, CT, USA
Sep 27, 2002 154 days
9 United States Tim Sylvia UFC 41
Atlantic City, NJ, USA
Feb 28, 2003 229 days 1. def. Gan McGee at UFC 44 on Sep 26, 2003
Sylvia was stripped of the title on October 15, 2003, after testing positive for anabolic steroids in a post-fight drug test.[16]
10 United States Frank Mir
def. Tim Sylvia
UFC 48
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Jun 19, 2004 419 days
Belarus Andrei Arlovski
def. Tim Sylvia for interim title
UFC 51
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Feb 5, 2005 1. def. Justin Eilers at UFC 53 on Jun 4, 2005
Mir was stripped of the title on August 12, 2005, for inactivity resulting from injuries he sustained in a road accident.[17]
11 Belarus Andrei Arlovski
promoted to undisputed champion
Aug 12, 2005 246 days 1. def. Paul Buentello at UFC 55 on Oct 7, 2005
12 United States Tim Sylvia (2) UFC 59
Anaheim, CA, USA
Apr 15, 2006 322 days
(551 days)
1. def. Andrei Arlovski at UFC 61 on Jul 8, 2006
2. def. Jeff Monson at UFC 65 on Nov 18, 2006
13 United States Randy Couture (3) UFC 68
Columbus, OH, USA
Mar 3, 2007 623 days
(1,113+ days)
1. def. Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74 on Aug 25, 2007
Brazil Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
def. Tim Sylvia for interim title
UFC 81
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Feb 2, 2008
14 United States Brock Lesnar UFC 91
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Nov 15, 2008 707 days 1. def. interim champion Frank Mir at UFC 100 on Jul 11, 2009
2. def. interim champion Shane Carwin at UFC 116 on Jul 3, 2010
United States Frank Mir
def. interim champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
UFC 92
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Dec 27, 2008
United States Shane Carwin
def. Frank Mir for interim title
UFC 111
Newark, NJ, USA
Mar 27, 2010
15 United States Cain Velasquez UFC 121
Anaheim, CA, USA
Oct 23, 2010 385 days
16 Brazil Junior dos Santos UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos
Anaheim, CA, USA
Nov 12, 2011 413 days 1. def. Frank Mir at UFC 146 on May 26, 2012
17 United States Cain Velasquez (2) UFC 155
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Dec 29, 2012 896 days
(1,281 days)
1. def. Antônio Silva at UFC 160 on May 25, 2013
2. def. Junior dos Santos at UFC 166 on Oct 19, 2013
Brazil Fabrício Werdum
def. Mark Hunt for interim title
UFC 180
Mexico City, Mexico
Nov 15, 2014
18 Brazil Fabrício Werdum UFC 188
Mexico City, Mexico
Jun 13, 2015 336 days
19 United States Stipe Miocic UFC 198
Curitiba, Brazil
May 14, 2016 476 days
(incumbent)
1. def. Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 on Sep 10, 2016
2. def. Junior dos Santos at UFC 211 on May 13, 2017