Current UFC Champions: Your Guide to All Title Holders

UFC fighter

One of the best parts of UFC is that there is one champion for every division, unlike boxing. Not only that, there are fewer divisions to worry about. It means that becoming a champion in the UFC means much more and is clearly the highest honor.

What we wanted to do is celebrate those fighters by looking at who are the current UFC champions right now. To do this, we’ll provide you with a simple list before looking at how the champion came to be in each division. Let’s go!

UFC Champion Weight Divisions

In the UFC there are eight divisions for men and four for women. These weight classes have the same rules for each gender, so the male lightweights have the same weight limit as the females in the lightweight division.

The differences are that women have their own division, called strawweight. Added to this, the heaviest women’s division is featherweight, so the five divisions above this are just for men. 

With 12 belts on offer across the genders, it would make sense for there to be twelve separate champions in the UFC at any given time.

However, this is not often the case for two reasons. Firstly, the same fighter can hold world titles in multiple divisions. Secondly, there are periods when the belt is vacated and there is no champion.

This mainly happens due to either the champion sustaining an injury and being unable to defend their belt or if they have retired. It can also be due to other reasons, such as being stripped of it due to a failed drug test.

Due to currently vacated belts, there are currently nine world champions in UFC. Let’s see who they are.

UFC Champions List

Men’s UFC Champions List

HeavyweightJon Jones
Light HeavyweightVacant
MiddleweightIsrael Adesanya
WelterweightLeon Edwards
LightweightIslam Makhachev
FeatherweightAlexander Volkanovski
BantamweightAljamain Sterling
FlyweightAlexandre Pantoja

Women’s UFC Champions List

FlyweightAlexa Grasso
StrawweightZhang Weili

Men’s UFC Champions in Profile


Jon Jones

Current Champion: Jon Jones

Nationality: American

Record: 27-1 (1 NC)

Champion Since: March 4, 2023

Title Defenses: 0

Jon Jones is a legend of the sport, having also been the two-time champion of the Light Heavyweight division. Many regard the UFC Heavyweight Champion 2023 as the best fighter in UFC history and he’s got the record to back it up.

The Heavyweight division is the oldest in the UFC, with its first champion being crowned in 1997. It was Mark Coleman who took the honor but wasn’t able to defend the title, losing the belt to Maurice Smith before it quickly passed to Randy Couture.

In its history, the championship has changed hands 22 times. Amazingly, the record for the most title defenses in history is just three, held by Stipe Miocic during his first reign. It just shows how hotly contested the heavyweight division has been.

Light Heavyweight


Current Champion: Vacant

Previous Champion: Jamahal Hill

Reason Vacated: Injury (Achilles tendon rupture)

Another great aspect of the UFC is that they don’t wait around too long if someone is not able to defend their belt. That can lead to the title being vacated as is currently the case with Jamahal Hill who recently suffered an Achilles injury while playing basketball.

The first ever Light Heavyweight champion was crowned in 1998 with Frank Shamrock being the first belt holder. The title has changed hands 17 times but in there are quite a few long defenses, including by the aforementioned Jon Jones.

In his first title reign, he made 8 defenses and held the belt for 1,501 days. Other great Light Heavyweight champions include Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, and Daniel Cormier. We can celebrate these legends as we await to see who from the UFC light heavyweight rankings will fight for the vacant belt.


Israel Adesanya

Current Champion: Israel Adesanya

Nationality: Nigerian

Record: 24-2

Champion Since: April 8, 2023

Title Defenses: 0

Israel Adesanya will feel as though he should have at least six title defenses to his name. He first won the title in 2019 and defended the belt five times. However, Alex Pereira took the championship off him but Adesanya managed to win it back in the rematch.

Of course, if we’re mentioning the Middleweight championship when we have to mention Anderson Silva. The Brazilian had an incredible run in the division, holding the title for a mind-blowing 2,456 days while having 10 defenses. If there were UFC rankings for the greatest ever, Silva could well be number one.

There have been 13 different Middleweight champions in total, with the first being Dace Menne back in 2001. The belt has been vacated twice in its history with the first time being Murilo Bustamante in 2002 who moved over to Pride, and the second being Georges St-Pierre who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2017.


Leon Edwards

Current Champion: Leon Edwards

Nationality: English

Record: 21-3 (1 NC)

Champion Since: August 20, 2022

Title Defenses: 1

Leon Edwards is an English fighter who defied expectations to beat the notorious Kamaru Usman not once, but twice, to win and then retain the Welterweight title and head to the top of the UFC Welterweight rankings. Now undefeated in 12 fights, Edwards deserved his title shot and took it with both hands.

He’s one of 13 men to win a title in this division, with Usman having previously held it for 1,267 days with 5 defenses in total. The most defenses for the title was Georges St-Pierre who defended it nine times and only vacated as he wanted some time away from the sport.

Along with St-Pierre, four other Hall of Famers have won the Welterweight title. They are Pat Miletich (the inaugural champion), Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, and Matt Serra. Leon Edwards is part of a rich history and will be hoping to join them in the Hall of Fame one day.


Islam Makhachev

Current Champion: Islam Makhachev

Nationality: Russian

Record: 24-1

Champion Since: October 22, 2022

Title Defenses: 1

The current Lightweight champion is the master grappler Islam Makhachev who won the vacant title with an arm-triangle choke submission against BJJ specialist Charles Oliveira. Having won all but one of his 25 matches, he’ll be hoping for a long defense of his title.

The previous titleholder before him was Oliveira but the Brazilian was stripped of his title for failing to make weight. Before that, the title belonged to Makhachev’s fellow Russian and Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired undefeated.

Before Khabib, it was Conor McGregor who had the title and in doing so, became the first UFC fighter to hold belts in two divisions.

It’s not a title that has been defended many times, with three being the record, equally held by Khabib, Benson Henderson, Frankie Edgar, and B.J. Penn.


Alexander Volkanovski

Current Champion: Alexander Volkanovski

Nationality: Australian

Record: 26-2

Champion Since: December 14, 2019

Title Defenses: 5

The three lightest divisions were added a lot later than the rest, with the first Featherweight belt being awarded in 2010. The current holder is Alexander Volkanovski who has the highest active title defense streak at five.

Volkanovski does have a recent loss, but that was against Makhachev in his bid to follow in McGregor’s footsteps and become a champion in both divisions. Speaking of McGregor, he famously won the belt in 2015 after his 13-second win against Jose Aldo.

It’s still Aldo who is the biggest legend in the history of the division. He was the inaugural champion and went on to defend his belt seven times. The only other Featherweight champion we haven’t mentioned is Max Holloway, as only five men have ever held the title.


Aljamain Sterling

Current Champion: Aljamain Sterling

Nationality: American

Record: 23-3

Champion Since: March 6, 2021

Title Defenses: 3

The Bantamweight championship was also introduced in 2010 with the current holder being Aljamain Sterling. The American has defended his title three times so far after originally beating Petr Yan and then doing so again in the rematch.

While it has been around for a similar amount of time, there have been a lot more winners of the Bantamweight title compared to Featherweight. This is because there hasn’t been a dominant champion, with Sterling’s three defenses being the record.

The first ever winner of the belt was Dominick Cruz who’d go on to win it for a second time in 2016. Other memorable champions include the likes of T.J. Dillashaw, Cody Garbrandt, and Henry Cejudo.

Over the next few years, Sterling will be hoping to establish himself as the greatest-ever fighter in the division.


Alexandre Pantoja

Current Champion: Alexandre Pantoja

Nationality: Brazilian

Record: 26-5

Champion Since: July 8, 2023

Title Defenses: 0

This is the lightest division that the men fight in, with the Brazilian Alexandre Pantoja as the current champion. It was the last division to have a world title, with it being added in 2012. 

Pantoja was able to claim the current division title due to a split decision in his recent fight against Brandon Moreno.

The early days of the division were dominated by Demetrious Johnson. He first won the belt on 22 September 2012 and didn’t give it up until 4 August 2018. In that time he had 11 title defenses, the most in UFC history.

When he did eventually lose, it was to Henry Cejudo who only managed to defend it once. The last three title holders have all been able to defend the title and therefore Pantoja will be hoping to buck that trend when he fights again.

Women’s UFC Champions in Profile

Featherweight and Bantamweight


Current Champion: Vacant

Previous Champion: Amanda Nunes

Reason Vacated: Retirement

We’ve grouped these two divisions together as the champion in each of them was the incredible Amanda Nunes, who announced her retirement in June 2023 at the age of 35. It ended perhaps the most dominant career in UFC history.

Those who have won titles in two divisions either never held them at the same time, or only did so for a short period. Amanda Nunes was a lot different as she was able to dominate both divisions for several years.

She won the Featherweight title in 2018 and didn’t give it up until she retired in 2023. The Bantamweight division was a little different as she won it in 2016 but was beaten by Julianna Peña in 2021, but reclaimed the title in the rematch.

Due to Nunes’ dominance, there have only been three title holders in the Featherweight division. The first was Germaine de Randamie who was stripped of the title for refusing to fight, with Chris Cyborg winning the vacant title before Nunes took it.

The Bantamweight version was the first women’s division given a championship belt, with Ronda Rousey being the inaugural title holder. The title was then won by Holly Holm followed by Miesha Tate, before Nunes took that one too.


Alexa Grasso

Current Champion: Alexa Grasso

Nationality: Mexican

Record: 16-3

Champion Since: March 4, 2023

Title Defenses: 0

Thankfully for Alexa Grasso, Amanda Nunes was too big to be a Flyweight! Grasso is the current champion having beaten the UFC legend in Valentina Shevchenko. She was able to beat her via submission but the two of them are due to have a rematch.

We gave a lot of praise to Nunes, but it is Shevchenko who’s had the most dominant reign in UFC history. She won the vacant title in 2018 after Nicco Montaño was stripped of the belt and went on to defend it an impressive seven times.

The three women we mentioned are the only ones to have ever won the Flyweight Championship. Montaño was stripped of the title as she wasn’t able to cut weight and had to withdraw from her fight. She only went on to fight once more before being released by the UFC.


Zhang Weili

Current Champion: Zhang Weili

Nationality: Chinese

Record: 23-3

Champion Since: November 12, 2022

Title Defenses: 0

This is the only weight class that the men don’t fight in, with the Chinese fighter Zhang Weili being the current champion. This is the second time that Weili has held the title with the first time being in 2019 when she had one defense against Joanna Jędrzejczyk.

Interestingly there have been eight different title reigns but only four different title holders. That’s because, along with Weili, Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas have both won the title on two occasions, with Esparza being the inaugural winner.

The only women who have won the title just once are Jędrzejczyk and Jéssica Andrade. It’s a highly competitive division and if Weili is to lose her title again in the near future, there is a good chance that it will be to one of the women we’ve already mentioned.

Current UFC Champions – FAQs

Who are the current UFC men’s champions?

The current champions are Jon Jones (Heavyweight), Israel Adesanya (Middleweight), Leon Edwards (Welterweight), Islam Makhachev (Lightweight), Alexander Volkanovski (Featherweight), Aljamain Sterling (Bantamweight), and Alexandre Pantoja (Flyweight). There is no current Light Heavyweight champion as it was vacated due to an injury.

Who is the UFC Heavyweight Champion at the moment?

Jon Jones is the current UFC Heavyweight Champion. He won the title from Ciryl Gane in 2023. The title had previously been vacated by Francis Ngannou after he left the UFC due to a contract dispute. Jones has also previously been the Light Heavyweight champion.

How many UFC titles are there?

Including both men’s and women’s divisions, there are 12 UFC titles in total. These are split between eight divisions for the men, and four in the women’s game. Interim titles can also be awarded but these are never seen as full championship belts.

Who is the women’s UFC champion?

There is never just one women’s UFC champion as there are four divisions in total. However, two of those titles are currently vacant. The only women’s UFC champions right now are Alexa Grasso (Flyweight) and Zhang Weili (Strawweight).

How do you get a UFC belt?

Generally, a fighter will get a title shot at a UFC event if they have beaten several high-level opponents and have proved themselves to be worthy of facing the challenger. There are no set criteria for this and instead, the fights will be decided by UFC matchmakers.

While that is usually true, there have been exceptions when a fighter has been fast-tracked into a title shot. This was seen with Brock Lesnar as the UFC wanted to take advantage of the hype surrounding him.

While there has often been criticism of UFC’s matchmaking, it’s also one of its best qualities. The best will always fight the best sooner or later, so to get your title shot, you need to prove that you are one of the best.

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Kenny Jarvis
Kenny Jarvis
I have been practicing and studying boxing since I was a teenager. I am passionate about the sport, along with many other martial arts. While my fighting days may be over, I love channeling my passion into my writing to provide insightful blogs.