Most UFC Title Defenses for Each Division

UFC fighter, MMA fighter, UFC champion, UFC Title Defenses

UFC titles are notoriously hard to defend. With the best constantly fighting the best, keeping hold of a title for more than one or two defenses is a difficult feat. However, here we celebrate those fighters who enjoyed a dominant reign in their division.

Along with looking at a list of the most title defenses, we’ll also countdown the most defenses of all time. Let’s get started!

Most Men’s UFC Title Defenses List

The men’s division is an interesting mix of defenses. As we can see, the heavyweight division hasn’t had one dominant champion but neither has the Lightweight and Bantamweight divisions. 

In the table below we show the most consecutive title defenses along with their overall defenses in brackets.

As we can see, the most defenses in total are shared by Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson. However, Johnson holds the record for the most consecutive defenses as Jones’ 11 defenses came over two reigns.

DivisionFighterDefenses: Consecutive and (Overall)
HeavyweightStipe Miocic3 (4)
Light HeavyweightJon Jones8 (11)
MiddleweightAnderson Silva10
WelterweightGeorges St-Pierre9
LightweightB.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson, Khabib Nurmagomedov3
FeatherweightJose Also7
BantamweightAljamain Sterling, Dominick Cruz, T.J. Dillashaw3, 2 (3), 2(3)
FlyweightDemetrious Johnson11
Most Men’s UFC Title Defenses List

Women’s UFC Title Defenses List

The women’s divisions haven’t been around for as long as the men’s so it makes sense that no one has dominated the divisions in the same way. Curiously precious few fights have been held in the Featherweight division, with it only ever having three champions in total.

In the Bantamweight division, two women have defended the belt six times but Rhonda Rousey did it consecutively while Amanda Nunes won five defenses in her first reign and one in her second before retiring.

The record for most defenses in women’s UFC goes to Valentina Shevchenko with seven.

FeatherweightCris Cyborg, Amanda Nunes2
BantamweightRonda Rousey, Amanda Nunes6, 5(6)
FlyweightValentina Shevchenko7
StrawweightJoanna Jędrzejczyk5
Women’s UFC Title Defenses List

Top 10 UFC Champions With Most Title Defenses

There are two ways of looking at this question, you can look at most consecutive title defenses or most defenses overall. We’re going to look at the latter but when they are equal, we’ll split them by most consecutive wins.

= 10. Alexander Volkanovski – 5 Defenses

Alexander Volkanovski

Nationality: Australian

Birthday: September 29, 1988

Division: Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight

Record: 25-2

UFC Belts: UFC Featherweight Championship (once, four defenses)

We said top 10 champions but there are actually 13 fighters in this list, with four people tied in tenth place. One of those is the dominant Australian Alexander Volkanovski who has reigned supreme in the Featherweight division for a long time now. There is a good chance he’ll move further up this list in the near future.

=10. Tito Ortiz – 5 Defenses

Tito Ortiz

Nationality: American

Birthday: January 23, 1975

Division: Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight

Record: 21-12-1

UFC Belts: UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (once, five defenses)

Tito Ortiz shares the record for five defenses and did so consecutively in the Light Heavyweight division. He was one of the earliest fighters with a dominant streak, as it started in the year 2000 and included a few great names on the way, including Evan Tanner and Ken Shamrock.

=10. Kamaru Usman – 5 Defenses

Kamaru Usman

Nationality: American/Nigerian

Birthday: May 11, 1987

Division: Welterweight

Record: 20-3

UFC Belts: UFC Welterweight Championship (once, five defenses)

A much more recent dominant streak is that of Kamaru Usman which only ended in 2022 when he lost to Leon Edwards. You could argue that Usman’s streak was a little repetitive as there were only three fighters in there, as he beat Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington twice. The other fighter in the streak was Gilbert Burns.

10. Joanna Jędrzejczyk – 5 Defenses

Joanna Jędrzejczyk

Nationality: Polish

Birthday: August 18, 1987

Division: Strawweight, Flyweight

Record: 16-5

The Strawweight division was only introduced in 2014 but Jędrzejczyk quickly went to work dominating it. She became only the second champion in the division in 2015 and defended it five times, including against future champion Jéssica Andrade. The streak was ended by Rose Namajunas in 2017.

9. Ronda Rousey – 6 Defenses

Ronda Rousey

Nationality: American

Birthday: February 1, 1987

Division: Featherweight, Bantamweight

Record: 12-2

UFC Belts: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship (once, six defenses)

We could write a whole book about Rousey’s impact on the UFC and women’s sports in general. The first-ever UFC women’s champion, she went on to defend the belt six times as her reputation went stratospheric. Her reign ended in one of the biggest shocks of all time when she lost to Holly Holm.

8. Matt Hughes  – 7 Defenses (5 Consecutive)

Matt Hughes

Nationality: American

Birthday: October 13, 1973

Division: Welterweight

Record: 45-9

UFC Belts: UFC Welterweight Championship (twice, seven defenses)

Matt Hughes isn’t the most dominant fighter that has ever been in the Welterweight division, but that’s only because Georges St-Pierre exists. Hughes has seven defenses over his two reigns. His first reign was ended by B.J. Penn, who he’d go on to defeat in his second reign. That second reign was ended by the aforementioned St-Pierre.

= 6. Jose Aldo  – 7 Defenses

Jose Aldo

Nationality: Brazilian

Birthday: September 9, 1986

Division: Bantamweight, Featherweight, Lightweight

Record: 31-8

UFC Belts: UFC Featherweight Championship (twice, seven defenses)

As with Rousey, Aldo was the first-ever winner of their division and he’d go on to defend it in dominant fashion, from 2010 all the way until 2015. It was an epic run that lasted 1,848 days but it all ended 13 seconds after the bell when he faced Conor McGregor.

= 6. Valentina Shevchenko  – 7 Defenses

Valentina Shevchenko

Nationality: Kyrgyzstani/Peruvian

Birthday: March 7, 1988

Division: Bantamweight, Flyweight

Record: 23-4

UFC Belts: UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship (once, seven defenses)

Valentina Shevchenko is a fighting goddess having won various amateur and professional titles in Muay Thai, taekwondo, boxing, judo, and kickboxing. She used these talents to amass an incredible seven-defense streak which was recently ended by Alexa Grasso. Shevchenko will be hoping to win back that title and move further up this list.

5. Amanda Nunes  – 8 Defenses

Amanda Nunes

Nationality: Brazilian

Birthday: May 30, 1988

Division: Bantamweight, Featherweight

Record: 22-5

UFC Belts: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship (twice, five defenses), UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship (once, two defenses)

Without question the best women’s fighter of all time. Her eight defenses have come over two divisions and three reigns in total. She beat the best along with way, including Ronda Rousey. If it wasn’t for her recent retirement, she could have had many more future defenses to her name.

4. Georges St-Pierre  – 9 Defenses

Georges St-Pierre

Nationality: Canadian

Birthday: May 19, 1981

Division: Welterweight, Middleweight

Record: 26-2

UFC Belts: UFC Middleweight Championship (once), UFC Welterweight Championship (twice, nine defenses)

St- Pierre won and vacated the Middleweight Championship in 2017 but before that he was dominant in the Welterweight division. He first won the title in 2006 but was unable to defend it. When he won it again in 2008, he wouldn’t give it up until he vacated in 2013, having beaten many legends along the way.

3. Anderson Silva  – 10 Defenses

Anderson Silva

Nationality: Brazilian

Birthday: April 14, 1975

Division: Middleweight, Light Heavyweight

Record: 34-11 (1 NC)

UFC Belts: UFC Middleweight Championship (once, ten defenses)

Many would call Silva’s defense streak the most impressive in the sport due to the names he beat such as Dan Henderson, Demian Maia, Victor Belfort and Chael Sonnen (twice). What’s even more impressive is that including non-title bouts and Light Heavyweight fights, those 10 defenses were a part of a 17-fight win streak, with 16 of those being in the UFC.

2. Jon Jones – 11 Defenses (8 Consecutive)

Jon Jones

Nationality: American

Birthday: July 19, 1987

Division: Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight

Record: 27-1 (1 NC)

UFC Belts: UFC Heavyweight Championship (once), UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (twice, eleven defenses)

Both of Jon Jones’ reigns ended in controversy. His first eight-defense run as the Light Heavyweight UFC champion ended after he was arrested for a hit and run, and his second three-fight defense ended but the failed salary negotiations. In between that he won and then was stripped of the title after a failed drugs test. He could have had many more defenses to his name but still could do as the current Heavyweight champion.

1. Demetrious Johnson – 11 Defenses

Demetrious Johnson

Nationality: American

Birthday: August 13, 1986

Division: Bantamweight, Flyweight

Record: 31-4-1

UFC Belts: UFC Flyweight Championship (once, eleven defenses)

The longest consecutive streak and joint most defenses ever belong to Demetrious Johnson. He was the first-ever winner of a Flyweight title in 2012 and would defend his title until 2018, after 2,142 days. He was untouchable during that streak and helped give respect to the UFC’s lightest division.


Who has the most title defense in UFC history?

Two men have defended a title 11 times. They are Demetrious Johnson and Jon Jones. While Jones’ defenses are split over two reigns, Johnson won all of his 11 defenses in a row in the Flyweight division.

How many title defenses does Jon Jones have?

Jon Jones has 11 title defenses in total, eight from his first Light Heavyweight title and three from his second. As the current Heavyweight Champion, many wouldn’t bet against him soon getting to a dozen defenses in total.

How many title defenses does Usman have?

The Nigerian Kamaru Usman defended his Welterweight Championship an impressive five times from 2019 to 2022. This was ended by the Englishman Leon Edwards who has gone on to defend his belt once, in a rematch against Usman.

Has there ever been 3 title fights in UFC?

There have been several occasions when three title fights have taken place on one night. Perhaps the most famous is UFC 217 as all three champions lost their belt. Namajunas ended Jędrzejczyk’s long reign, TJ Dillashaw won the Bantamweight Championship vs Cody Barbrandt and St-Pierre took Michael Bisping’s Middleweight belt.

Who has the most Heavyweight title defenses in UFC history?

That honor of the best UFC title defense record at Heavyweight goes to Stipe Miocic with four, which have been split over his two title reigns. He won three consecutive defenses in his first reign and that record of three consecutive defenses is the most in the division as well.

Who has the most Lightweight title defenses in UFC history?

The Lightweight division has historically been the most closely contested division in UFC history. In total four men have three defenses, and they were all consecutive win streaks. Those men are B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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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.