Sustained Excellence: 6 Champions With Most Title Defenses in UFC History

Sustained Excellence: 6 Champions With Most Title Defenses in UFC History

Joel Reyes
March 5, 2023 at 12:02 PM
  • Jon Jones jointly holds the record for most title defenses in the UFC with 11
  • Demetrious Johnson also recorded 11 title defenses as UFC flyweight champ
  • Valentina Shevchenko logged seven title defenses in her UFC flyweight career

Jon Jones reminded everyone of his greatness, recording an impressive submission win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 285.

His sustained excellence in the sport sets him apart from other UFC fighters.

Jones leads the list of champions with the most title defenses in UFC history.

Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, UFC 285
Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson celebrate winning their UFC titles. Images: Jeff Bottari
Source: Getty Images

Jon Jones (11 title defenses)

‘Bones’ was an unstoppable force in the light heavyweight division. He captured the title by defeating Shogun Rua at UFC 128 in 2011, becoming the youngest UFC champ in history at 23, per Bleacher Report.

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Jones also holds the record for the most victories, most submission wins, and longest winning streak in the 205-pound weight division.

Since then, he has never lost a championship fight, defending it 11 times against Quinton Jackson (UFC 135), Lyoto Machida (UFC 140), Rashad Evans (UFC 145), Vitor Belfort (UFC 152), Chael Sonnen (UFC 159), Alexander Gustafsson (UFC 165), Glover Teixeira (UFC 172), Daniel Cormier (UFC 182), Anthony Smith (UFC 235), Thiago Santos (UFC 239), and Dominick Reyes (UFC 247).

Demetrious Johnson (11 title defenses)

Johnson started his reign as UFC flyweight champion in 2012 when he defeated Joseph Benavidez via split decision at UFC 152.

Since then, he defended his championship 11 times, beating John Dodson (UFC on Fox), John Moraga (UFC on Fox), Joseph Benavidez (UFC on Fox 9), Ali Bagautinov (UFC 174), Chris Cariaso (UFC 178), Kyoji Horiguchi (UFC 186), John Dodson (UFC 191), Henry Cejudo (UFC 197), Tim Elliot (The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale), Wilson Reis (UFC on Fox 24), and Ray Borg (UFC 216).

Johnson’s long reign shockingly ended at UFC 227 on August 2018 when he lost to Cejudo in their rematch via split decision. After absorbing the loss, ‘Mighty Mouse’ was traded to ONE Championship for Ben Askren and later won the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix tournament.

Anderson Silva (10 title defenses)

Silva began his reign as UFC middleweight champion in 2006 when he knocked out Rich Franklin at UFC 64.

Since then, he successfully defended his title 10 times, defeating Nate Marquardt (UFC 73), Rich Franklin (UFC 77), Dan Henderson (UFC 82), Patrick Cote (UFC 90), Thales Leites (UFC 97), Demian Maia (UFC 112), Chael Sonnen (UFC 117 and UFC 148), Vitor Belfort (UFC 126) and Yushin Okami (UFC 134).

Chris Weidman ended Silva’s long rule in the 185-pound division in their middleweight championship showdown in July 2013.

Georges St-Pierre (9 title defenses)

St-Pierre’s first title defense did not go according to plan, losing to Matt Serra in August 2007 at UFC 69. The most outstanding Canadian MMA athlete of all time managed to get his championship belt back in their rematch in April 2008, with St-Pierre recording a stoppage of his own in the second round.

He then took a long reign, retaining his welterweight championship nine times. Among his victims were Jon Fitch (UFC 87), BJ Penn (UFC 94), Thiago Alves (UFC 100), Dan Hardy (UFC 111), Josh Koscheck (UFC 124), Jake Shields (UFC 129), Carlos Condit (UFC 154), Nick Diaz (UFC 158), and Johnny Hendricks (UFC 167).

He renounced his welterweight title in 2013 and had a four-year hiatus before returning to claim the UFC middleweight championship in November 2017 when he defeated Michael Bisping.

Valentina Shevchenko (7 title defenses)

The ‘’Bullet’’ started her reign in the women’s flyweight division in December 2018 when she defeated Joana Jedrzejczyk.

Since then, she successfully defended her title seven times, defeating Jessica Eye (UFC 238), Liz Carmouche (UFC on ESPN+ 14), Katlyn Chookagian (UFC 247), Jennifer Maia (UFC 255), Jessica Andrade (UFC 261), Lauren Murphy (UFC 266), and Taila Santos (UFC 275).

Her reign ended on Saturday when Alexa Grasso defeated her via submission in the fourth round.

Jose Aldo (7 title defenses)

Jose Aldo is widely considered one of the best UFC featherweight fighters of all time. The guy was a beast in the 145-pound division, making seven consecutive title defenses until Conor McGregor ended his reign in stunning fashion at UFC 194 in 2015.

Among Aldo's victims when he was UFC featherweight champ were Mark Hominick (UFC 129), Kenny Florian (UFC 136), Chad Mendes (UFC 142 and UFC 179), Frankie Edgar (UFC 156), Chan Sung Jung (UFC 163), and Ricardo Lamas (UFC 169).

Jones wins UFC heavyweight title

Sports Brief recently reported on Jones’ win at UFC 285.

Jones made a triumphant return to the UFC, beating Ciryl Gane in their heavyweight title fight.

Bones made light work of Gane, winning with a guillotine choke at 2:04 of the first round.

Joel Reyes photo
Joel Reyes
Editor- Other Sports