The UFC promotion has produced some of the greatest champions throughout the years. Finding success in UFC is really tough and every fighter who steps inside the Octagon dreams of becoming a UFC champion. Some of these champions reached new horizons in sport and today we’ve picked the top 5 longest reigning UFC champions of all time.
There are several fighters in UFC, who even after becoming the champion couldn’t hold on it to for a longer period of time. On the other hand, there are some fighters like Anderson Silva who kept the belt wrapped around their waist for more than six years.
Some of these champions were also two division champions but we’re only considering individual reign. Let’s have a look at some of the best champions in the history of UFC and list them down according to their title reign in the promotion.
Here goes our list of Top 5 longest reigning UFC champions of all time
5. Amanda Nunes (1,783 Days and still active)
Amanda Nunes is one of the most iconic and dominating women in MMA history. Nunes made her UFC debut against Sheila Gaff on UFC 163 in 2013. Nunes holds a professional record of 21-4 and she lost only one fight in UFC against Cat Zingano at UFC 178.
Amanda Nunes challenged Miesha Tate for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship at UFC 200. She won this fight via a first-round submission and since then there is no other woman in the promotion that is even near to her.
Nunes has defended her title five times since than against some of the biggest names of UFC such as Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Holly Holm, and others. In 2018, at UFC 232 she produced a major upset against Cris Cyborg and captured the UFC women’s Featherweight title as well.
Cumulatively she has defended her title eight times and since the day she became women’s Bantamweight champion she is holding the title for around 1,783 days. Amanda Nunes is still active and she doesn’t seem to be losing any time soon. So it won’t be a surprise if she moves to further upwards in the rankings in the list of longest reigning UFC champions.
4. Jose Aldo (1,848 Days)
Jose Aldo was one of the most dominating UFC Featherweight champions of his time. Aldo defeated Mike Brown at WEC 44 in 2009 to become the WEC Featherweight champion. After Zuffa took over WEC and named it UFC, Aldo was promoted as the UFC Featherweight champion in the year 2010.
During the course of his championship, Aldo defended his title seven times against some of the best fighters in the division such as Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar, Chan Sung Jung, and many others. Jose Aldo holds the title for a number of 1,848 days before he finally lost it against Conor McGregor at UFC 194.
After that, he was once again promoted to the undisputed champion after his win against Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 but he lost it once again, against Max Holloway at UFC 212. The number of days Aldo holds the title after he first promoted as the UFC champion to losing it against Conor McGregor made him land at number 4 in our list of longest reigning UFC champions.
3. Georges St Pierre (2,064 Days)
Gorges St Pierre is considered one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time. He holds so many records in the promotion that hasn’t been broken until now. St Pierre made his UFC debut against Karo Parisyan on UFC 46 in 2004.
He fought against Matt Hughes for the first time for the vacant UFC Welterweight championship but St Pierre faced a submission loss in this fight. He took his revenge from Hughes at UFC 65 and won the UFC Welterweight championship.
But in his very next fight against Matt Serra at UFC 69 he lost the title via first-round TKO. Georges St Pierre took his game to a new level after this loss and he again fought against Hughes at UFC 79 and became the interim UFC Welterweight champion.
In his next fight, he took his revenge from the champion and defeated Matt Serra to unify his title. After that, he defended his title 9 times and made a record for most title defense in the UFC Welterweight division.
B.J. Penn, Dan Hardy, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz all failed to win the title against GSP. He finally announced his retirement at UFC 167 after holding the title for 2,064 days. He returned back to Octagon to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 217 and won the UFC Middleweight championship.
After that GSP once again vacated the title but the legacy he left in the Welterweight division made him enter our list of longest reigning UFC champions of all time.
2. Demetrious Johnson (2,142 Days)
Demetrious Johnson is one of the greatest Flyweight champions of all time. He made his debut against Brad Pickett on WEC 48 in April 2010. Johnson won the inaugural UFC Flyweight championship by defeating Joseph Benavidez via a split decision at UFC 152.
After that, it was pure dominance from Mighty Mouse and he defended his title 11 times, which is a UFC record for most consecutive title defenses. He defeated many great Flyweights of that time such as John Dodson, Henry Cejudo, Tim Elliott, and many others.
Demetrious Johnson got the title wrapped around his waist for a total of 2,142 days before he finally lost it against Henry Cejudo at UFC 227 by a controversial split decision. Cejudo left UFC after it and the promotion traded him against Ben Askren with One Championship.
The greatness of Mighty Mouse made him land at number 2 in our list of longest reigning UFC champions.
1. Anderson Silva (2,457 Days)
Anderson Silva is hailed as one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time and he is amongst the pioneers of this sport who helped reach UFC to new heights. Silva made his UFC debut in the year 2006 against Chris Leben and after that, all that he left was a trial of his history in the promotion.
In his very next fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 64, Silva won the UFC Middleweight championship. Since then he reached a new height of greatness in UFC. Anderson Silva defended his title against multiple title challengers such as Dan Henderson, Forest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, and many others.
Silva started his title reign in the year 2006 and holds a record of 16 victories during this span. ‘The Spider’ defended his title 10 times during this tenure. In 2013, when Silva entered the Octagon to face Chris Weidman at UFC 162, he finally lost his title.
That’s why Anderson Silva is hailed as one of the best UFC champions of all time and he is the longest reigning UFC champions.
Jon Jones is also one of the greatest UFC champions of all time who holds the title cumulatively for 2,098 days. Jones won the title by defeating Quinton Jackson at UFC 135 and kept the title wrapped around his waist for 1,501 days.
Jones was stripped from his title in the year 2015 due to his involvement in the hit and run case. He again came back and fought Ovince Saint Preux for the interim title at UFC 197 but he has been stripped from the title once again after facing a failed drug test and faced one-year suspension.
Jon Jones finally took back his title at UFC 232 by defeating Alexander Gustaffson and kept it for 597 days before finally vacating it. Due to his suspension, Jon Jones isn’t included in our list of the longest reigning UFC champions.
List of longest reigning UFC champions of all time
|Fighter Name||Title Reign (Number of Days)|
|1. Anderson Silva||2,457 Days|
|2. Demetrious Johnson||2,142 Days|
|3. Georges St Pierre||2,064 Days|
|4. Jose Aldo||1,848 Days|
|5. Amanda Nunes||1,783 Days (Still Active)|
|6. Jon Jones||1,501 Days|
|7. Daniel Cormier||1,315 Days|
|8. Tito Ortiz||1,260 Days|
|9. Dominick Cruz||1,117 Days|
|10. Khabib Nurmagomedov||1,077 Days|
Also Read: Top 5 UFC PPV events of all time.