The UFC Welterweight Title: A Lineal History Infographic

By Ben Duffy Sep 7, 2018
UFC 228 is now available on Amazon Prime.

If the 170-pound division isn’t the best weight class in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it must be a close second behind lightweight. Welterweight has the good stuff, and unlike other weight classes that took some time finding their feet -- the aforementioned lightweight division, for one -- welterweight rocked from the outset.

Scan the nine names on the left-hand side of the infographic, and you see a lot of meat and not a lot of filler. There are a couple of the greatest fighters of all-time and several more who were at least among the greatest of their time. The right-hand side tells a story as well, with some incredibly skilled and accomplished fighters trying and failing to scale the throne. Not many weight classes have a second tier as historically impressive as Jon Fitch, Jake Shields and Demian Maia.

Of course, that’s owing to welterweight’s chief charm: It is a division historically ruled by dominant champions. Compared to the sad-sack early years of the UFC’s lightweight and heavyweight divisions, where nobody even seemed to want the belts, and in fact multiple sitting champions bailed for greener pastures, 170 was put in an immediate stranglehold by Pat Miletich, who defended the newly-minted strap four times.

Ever since, it’s been more of the same. While welterweight has its share of parity and weirdness, and boasts two of the greatest championship upsets ever, it’s a division where a man often gets the belt and spends a couple of years turning away all comers. Miletich. Matt Hughes, twice. Georges St. Pierre.

Reigning champ Tyron Woodley is going for his fourth title defense on Saturday. In spite of being a polarizing figure within the sport, and seemingly his own boss’ least-favorite fighter, a win over the hulking and undefeated Darren Till would move him into a tie with Miletich for the third-most consecutive title defenses. Perhaps it would induce some of his detractors to reevaluate him; after all, he is doing uncommonly impressive things in an uncommonly impressive division.

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Sherdog Tyron Woodley Robbie Lawler Johny Hendricks Georges St. Pierre Matt Serra Georges St. Pierre Matt Hughes B.J. Penn Matt Hughes Carlos Newton Pat Miletich UFC 17.5 UFC 18 UFC 21 UFC 26 UFC 29 UFC 31 UFC 34 UFC 36 UFC 38 UFC 40 UFC 42 UFC 45 UFC 46 UFC 50 UFC 52 UFC 63 UFC 65 UFC 69 UFC 83 UFC 87 UFC 94 UFC 100 UFC 111 UFC 124 UFC 129 UFC 154 UFC 158 UFC 167 UFC 171 UFC 181 UFC 189 UFC 195 UFC 201 UFC 205 UFC 209 UFC 214 Sherdog

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