The UFC Featherweight Title: A Visual History

By Ben Duffy Dec 14, 2018
At UFC 231, Max Holloway quieted the doubters. Unfazed by those who questioned his ability to make the cut to featherweight in the wake of three straight cancelled bouts and by public skepticism so intense that he became a rare case of a champion defending as an underdog, “Blessed” showed up, made weight easily and brutalized an incredibly resilient Brian Ortega into a doctor stoppage. As if to underscore his ability to make weight with physical gifts intact, Holloway broke the Ultimate Fighting Championship record for total strikes landed -- without even needing a fifth round.

With that emphatic second defense, Holloway continues gradually to eclipse the legacy of the man he defeated to win his title: Jose Aldo. Ushered in as the inaugural UFC featherweight champ thanks to his status as the final World Extreme Cagefighting titleholder, “Scarface” would go on to defend his new strap seven times, a divisional record that seems unlikely to fall anytime soon. Aldo lost his title to Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in December 2015 in stunning fashion; the 13-second knockout showed that the voluble Irishman could back up his talk and marked the “Notorious” one’s launching point to superstardom.

Of course McGregor, as is his modus operandi, promptly left the division high and dry. In the chaos that ensued, Aldo landed three more title fights, but the man who rose to the top of the pack was Holloway. At only 27 years of age and with questions about his weight cut answered for the moment, it looks as if the Hawaiian will continue to bless the featherweight division.

This is the history of the UFC men’s featherweight title and the times it was won, lost or defended. Interim title fights are omitted with the exception of Aldo-Frankie Edgar 2, since the winner of that fight ended up being promoted to undisputed champ without a unification bout. It tells the story of a division stepping out of the shadow of one of the sport’s all-time greats and into a future bright with promise and rich with dynamic young contenders.

You can embed this infographic. Copy and paste the code below into your site: Max Holloway Jose Aldo Conor McGregor Jose Aldo UFC 231 UFC 218 UFC 212 UFC 200 UFC 194 UFC 179 UFC 169 UFC 163 UFC 156 UFC 142 UFC 136 UFC 129
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