Top 5 UFC Champions With Most Title Defenses

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Jon Jones reacts after defeating Ciryl Gane in a UFC 285 mixed martial arts heavyweight title bout Saturday, March 4, 2023.
(AP Photo/David Becker)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Mar 17, 2024, 11:19 PM
  • Here's a list of the top five UFC champions with the most title defenses.
  • Jon Jones leads the list with 13 title defenses.
  • Other champions included in the list are Demetrious Johnson, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Jose Aldo, and Valentina Shevchenko.

As Althea Gibson stated, ‘’You simply aren’t considered a real champion until you have defended your title successfully.’’ Some of the champions in the UFC have secured multiple championship wins en route to becoming a dominant titleholder in their weight class. 

And title defenses make UFC odds interesting, though MMA betting may not always include championships.

From the record-setting reign of Jon Jones, up to the superior flyweight run of Demetrious Johnson, the middleweight supremacy of Anderson Silva, welterweight dominance of Georges St-Pierre and featherweight run of Jose Aldo, we have a list of their past title defenses and future online MMA betting.

Jon Jones – 13 title defenses

Before relinquishing the light heavyweight title in March 2020 to move in the heavyweight division, Jones was an unstoppable force in the 205-pound division. He captured it by defeating Shogun Rua in 2011 in UFC 128 and became the youngest UFC champion in history at age 23. ‘’Bones’’ also holds the record for the most wins, most submission victories and longest win streak in the weight class.

Since then, he never lost a title match and defended it 13 times against Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson (two times), Glover Teixeira, Daniel Cormier, Ovince Saint Preux, Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes.

Demetrious Johnson – 11 title defenses

Johnson began his reign in the flyweight title reign in 2012 after beating Joseph Benavidez via split decision at UFC 152. Since then, he has defended his championship 11 times over John Dodson (two times), John Morga, Joseph Benavidez (rematch), Ali Bagautinov, Chris Cariaso, Kyoji Horiguchi, Henry Cejudo, Tim Elliot, Wilson Reis and Ray Borg.

His dominance was halted by Cejudo in their rematch in August 2018 at UFC 227 via a split decision loss. After absorbing the defeat, he was traded to ONE Championship for Ben Askren and won the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix tournament.

Anderson Silva – 10 title defenses

Although Silva only sits at the No. 3 spot in the most number of title defenses in UFC history with 10, he holds the most finishes in title fights with nine and the most number of fights in the middleweight division with 13. Silva won the middleweight title in October 2006 after stopping Rich Franklin.

The ‘’Spider’’ defended his title against the likes of Nate Marquardt, Rich Franklin (rematch), Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen (two times), Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. Chris Weidman ended his rule in the 185-pound division in the championship showdown in July 2013.

Georges St-Pierre – 9 title defenses

Despite losing his first-ever title defense to Matt Serra in August 2007, St-Pierre managed to get his belt back in their rematch in April 2008 with a stoppage of his own in just two rounds. The greatest Canadian MMA athlete of all time retained his championship nine times.

He defeated the likes of Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and Johnny Hendricks during his time as the middleweight champion. GSP renounced his title in 2013 and had a four-year hiatus before coming back to claim the middleweight championship after defeating Michael Bisping in November 2017.

Jose Aldo and Valentina Shevchenko – 7 title defenses

Arguably the greatest featherweight champion in UFC history, Aldo recorded seven title defenses in the 145-pound division since the WEC merged with the UFC in 2010. Aldo killed the championship aspirations of Mark Hominick, Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar, Chan Jung Sung and Ricardo Lamas.

However, the King of Rio succumbed to Conor McGregor in his eighth title defense in 2015. As McGregor was stripped of the featherweight title, he was given another chance to reclaim it against Frankie Edgar in July 2016 and seized the opportunity to become a two-time titleholder. Aldo is unretiring in the UFC and will face No. 14-ranked bantamweight contender Jonathan Martinez on May 4 at UFC 301.

After her latest win against Talia Santos in June 2022, Valentina Shevchenko officially joined the top five list of UFC champions with the most title defenses. The ‘’Bullet’’ began her reign in the women’s flyweight division after winning against Joana Jedrzejczyk in December 2018. She now has seven successive title victories.

Shevchenko’s reign in the 125-pound division is nothing short of dominance as she knocked out Jessica Eye in June 2019, lopsidedly defeated Liz Carmouche in August 2019, TKO’ed Katlyn Chookagian in February 2020, dominated Jennifer Maia in November 2020, TKO’ed Jessica Andrade in April 2021 and stopped Lauren Murphy in September 2021.

The Kyrgyz MMA star narrowly escaped the challenge from Talia Santos in her previous match with a controversial split decision victory, but an instant rematch is in the works. If Shevchenko wins that rematch against Santos, she will be the solo number five on this list.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.