UFC
UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images photo)

What is the UFC?

The UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championships, founded in 1993 by Art Davie, John Milius and Rorion Gracie along with the Semaphore Entertainment Group. Semaphore took over ownership of the organization until January 2001, when they sold their interests to Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta as well as business partner Dana White, founding Zuffa LLC. It is currently under the ownership of Endeavor Group Holdings, via subsidiary William Morris Endeavor, via sale by Zuffa LLC in July 2016.

How many divisions exist within the UFC?

From 1993 to 1997, there were no weight classes due to mixed martial arts (MMA) being an unsanctioned sport. Weight-specific titles were introduced during UFC 12, with Mark Coleman winning the inaugural Heavyweight Championship against Dan Severn via neck crank submission.

By UFC 31, four additional weight classes were added to the promotion: lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight.

The organization would expand their lesser weight classes further in late 2010, following the merger with sister organization World Extreme Cagefighting, introducing the featherweight and bantamweight divisions as a result.

The dissolution of sister promotion Strikeforce allowed the UFC to add female fighters to their roster for the first time in promotion history.

As of 2019, there are eight divisions for male fighters and four divisions for female fighters.

How often are titles defended?

UFC champions usually defend their respective titles during pay-per-view events, rarely defending in televised UFC Fight Night bouts. Regardless of the outcome of a title fight, vital UFC news revolves around the UFC Champions and their title defenses.

Who are the current champions in the UFC?

UFC Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Cormier is the current champion. Cormier won the title on July 7, 2018 against Stipe Miocic (R1 TKO at UFC 226). Cormier defended the title successfully against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in November 2018. Cormier is set to face off against Miocic at UFC 241 in Anaheim, Calif. on August 17.

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon “Bones” Jones is the current champion. Jones won the title on December 29, 2018 against Alexander Gustafsson (R3 TKO at UFC 232). Jones defended the title successfully twice against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 in March 2019 and against Thiago Santos at UFC 239 in July 2019.

UFC Middleweight Championship: Robert Whittaker is the current champion. Whittaker won the title on July 7, 2017 against Yoel Romero (via unanimous decision at UFC 213). In two years, Whittaker has yet to defend the title and hasn’t had a fight since UFC 225 on June 9, 2018. For unexplained reasons not stated by UFC, Israel Adesanya is listed as interim champion. The title will be contested October 6 in Melbourne, Australia (UFC 243).

UFC Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman is the current champion. Usman won the title on March 2, 2019 against Tyron Woodley (via unanimous decision at UFC 235).

UFC Lightweight ChampionshipKhabib Nurmagomedov is the current champion. Nurmagomedov won the title on April 7, 2018 against Al Iaquinta (via unanimous decision at UFC 223). Nurmagomedov defended the title successfully against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018. For unexplained reasons not stated by UFC, Dustin Poirier is listed as interim champion. The title will be contested September 7 in Abu Dhabi, UAE (UFC 242).

UFC Featherweight ChampionshipMax Holloway is the current champion. Holloway won the title on June 3, 2017 against Jose Aldo (R3 TKO at UFC 212). Cormier defended the title successfully against Aldo at UFC 218 in December 2017 and Brian Ortega at UFC 231 in December 2018. A unanimous decision stripped Holloway of the title in April against Dustin Poirier at UFC 236 in April 2019, but won the title back against Frankie Edgar (unanimous decision) at UFC 240 last month.

UFC Bantamweight ChampionshipHenry Cejudo is the current champion. Cejudo won the title on June 8, 2019 against Marlon Moraes (R3 TKO at UFC 238).

UFC Flyweight Championship: Henry Cejudo is the current champion. Cejudo won the title on August 4, 2018 against Demetrious Johnson (via split decision at UFC 227). Cejudo defended the title successfully against TJ Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night in January 2019 and against Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 in June 2019.

UFC Women’s Featherweight ChampionshipAmanda Nunes is the current champion. Nunes won the title on December 29, 2018 against Kris “Cyborg” Justino (R1 TKO at UFC 232).

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship: Amanda Nunes is the current champion. Nunes won the title on July 9, 2016 against Miesha Tate (R1 submission at UFC 200). Nunes defended the title successfully against Ronda Rousey at UFC 207 in December 2016, against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 215 in September 2017, against Raquel Pennington at UFC 224 in May 2018 and against Holly Holm at UFC 239 last month.

UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship: Valentina Shevchenko is the current champion. Shevchenko won the title on December 8, 2018 against Joanna Jedrzejczyk (via unanimous decision at UFC 231). Shevchenko defended the title successfully against Jessica Eye at UFC 238 in June 2019. The title is being contested at UFC Fight Night against Liz Carmouche in Montevideo, Uruguay on Saturday.

UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship: Jessica Andrade is the current champion. Usman won the title on May 11, 2019 against Rose Namajunas (R2 TKO at UFC 237). The title is being contested at UFC Fight Night against Weili Zhang in Montevideo, Uruguay on August 31.

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