Pasar al contenido principal
Fight Coverage

The Continuing Saga Of The Light Heavyweight Belt

Ahead Of The Next Chapter At UFC 295, We Run Down Every Time The Light Heavyweight Title Has Changed Hands Since Jon Jones Vacated The Belt

On August 17, 2020, heavyweight champion Jon Jones vacated his light heavyweight title. Jones eventually transitioned to heavyweight, where he defeated Ciryl Gane in his first fight to claim another title.

Preview Every Fight On UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira

Once a bastion of stability, since Jones left the 205-pound division three years ago, the light heavyweight belt has changed hands four times, and has additionally been vacated twice. We take a look back at those four champions and how they won, lost or were forced to vacate their light heavyweight titles.

Jan Blachowicz – Sept. 27, 2020
vs Dominick Reyes at UFC 253
 Jan Blachowicz of Poland kicks Dominick Reyes in their light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Jan Blachowicz of Poland kicks Dominick Reyes in their light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

At UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa, Poland’s Jan Blachowicz put his devastating “Polish Power” on display against two-time title challenger and betting favorite Dominick Reyes for the recently vacated light heavyweight title.

(Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

After a slow first round, which saw Blachowicz chew at Reyes’ body with brutal kicks, the former Muay Thai world champion snuck in a left hook that appeared to break Reyes’ nose. Now with Reyes on the back foot, Blachowicz pressed forward and started landing devastating strikes to put Reyes away in the second round. Poland had its second UFC champion.

Six months later, former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya moved up to 205 to try and become the UFC’s fifth ever simultaneous two-division champion. Despite an impressive resume at 185 pounds, Adesanya could not keep up with the versatility and strength of Blachowicz.

WATCH: Alex Pereira Is Focused On What’s To Come

Blachowicz cruised his way to a unanimous decision victory after out striking the former champ 184-99, securing three takedowns and amassing over seven minutes of control time. With this win, Blachowicz successfully defended the light heavyweight title, a feat no one in the division has accomplished since.

Glover Teixeira – Oct. 30, 2021
vs Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267
Glover Teixeira of Brazil celebrates after his victory over Jan Blachowicz of Poland in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 267 event at Etihad Arena on October 30 2021 in Yas Island Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Glover Teixeira of Brazil celebrates after his victory over Jan Blachowicz of Poland in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 267 event at Etihad Arena on October 30, 2021 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chr

Entering the bout as a heavy favorite, Blachowicz was looking unstoppable after his two dominant performances against Reyes and Adesanya. In UFC 267’s main event, Blachowicz faced Glover Teixeira, who’d been competing in the UFC since 2012.

(Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

In his 21st UFC fight, Teixeira showcased his most impressive performance to date. Even though Blachowicz found success grappling against Adesanya, Teixeira showed early in the first round that his wrestling was on an entirely different level. Landing a takedown one minute into the fight, Teixeira stayed in top position for the remaining four minutes of the round, raining down ground-and-pound throughout.

Order UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira

After gaining some respect with his hands early in the second, Teixeira tripped Blachowicz back down to the mat. Rather than staying in one position, Teixeira moved his way to mount, forcing Blachowicz to give up his back. In short time, Teixeira’s arms were coiled around Blachowicz’ neck, forcing him to tap. After nine years of competing in the UFC, Teixeira finally claimed the light heavyweight title, becoming the oldest first-time champion in UFC history at 42 years old.

Jiří Procházka – June 11, 2022
vs Glover Teixeira at UFC 275
Jiri Prochazka of Czech Republic punches Glover Teixeira of Brazil in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 275 event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 12, 2022 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jiri Prochazka of Czech Republic punches Glover Teixeira of Brazil in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 275 event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 12, 2022 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Fans in Singapore were gifted to a Fight of the Year in UFC 275’s main event between Jiří Procházka and Teixeira. Through four rounds of non-stop action, the fight was playing out exactly how the styles of these two opponents would suggest; a slugfest on the feet with Teixeira taking control once the fight hit the mat.

(Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

While this fight was full of surprises, including Teixeira going blow for blow with one of the division’s hardest hitters, no one could have predicted the final sequence late in the fifth round. With a minute and a half to go, Teixeira was in mount and appeared to be cruising his way to a decision victory. But soon after, Procházka kicked off the cage and reversed positions, ultimately finding his way to Texeira’s neck, where he locked in a rear naked choke with only 30 seconds to go. With so little time left in the fight, Teixeira was forced to tap. The win earned the Czech Republic’s Procházka his first UFC title in only his third fight inside the Octagon.

Procházka Vacates Title – Nov. 23, 2022

With a rematch scheduled against Teixeira later that year, Prochazka suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and nearly a year of recovery. Out of respect to the contenders in the light heavyweight division, Prochazka decided to vacate his title so a new champion could be crowned in his absence.

Order UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira

Title Remains Vacant – Dec. 11, 2022
Opponents Jan Blachowicz of Poland and Magomed Ankalaev of Russia face off during the UFC 282 ceremonial weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Opponents Jan Blachowicz of Poland and Magomed Ankalaev of Russia face off during the UFC 282 ceremonial weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The vacant light heavyweight title was up for grabs less than a month later at UFC 282 in Las Vegas, where former champion Blachowicz took on Magomed Ankalaev in the main event. The fight itself was very entertaining, with Ankalaev having to battle through heavy leg kicks to crawl his way back in the later rounds. The result, however, left the light heavyweight division in disarray as the bout would be declared a split draw, meaning neither fighter would be crowned champion.

Jamahal Hill – Jan. 21, 2023
vs Glover Teixeira at UFC 283
Jamahal Hill reacts after his victory over Glover Teixeira of Brazil in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
Jamahal Hill reacts after his victory over Glover Teixeira of Brazil in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

After the light heavyweight division was left without a champion in 2022, the UFC didn’t waste any time finding two new opponents to clash for the vacant belt. The stars looked to be re-aligning for former champion Teixeira. After suffering a gut-wrenching loss in the final seconds against Procházka, Teixeira earned an opportunity to reclaim his title in his home country of Brazil against Jamahal Hill.

(Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

Hill, who was coming off three consecutive knockouts against Johnny Walker, Jimmy Crute and Thiago Santos, showed that his striking was too much for the 43-year-old to handle. Through 25 minutes, Hill out struck Teixeira 248-108, landing 57 percent of his strikes attempted. Hill won the bout decisively on all three judges’ scorecards.

Hill Vacates Title – July 24, 2023

With such a dominant performance over Teixeira, a future bout with Procházka was shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated fights in the UFC. This past summer, however, Hill revealed that he ruptured his Achilles tendon during a basketball game at International Fight Week. Having won the undisputed title following Procházka’s injury, Hill decided to do the same and relinquish his title while a new champion awaits his return.

Vacant Light Heavyweight Title Up For Grabs – Nov. 11, 2023
UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira
Main Event Preview | UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira
fight pass logo
Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

This video is not available in your country

There was a problem while loading content. Please try again.

Main Event Preview | UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira
/

At UFC 295, former light heavyweight champion Procházka makes his highly anticipated return to the Octagon following his shoulder injury against former middleweight champion Alex Pereira. The two will fight for the vacant light heavyweight title in the main event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

(Order UFC 295)

This will be Pereira’s second mixed martial arts fight at light heavyweight; Pereira defeated Blachowicz in his 205-pound debut at UFC 291 in July. Procházka will be competing for the first time since defeating Teixeira all the way back in June 2022.

Please enable Javascript to view this content

UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira took place live from Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 11, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass