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Anderson Silva poses for a portrait at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jim Kemper/Zuffa LLC)
Athletes

Longest UFC Title Reigns: Legends Of The Octagon

Discover The Most Dominant Champions In UFC History, Including The Fighters Who Have Held Their Belt The Longest And Left An Undeniable Mark On MMA.

Becoming an UFC champion is a dream come true for a fighter. Making that climb up the rankings and getting that belt wrapped around their waste is a lifechanging accomplishment. Defending that belt is what can establish an athlete as an all-time great.

Every so often there is a dominant UFC champion that fends off all challengers.

In this article, we’ll discuss the champions that catapulted themselves into the G.O.A.T. conversation with their consistency and dominance.

The 10 Longest UFC Title Reigns Of All-Time

Anderson Silva reacts after knocking out Chael Sonnen during their UFC middleweight championship bout at UFC 148 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC)

Anderson Silva reacts after knocking out Chael Sonnen during their UFC middleweight championship bout at UFC 148 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC)


Anderson Silva

  • Length of Title Reign: 2,457 days
  • Successful Title Defenses: 10
  • Division: Middleweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Retired

Demetrious Johnson

  • Length of Title Reign: 2,142
  • Successful Title Defenses: 11
  • Division: Flyweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Out of The UFC

Georges St-Pierre

  • Length of Title Reign: 2,064
  • Successful Title Defenses: 9
  • Division: Welterweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Retired
Georges St-Pierre (blue tight shorts) def. Matt Hughes (black/grey shorts) - Submission (arm bar) - 4:54 round 2 during UFC 79 at Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 29, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Georges St-Pierre (blue tight shorts) def. Matt Hughes (black/grey shorts) - Submission (arm bar) - 4:54 round 2 during UFC 79 at Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 29, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


Amanda Nunes

  • Length of Title Reign: 1,981 days
  • Successful Title Defenses: 5
  • Division: Women’s Bantamweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Active
Amanda Nunes of Brazil celebrates in the octagon during the UFC 245 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Amanda Nunes of Brazil celebrates in the octagon during the UFC 245 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


José Aldo

  • Length of Title Reign: 1,848 days
  • Successful Title Defenses: 7
  • Division: Featherweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Retired
José Aldo Named To UFC Hall Of Fame Class Of 2023
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José Aldo Named To UFC Hall Of Fame Class Of 2023
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Valentina Shevchenko

  • Length of Title Reign: 1,548 days
  • Successful Title Defenses: 7
  • Division: Women’s Flyweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Active
UFC president Dana White presents Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan her championship belt after her victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland in their UFC strawweight championship fight during the UFC 231 event at Scotiabank Arena on December 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

UFC president Dana White presents Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan her championship belt after her victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland in their UFC strawweight championship fight during the UFC 231 event at Scotiabank Arena on December 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


Jon Jones

  • Length of Title Reign: 1,501 days
  • Successful Title Defenses: 8
  • Division: Light Heavyweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Active
Jon Jones | Best Moments
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Jon Jones | Best Moments
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Amanda Nunes

  • Length of Title Reign: 1,520 days
  • Successful Title Defenses: 2
  • Division: Women’s Featherweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Active

Daniel Cormier

  • Length of Title Reign: 1,315 days
  • Successful Title Defenses: 3
  • Division: Light Heavyweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Retired
Daniel Cormier celebrates his rear choke submission victory over Anthony Johnson in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 210 event at KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Daniel Cormier celebrates his rear choke submission victory over Anthony Johnson in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 210 event at KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


Kamaru Usman

  • Length of Title Reign: 1,267 days
  • Successful Title Defenses: 5
  • Division: Welterweight
  • Current Fighter Status: Active

The Best Of The Longest UFC Title Reigns Recap

Here’s which notable title reigns helped build these athletes’ UFC Hall of Fame quality resumés.

Anderson Silva – UFC Middleweight Champion (2,457 Days)

Brasil

Anderson Silva owns the longest UFC title reign in UFC history. The Brazilian combat sports icon became champion when he defeated Rich Franklin at UFC 64 in 2006.

The Spider” rattled off 16 wins in a row, beating some of the biggest names in MMA on his way. Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, Forest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, and Vitor Belfort couldn’t stop him. It was Chris Weidman who ended Silva’s six-year reign as the middleweight champion at UFC 162.

Demetrious Johnson – UFC Flyweight Champion (2,142 Days)

Demetrious Johnson celebrates after his submission victory over Ray Borg in their UFC flyweight championship bout during the UFC 216 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Demetrious Johnson celebrates after his submission victory over Ray Borg in their UFC flyweight championship bout during the UFC 216 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Demetrious Johnson is highly respected as one of the best MMA fighters of all-time, and for good reason. “Mighty Mouse” became UFC’s first flyweight champion in 2012 by defeating Joseph Benavidez, and he didn’t relinquish that title for six years.

Wins over John Dodson, Henry Cejudo, and Ray Borg highlighted Johnson’s dynamic skill set. Johnson’s 11-straight title fight wins set the record for the most consecutive title defenses of any weight class.

Johnson was defeated by Cejudo in their rematch at UFC 227 in a hard-fought split decision.

Georges St-Pierre – UFC Welterweight Champion (2,064 Days)

GEORGES ST-PIERRE NAMED TO UFC HALL OF FAME
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GEORGES ST-PIERRE NAMED TO UFC HALL OF FAME
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You can’t mention the greats without mentioning Georges St-Pierre. The Canadian superstar is one of the most formidable athletes to ever step in the Octagon.

GSP” became the gold standard in the welterweight division, bouncing back after losing to Matt Serra in 2007. GSP held onto the title for six years, and he never lost that welterweight belt before deciding to return to face Michael Bisping at UFC 217 for the middleweight championship. GSP submitted Bisping to claim middleweight gold but retired shortly thereafter.

During GSP’s title reign, he set the new UFC record for most successful welterweight title defenses with nine victories. GSP’s Hall of Fame career saw him earn wins over Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and many others.

Amanda Nunes – UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion (1,981 Days)

Amanda Nunes | Crowning Moment
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Amanda Nunes | Crowning Moment
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Amanda Nunes’ initial bantamweight title reign of nearly 2,000 days may have come to an end at UFC 269, but “The Lioness” has plenty left in the tank.

Nunes, who also holds the UFC women’s featherweight belt has a streak of 1,500+ days and counting in that weight class. But her impressive first title reign is what led UFC President Dana White to declare her the G.O.A.T.

In her five years as the women’s bantamweight champion, Nunes banked incredible victories over Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Germaine de Randamie, and Valentina Shevchenko.

After her stunning upset at the hands of Julianna Peña at UFC 269, she came right back and defeated Peña at UFC 277 to reclaim her title and restart the timer on her bantamweight title reign.

José Aldo – UFC Bantamweight Champion (1,848 Days)

Jose Aldo of Brazil poses for a portrait backstage during the UFC 200 event on July 9, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
Jose Aldo of Brazil poses for a portrait backstage during the UFC 200 event on July 9, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

The inaugural UFC featherweight champion was a great one. José Aldo made the transition from WEC to UFC and didn’t lose again for five years.

Aldo held the title for five years and successfully defended his title seven consecutive times. His battles with Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, and Frankie Edgar highlight just how amazing “The King Of Rio” really was. Aldo’s reign came to a halt at the hands of Conor McGregor in 2015.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Aldo is set to join the UFC Hall of Fame in 2023.

Valentina Shevchenko – UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion (1,547 Days)

Valentina Shevchenko | Top Finishes
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Valentina Shevchenko | Top Finishes
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Once she had the opportunity to move divisions, there was no looking back for Valentina Shevchenko.

Bullet” won the vacant flyweight title by defeating Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231 and hasn’t looked back since. Shevchenko successfully defended her title seven times in a row and has become one of UFC’s most dominant active fighters.

Jon Jones – UFC Light Heavyweight Champion (1,501 Days)

New UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones celebrates after defeating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 at the Prudential Center on March 19, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC)

New UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones celebrates after defeating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 at the Prudential Center on March 19, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC)


From the jump, it was clear that Jon Jones was special. He climbed his way up UFC’s light heavyweight rankings and became the youngest champ in UFC history by defeating Maurico “Shogun” Rua in 2011.

Jones’ 14 title fight victories and his 11 title defenses have led to many calling him the MMA G.O.A.T. Overall, Jones has 20 wins in the light heavyweight division and he is unbeaten in his last 18 UFC fights.

“Bones” has defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Alexander Gustafsson, Daniel Cormier, Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and Dominick Reyes. His first bout with Gustafsson was inducted into the Fight Wing of the UFC Hall of Fame.

RELATED: Heavyweight Champions Of UFC's Modern Era

Jones vacated the title due to suspension, but he won the belt back upon his return. In 2020, Jones announced he was moving up to the heavyweight division.

On March 4th, Jon Jones returned to the Octagon at UFC 285 in style, where he submitted former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane to claim the recently vacated heavyweight title. His first round guillotine choke victory showcased that "Bones" is back in a big way and ready to start another long UFC title reign - this time at heavyweight.

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