Within the UFC, attending to the highest of the mountain is tough, staying there may be close to unattainable. Few fighters ever handle to get their arms on a championship. For those who do, few handle to carry onto them for all that lengthy.
Dwelling legends similar to Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre wowed followers, fighters and pundits alike with their prolonged reigns. For many champions, holding the gold for years is a tall order. Certainly, the report for many profitable defenses in a single reign within the heavyweight division is simply three (Stipe Miocic).
Whereas some champs shoulder the frustration of shedding the prize of their first protection, there are others who by no means even make it that far. As a consequence of quite a lot of elements, some champions by no means put their belts up for grabs in any respect.
Listed below are three UFC fighters who by no means defended their titles:
#3. Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten
An MMA pioneer and former three-time King of Pancrase, Bas Rutten secured the UFC heavyweight title close to the top of his profession. The liver shot grasp acquired his first crack at UFC gold towards Kevin Randleman in a match for the vacant strap at UFC 20.
For Rutten, the primary 5 or so minutes of the struggle had been nothing wanting disastrous. Coming in scorching off a a five-year undefeated streak, Rutten took a cruel beating from Randleman. Busted open and barely defensive in his guard place, Rutten acquired some reduction when the physician got here in to examine on his minimize.
Making the most of the breather, Rutten landed considered one of his patented liver kicks to Randleman. From that time on, the struggle was a significantly extra even and slower-paced affair. The bell was rung on the 21-minute mark (this was an easier time through which the UFC hadn’t dedicated to five-round fights but) with the end result going to the judges.
In a controversial break up choice, Rutten gained the UFC heavyweight title. Rutten by no means defended the belt. As an alternative, he determined to chop all the way down to the middleweight division for 2 causes: the primary was it being nearer his common strolling weight and the second was his want to win gold in two divisions.
As a consequence of a litany of accidents, together with knee, arm and neck issues, Rutten’s dream by no means even got here near coming true. He would solely struggle as soon as extra in 2006, when he scored a first-round TKO win on Ruben Villareal.
#2. Former UFC ladies’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie
The primary ever UFC ladies’s featherweight champion was not the primary to defend the gold. Germaine de Randamie, broadly thought to be one of many biggest ladies’s kickboxers of all time, gained the title at UFC 208, defeating Holly Holm through unanimous choice.
The win was mired in controversy owing to de Randamie persevering with to punch Holm after the horn had sounded on the finish of rounds two and three. In neither case did the referee deduct any factors from ‘The Iron Girl’ for her transgressions.
UFC president Dana White deliberate for de Randamie to defend her strap towards Cris Cyborg first. De Randamie refused, citing Cyborg’s historical past of PED use as her excuse earlier than revealing she was shifting again to the bantamweight division.
Germaine de Randamie was subsequently stripped of her title with out a single protection to her identify.
Within the bantamweight division, she is but to carry the gold. Like each different notable identify within the ladies’s bantamweight scene, she got here up brief in her problem to reigning champ Amanda Nunes.
#1. Former UFC featherweight and light-weight champion Conor McGregor
‘The Infamous’ briefly had the respect of being the UFC’s very first champ-champ again in 2016. McGregor famously despatched long-term featherweight champ Jose Aldo packing in simply 13 seconds of their title unification bout at UFC 194. From there, the brand new undisputed champ revealed his intentions to maneuver as much as the light-weight division.
After a collection of fortuitous occasions led to McGregor having a traditional pair of fights with Nate Diaz in 2016, the Irishman lastly set his sights on the light-weight prize. In one of many most interesting performances of his profession, McGregor picked then-champ Eddie Alvarez aside, scoring a TKO win over ‘The Underground King’ three minutes into the second spherical.
McGregor was stripped of the featherweight title quickly after on account of his inactivity within the division. Following his light-weight title win, McGregor took a while off earlier than shifting into selling his boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather. Leaving one other UFC title undefended, McGregor was once more stripped because of inactivity in April 2018.
To this point, McGregor has not gained again both of the belts he by no means defended. His one shot on the light-weight title since then got here at UFC 229. There, McGregor endured one of many worst beatings of his profession by the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov. ‘The Eagle’ submitted ‘Mystic Mac’ three minutes into the fourth spherical.