One of the reasons MMA fans love this sport is witnessing the passing of the torch. In basketball or football, this means one team finally losing in the sport’s biggest game. In the UFC, it means defeating the incumbent champion.
UFC fans were treated to this twice in the past year! Both the middleweight and men’s bantamweight championships switched hands in memorable fashion and many MMA fans were able to witness it live! These moments are rare and special, and we’ve collected our favorites below!
TJ Dillashaw defeats Renan Barao
UFC® 173 thrilled with a full night of amazing fights, but the best was most definitely saved for last. Reigning champion Barao was preparing to defend his title and continue an incredible 32 fight win-streak. Challenger Dillashaw had other plans.
From the start of the fight the challenger proved the odds were no indication of what his intentions were. Dillashaw dominated Barao for five rounds before finally getting the win via TKO (punches) and taking the title.
Men’s Light Heavyweight Championship
Randy Couture defeats Tito Ortiz
Impressive for several reasons.
- Couture had just moved from the Heavyweight division to defeat Chuck Liddell for the UFC Interim Light Heavyweight Championship title
- He then defeated five-time defending champ Ortiz to become the undisputed LHW champ!
- He was 40-years-old at the time and got a UD victory
Quinton Jackson defeats Chuck Liddell
Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell was on a four-match title defense streak and was looking to defend against Jackson for his fifth successful defense. As UFC® 71 unfolded, it took less than two minutes into the first round for Jackson to become the Light Heavyweight champ.
Which LHW championship takeover do you remember? Which was your favorite or most memorable? Share in the comments below!
Chris Weidman defeats Anderson Silva
In what will go down as one of the most memorable title takeovers ever, at UFC® 162 Chris Weidman shocked the UFC world and Anderson Silva. (To be fair, some within the community had expressed their support of Weidman and belief that he would end Silva’s championship reign).
Weidman caught the former champion off guard and ended the match with a round two TKO/KO. Silva’s dominance within the middleweight division had finally come to an end in astonishing fashion.
BJ Penn Defeats Matt Hughes
The competition between this matchup and Weidman’s title take over is thick. Penn and Hughes trilogy is one of the most iconic in the sport. At UFC® 46, Penn jumped weight classes to challenged Hughes for his Welterweight title.
Hughes came in as the favorite, but in the very first round was submitted by Penn via rear naked choke. This title takeover is memorable for being one of the biggest upsets in UFC history as well as one of the greatest submission victories in MMA.
Did your favorite title takeover make the list? Which did we forget? Which do you think shouldn’t even be on here? Let us know in the comments below!
See a Title Takeover Live!
UFC® 175 is right around the corner, and with two titles on the line, this holiday weekend card is ripe for a memorable takeover moment! If you have other plans that weekend and aren’t able to make it to Las Vegas, not to worry!
About a month later in Sacramento, CA there will be another opportunity at UFC® 177, when Barao gets his chance to redeem his title against champ, Dillashaw. The card is filling out and turning to be a mid-summer dream fight night!
Through UFC VIP Experience witness UFC® 177 in true VIP fashion. With behind the scenes access to backstage and Octagon tours, reserved seating at the Fighter Q & A and weigh-in, and an exclusive VIP in-arena hospitality party venue, packages are designed to give MMA fans the ultimate UFC experience.
If that was enough, the hospitality party venue is open on fight day with gourmet food buffets, open and cash bar options, interactive elements and simulcast TV coverage of the prelims! Throughout the evening guests of the UFC VIP Experience will get to meet and greet with various fighters, Octagon girls and UFC personalities, EPIC! Additionally guests receive swagged out gift bags, on-site assistance, a dedicated check-in area, and optional luxury accommodations.
Will we see you in Sacramento, CA at UFC® 177?