What Does Undisputed Champion Mean in the UFC

What Does Undisputed Champion Mean in the UFC?

UFC is the Ultimate Fighting Championship based around the full-contact combat sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). Skilled fighters from around the world who have trained and developed in fighting styles, all enter the UFC octagon with hopes to achieve the status of the undisputed champion. 

To be the undisputed champion in the UFC means you are the number one fighter in your weight class. There is only one championship belt in each weight class, and the fighter holding that belt is considered the undisputed champion.

They will be undisputed until they either retire, lose a fight or have their belt stripped from them for political reasons.

An individual undisputed UFC champion can be the holder of more than one championship belt if they fight and win in different weight classes. For example, in the women’s UFC, Amanda Nunes won the Bantamweight championship title in 2016 and went on to fight in and win the Featherweight championship title in 2018. Amanda Nunes was the first woman in UFC history to be classed as the undisputed champion in two weight classes. 

What Does Undisputed Champion Mean in UFC?

In the Ultimate Fighting Championship, an undisputed champion is the winner of the championship title in the weight class they fight in. They have trained, fought, and won the fight for the championship belt and are, therefore, labeled the undisputed champion. The winner of the fight for the championship title will become the undisputed champion.


What is the Difference Between Interim and Undisputed Champions in UFC?

If an undisputed champion becomes inactive for any reason, such as medical issues, injury, or suspension, an Interim Champion will take their place. 

The interim champion will be the next in line to fight for the championship title of that weight class. They will essentially “take over” the championship role as a temporary undisputed champion and will usually be guaranteed a fight with the actual champion when they return.

Holding the interim belt will sanction their fight ticket to be the number one contender for the official undisputed belt. 

This makes the official undisputed champion’s position, now officially disputed, by the interim champ. The fight between these two UFC fighters will determine the outcome of the disputed title, effectively unifying the dispute so that there will once again be only one undisputed victor for that weight class.

What is the Difference Between Undisputed and Undefeated in UFC?

To be an undefeated fighter is to be a contestant who has not been defeated in a UFC fight. 

To be the undisputed champion is to be the winner of a UFC fight for a championship title. 

UFC champions can be contestants who have been defeated in multiple fights but have still made their way up to the top of the line to fight and become the undisputed champion.

If a combatant has never lost a fight in their UFC career they are deemed undefeated. They may have a draw or a no contest (NC) but that does not add a loss to their name and as such will still be classed as undefeated. 

An undefeated contestant is not a champion until they have beaten the undisputed champion.

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov is an undefeated combatant in UFC, with 29 wins and 0 losses to his name at the time of his retirement in 2020. 
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov is an undefeated and undisputed lightweight champion.
  • Conor McGregor was the first male to hold 2 undisputed championship belts in the featherweight and lightweight divisions but has had 6 losses in his UFC career. He is not an undefeated champion but has been an undisputed champion. 
  • Phillip Miller was a mixed martial arts fighter for numerous fighting leagues. He was undefeated throughout his whole career, winning 16 fights in total, but was never an undisputed champion before his retirement in 2003.

What is the Difference Between the Undisputed Champion in Boxing and UFC?

The term undisputed and its meaning differ a lot between UFC and boxing. The main reason is the fact that boxing has many governing bodies, while MMA has only one. Here is a detailed explanation.

Undisputed champion in boxing

Boxing has dozens of different organizations out of which the following four are the major governing bodies:

  • WBA (World Boxing Association)
  • WBO (World Boxing Organization)
  • WBC (World Boxing Council)
  • IBF (International Boxing Federation)

Each of these four organizations includes 17 different weight classes. The champion of each weight class, regardless of the promotion, has the right to be called the world champion.

But to become undisputed they must win the belt in a specific weight class in all four promotions. Or in other words, they must beat four other titleholders to earn the undisputed status. Here is how it works in practice:

In 2020, Canelo Alvarez, a WBO and WBC super-middleweight champion at the time beat Callum Smith to win the WBA title. Just one year later, he stopped Caleb Plant in the 11th round to win the IBF super middleweight title. This way, Alvarez obtained belts in all four governing bodies, which secured him undisputed status.

Some other boxing undisputed champions are Oleksandr Usyk, Bernard Hopkins, and Terence Crawford.


Undisputed UFC champion

The sport of MMA has only one major organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). So, when a UFC fighter wins the title in a specific weight class, they are in no dispute with no one.

There are no other governing bodies like there are in boxing, so every UFC champion is actually the “undisputed champion”.

But why would the UFC adopt this term and give it a different meaning? Well, the only logical explanation is that being the “undisputed” champ contributes to the legitimacy of the status.


Who is the current UFC undisputed champion?

Francis Ngannou (16-3) Light-heavyweight Champion: Jiří Procházka (29-3-1) Middleweight Champion: Israel Adesanya (23-1) Welterweight Champion: Kamaru Usman (20-1).

Was fury the undisputed champion?

He is a two-time world heavyweight champion.

Who’s the greatest UFC fighter of all time?

Georges St-Pierre

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