This weekend, UFC 259 took place, and it was stacked from bottom to top with insane fights. When the greatest Bantamweight of all time, Dominick Cruz, is on the prelims, you know you have an insane main card scheduled.
There were three title fights, with the main event being 205 lb. king, Jan BÅachowicz, who defended his new title for the first time against 185lb king Israel Adesanya. Of course, if Adesanya had won, he would have added his name to the shortlist of UFC fighters who have held belts in two divisions simultaneously: the almighty double champions.
In review of the history that took place this weekend, hereâs a rundown of all the fighters who have held UFC titles in different divisions at the same time.
Like any combat sport, MMA has had weight divisions for decades now. In the UFC, each weight division has one champion. Over the years, there have been fighters who have been a champion in one division, lose the title, and win the title in a different division. Itâs an incredible feat that only Georges St-Pierre, Randy Couture, and B.J. Penn can lay claim to, but what the term double champion (or champ-champ) is reserved for is fighters who have held belts in two different divisions at the same time.
Along with Israel Adesanya, JanÂ BÅachowicz, and Petr Yan, Amanda Nunes is the other champion who competed this Saturday at UFC 259. She went back up to 145lbs and defended her Featherweight strap against Megan Anderson.
Nunes won the Bantamweight championship at UFC 200 when she choked out Miesha Tate in the first round. She defended it three times before taking the challenge at Featherweight against Cris Cyborg, who she beat in the first round. At UFC 250, she defended her Featherweight title against Felicia Spencer, who she outclassed over the distance.
Amanda is special amongst the names on this list because she has been the only double champion to defend her titles while still holding them both. Thatâs a kind of dominance we havenât seen in any of the menâs divisions. Dominance is really the only word to describe Amandaâs entire career. Up to this point, she has beaten every single woman to have ever held the UFC Bantamweight title and both the women who held the UFC Featherweight title. She finished former 135lb champions Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Holly Holm, all in the first round. When they met in 2018, Cris Cyborg hadnât lost a fight since 2005. It took Amanda all of 51 seconds to dismantle her. Amanda also boasts not one but two wins over the current Womenâs Flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Thereâs really no reason to debate that Amanda Nunes is the greatest womenâs fighter in MMA history, and it will be many years before anyone comes close.
The man who coined the term âChamp Champ,â Conor McGregor, was the first fighter to ever hold UFC belts in two weight divisions at the same time.
Conorâs run at Featherweight was something youâll never forget if youâre lucky enough to have witnessed it in real-time. He came into the UFC already feeling like a superstar, already a double champion in his former promotion, Cage Warriors. Perhaps we should have been privy to what he was going to attempt all along.
Fight after fight, he would be brash in his attitude leading up to a fight, making bold predictions about what he was going to do to his opponent, then he would do it. He had one of the quickest rises to the top in MMA history. He debuted in the UFC in April of 2013, and just two years and five wins later, he had a fight scheduled with JosÃ© Aldo, a man who was on an 18-fight win streak. Aldo pulled out, and instead, Conor fought Chad Mendes on short notice. It was supposed to be a nightmare matchup for him, a high-level wrestler with good striking who had gone 5 rounds with Aldo in the “Fight of the Year” the year prior. All of that made no difference to McGregor, who finished Mendes in the second round.
Conor eventually fought Aldo in December of 2015, if a fight is what you even call what happened. The man who was unbeaten in 13 years lost the title in just 13 seconds. We didnât know it at the time, but it was the last time weâd ever see Conor at 145lb pounds. Almost immediately, he was scheduled to fight then-Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Once again, a Brazilian champion got injured and pulled out on Conor, which led to the famous pair of Nate Diaz fights. Legendary in their own right, they were but a detour for the Irishman. By the time Conor actually fought at Lightweight, Eddie Alvarez was the champion, and Conor made him look like an amateur fighter, putting on the performance of a lifetime at UFC 205 to become the promotionâs first dual-champion.
When DC came over to the UFC from Strikeforce, it was tough to know what we could expect from him. He was a former Olympian that had his first fight at 30-years-old and was clearly talented, but at 11-0, despite an incredible showing in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, fans were waiting to see what he would look like in the UFC.
Of course, after beating Frank Mir and Roy Nelson, he moved down to 205lbs because he refused even to consider the notion of fighting his friend and teammate Cain Velasquez, who was the Heavyweight champion at the time. If there was any doubt about how he would look at Light Heavyweight, he did away with it with his first two performances there. Cormier finished Patrick Cummins early in the first round and threw Dan Henderson around like he owed him money. At 15-0, it was time to see what he could do against Jon Jones.
Jones beat Cormier fairly handily over five rounds, taking down the former Olympian multiple times in the process, and it seemed the rivalry was done for good. Although he was unbeaten in MMA until that point, one of Jonesâ many losses outside the cage came after that fight. He was stripped of the title three months later after his infamous hit and run, and suddenly, the UFC needed a new champion at 205lbs. It only made sense that DC would step up to fight Anthony Johnson.
He won the belt that night and went on to defend it against Alexander Gustaffson and Rumble before Jones made his way back to their rematch. Jones finished him the second time around, but the fight was overturned to a no-contest after Jones tested positive for a banned substance. Cormier was once again champion, although he wouldnât feel like it again until he got another win under his belt, which he did at UFC 220 against Volkan Oezdemir.
With Cain out of the title picture at Heavyweight now, Cormier felt it was time to go back up to his original weight division to try to become a double champion. Poetically, almost a year to the date of the KO loss to Jon Jones, DC finished Stipe Miocic in the first round to become a two-weight champion. It was the stuff of dreams.
Both of Henry Cejudoâs title wins come after he reinvented himself in 2017. After winning three fights in the UFC in 2015, he lost a pair of fights in 2016. The first was to Demetrious Johnson, who stopped him in the first round. The second was to Joseph Benavidez, who won a split decision against him. These were two massive steps back for Cejudo at Flyweight, and he needed to make a change.
He took 9 months off before returning against Wilson Reis in September of 2017. He came out with a wider stance and looked far more polished than weâd seen before, winning the Performance of the Night bonus against Reis. Just three months later, he met Sergio Pettis, who he won a unanimous decision against. In a division suffering from the dominant reign of DJ, those two wins were enough to earn him another title shot.
When Cejudo and Johnson met for the second time, Cejudo did enough to take the fight on two judgesâ scorecards, bringing an end to DJâs 13-0 win streak. Next, he wanted to do what DJ never would and fight another UFC champion. 135lb king T.J. Dillashaw dropped down from Bantamweight in his own attempt to become a double champion, but he was humbled in just 32 seconds. Now, it was time for Cejudo to make his own attempt at the same feat. After their fight, Dillashaw tested positive for a banned substance, and as a result, the UFC Bantamweight Championship was vacant. Henry stepped up to fight Marlon Moraes in a star-making performance where he had to persevere beyond belief through a leg injury. He TKOâd Moraes in round three to add the UFCâs Bantamweight title to his collection of gold.