First the USFL, now this?

About a year ago, I wasted about and hour of my life and tracked the lineal UFC heavyweight championship through the sport’s history. Since, Fedor Emelianenko lost his status as such champion recently when Fabricio Werdum applied a timely triangle choke, I decided to revisit the subject. Some of the lineal champions are not what you might think.

Lineal UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum
Emelianenko held this title for over seven years. However, now Werdum holds the odd distinction. Ken Shamrock won the first incantation of the title by defeating Dan Severn to win the UFC Superfight title. From there it moved to Japan when Randy Couture lost to Enson Inoue. Then Mark Coleman won it back in the Pride 2000 Grand Prix, and the rest, as they say, is history. Actually, it is all history…

Ken Shamrock –> Dan Severn –> Mark Coleman –> Maurice Smith –> Randy Couture –> Enson Inoue –> Mark Kerr –> Kazuyuki Fujita –> Mark Coleman –> Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira –> Fedor Emelianenko –> Fabricio Werdum

Lineal UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Matt Hughes
Frank Shamrock’s early retirement basically derailed this lineal title from having any significance. After coming back from his hiatus, he fought handpicked opponents until he ran into Renzo Gracie at the very first Elite XC, who was also probably a handpicked opponent. In perhaps a sign of things to come for the promotion, the referee disqualified Shamrock for illegally kneeing Gracie in the head.

Frank Shamrock –> Renzo Gracie –> Matt Hughes

Lineal UFC Middleweight Champion Brock Lesnar
It is hard to believe that the man who makes fanboys say “we need a 235-pound division” is the rightful heir to the UFC middleweight crown. We have Pride’s fascination with open weight fights to thank for all the nonsense. Murilo Bustamante took the belt to Pride and then Wanderlei Silva lost it to Mark Hunt. Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic won the Open Weight grand prix and brought the title back to the UFC.

Dave Menne –> Murilo Bustamante –> Quinton Jackson –> Wanderlei Silva –> Mark Hunt –> Josh Barnett –> Mirko Filipovic –> Gabriel Gonzaga –> Randy Couture –> Brock Lesnar

Lineal UFC Welterweight Champion Mauricio Rua
Oddly enough Pat Miletich dropped the lineal before he lost the actual UFC belt. He lost a non-title bout to Jutaro Nakao at SuperBrawl 11 and sent the title to Japan. BJ Penn then picked it up back in Hawaii when he was into fighting Gracies. Then his open weight desires gave the title who held it until he suffered his first loss.

Pat Miletich –> Jutaro Nakao –> Tetsuji Kato –> Hayato Sakurai –> Anderson Silva –> Daiju Takase –> Rodrigo Gracie –> BJ Penn –> Lyoto Machida –> Mauricio Rua

Lineal UFC Lightweight Champion Mauricio Rua
Jens Pulver left the UFC with both the lightweight belt and lineal championship. His touchy chin handed the belt to Duane Ludwig. Then Ludwig’s lack of ground skill made him an easy target for BJ Penn. Therefore the lineal welterweight and lightweight titles will be forever linked, unless there is a professional wrestling style two-belt-triple-threat match.

Jens Pulver –> Duane Ludwig –> BJ Penn –> Lyoto Machida –> Mauricio Rua

Fun Stuff

Lineal Iron Ring Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum
We all know that M-1 was upset when Fedor lost for the first time in almost ten years. However, they were certainly more upset that they can no longer call the mighty Fedor the lineal Iron Ring heavyweight champion. That is another honor that is now bestowed upon Fabricio Werdum.

Abongo Humphrey –> Brett Rogers –> Fedor Emelianenko –> Fabricio Werdum

Lineal Yamma Champion Muhammed Lawal
The Yamma Pit, literally translated “the pit pit,” produce lots of laughs, rolled ankles and one champion, Travis Wiuff. He dropped the lineal distinction when Muhammed Lawal made his debut in Sengoku.

Travis Wiuff –> Muhammed Lawal

Team Thirsty lustin for Yamma greatness
2 thoughts on “Mann Talk – Fun with Lineal Championships”

Leave a Reply