Discover five instances where UFC champions were unexpectedly dethroned by challengers. These upsets changed the landscape of their respective divisions.
5 UFC Champions Who Were Dethroned by Unexpected Challengers
When it comes to UFC champions, their reigns at the top are often marked by dominance and a lack of credible challengers. However, there have been instances where unexpected fighters have risen to the occasion and dethroned these champions. In this article, we will explore five such cases and the impact they had on their respective divisions.
1. Valentina Shevchenko’s Reign as the UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion
Valentina Shevchenko had established herself as one of the most dominant champions in the women’s flyweight division. With seven consecutive title defenses, she seemed unbeatable. However, Alexa Grasso proved to be a formidable opponent and pulled off one of the greatest upsets in WMMA history by defeating Shevchenko at UFC 285.
2. Kamaru Usman’s Reign as the UFC Welterweight Champion
Kamaru Usman had solidified his status as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world during his reign as the UFC welterweight champion. With five successful title defenses, he seemed untouchable. However, Leon Edwards delivered a devastating head kick that brought Usman back down to Earth and handed him his first loss in the division.
3. Israel Adesanya’s First Reign as the UFC Middleweight Champion
Israel Adesanya entered the UFC with an undefeated record and quickly captured the middleweight title. He went on to defend his belt against top contenders and appeared invincible. However, Alex Pereira, a familiar foe from Adesanya’s kickboxing days, emerged as a worthy challenger and handed him his first loss in the middleweight division.
4. Ronda Rousey’s Reign as the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion
Ronda Rousey’s dominance in the women’s bantamweight division was unparalleled. She finished all of her opponents and seemed unbeatable. However, Holly Holm shocked the world by knocking out Rousey in the second round, ending her reign as champion.
5. Amanda Nunes’ Reign as the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion
Amanda Nunes had established herself as the most dominant female fighter in UFC history. She had defeated every champion in her divisions and held numerous records. However, Julianna Peña, with just a one-fight win streak, defied the odds and choked out Nunes to become the new bantamweight champion.
These five cases serve as a reminder that in MMA, anything can happen. Even the most dominant champions can be dethroned by unexpected challengers. It’s what makes the sport so unpredictable and exciting.
|Valentina Shevchenko||Alexa Grasso||Grasso def. Shevchenko via upset|
|Kamaru Usman||Leon Edwards||Edwards def. Usman via head kick|
|Israel Adesanya||Alex Pereira||Pereira def. Adesanya via TKO|
|Ronda Rousey||Holly Holm||Holm def. Rousey via knockout|
|Amanda Nunes||Julianna Peña||Peña def. Nunes via submission|