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The Rise and Fall of UFC Bantamweight Champions: A History of Dominance and Disqualification

Discover the history of the UFC Bantamweight Division, from its inception to the current reigning champion. Explore the rise and fall of champions, latest results, rankings, and more.

The UFC Bantamweight Division has seen its fair share of ups and downs, with champions rising to the top and falling from grace. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of the division, from its inception to the current reigning champion.

The Birth of the Bantamweight Division

The Bantamweight Division is a weight class in combat sports, specifically in MMA. It encompasses fighters who weigh between 126-135 lbs (57.2-61.2 kg). Positioned between the Flyweight and Featherweight Divisions, the Bantamweight Division has become a highly competitive and exciting weight class.

The Current Bantamweight Champion

As of 2023, the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion is Sean O’Malley. With a record of 17-1-0 (1NC), O’Malley claimed the title at UFC 292 by defeating Aljamain Sterling via TKO in the second round. O’Malley’s victory marked a significant milestone in his career and solidified his position as one of the top fighters in the division.

A Look at the Latest Results

Let’s delve into the recent fights that have taken place in the UFC Bantamweight Division. On August 19, 2023, Aljamain Sterling faced off against Sean O’Malley in a highly anticipated match. O’Malley emerged victorious with a TKO in the second round, showcasing his skills and dominance in the division.

In another thrilling bout, Da’Mon Blackshear and Mario Bautista went head-to-head, with Bautista ultimately securing a unanimous decision victory. Marlon Vera also showcased his prowess by defeating Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision. Lastly, Brad Katona emerged triumphant in a unanimous decision win against Cody Gibson.

The UFC Bantamweight Rankings

Here are the current rankings for the UFC Bantamweight Division in 2023:

Rank Fighter Record Win Streak Last Fight Next Fight
1 Sean O’Malley 17–1n(1NC) 2 Win UFC 292 Aljamain Sterling
2 Merab Dvalishvili 16–4 -1 Win UFC Fight Night 221 Petr Yan
3 Henry Cejudo 16–3 0 Loss UFC 288 Aljamain Sterling

The Evolution of the Bantamweight Class

Before the merger between the UFC and WEC, Dominick Cruz held the WEC Bantamweight Championship. He successfully defended his title against Scott Jorgensen at WEC 53 and was subsequently awarded the inaugural UFC Bantamweight Championship.

T.J. Dillashaw made history at UFC 173 by defeating Renan Barao and claiming the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Dominick Cruz later reclaimed the title at UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs Cruz, becoming the first-ever two-time Bantamweight Champion.

Cody Garbrandt dethroned Cruz at UFC 207, but his reign was short-lived as Dillashaw regained the title. However, Dillashaw vacated the belt in 2019 due to a failed drug test. Henry Cejudo then became the fourth UFC fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously, including the Bantamweight Division.

Petr Yan emerged as the current Bantamweight Champion after defeating Jose Aldo at UFC 251. However, in a controversial turn of events, Yan lost the title to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 due to a disqualification. Sterling defended his belt against top contenders, including T.J. Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo.

In a highly anticipated matchup, Sean O’Malley faced off against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292. O’Malley emerged victorious, claiming the bantamweight championship via TKO in the second round.