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On This Day in 2008: Penn, Serra, Jackson, Silva, Nogueira, St-Pierre and Couture Were All Holding UFC Straps


(These things have been passed around more than Arlovski’s ex-girlfriend.)

Although the UFC only had five weight classes at the time, four years ago today it had seven champions and only two still hold a strap.

BJ Penn (155), Matt Serra (170), Anderson Silva (185), Quinton Jackson (205) and Randy Couture (265) held titles in their respective weight divisions, while Georges St-Pierre (170) and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (265) were the anointed interim champions.

Fun Fact: Anderson Silva is the only champ who still holds the same belt he did then.

Penn successfully defended his belt against Kenny Florian at UFC 101 and Diego Sanchez at UFC 107 in August and December of 2009, respectively. He was beaten by Frankie Edgar at UFC 112 in April 2010 and subsequently dropped the immediate rematch at UFC 118 in August of the same year. “The Answer” has since defended the strap twice against Gray Maynard at UFC 125 in January 2011, when the bout was declared a draw, and at UFC 136 last October when he knocked out “The Bully” in the fourth round.

St-Pierre, who won the interim title against Matt Hughes at UFC 79, rebounded from his April 2007 UFC 69 upset loss to Serra to win back the gold from “The Terror” at UFC 83 in April 2008. He was originally slated to face Serra instead of Hughes, but an injury put the kabosh on the bout.

He has defended the belt six times since regaining it, defeating Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck and Jake Shields. Currently sidelined while rehabbing from knee surgery, GSP could defend his title for the first time in 18 months by November against interim titleholder Carlos Condit.

Silva has retained his middleweight title seven times in the past 1461 days against Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. He also beat a pair of light heavyweights in that span in James Irvin and Forrest Griffin.

Jackson lost his belt to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 in July of 2008. Fo-Griff wouldn’t hold it long, though  as five months latter he was TKO’ed by Rashad Evans at UFC 92. Evans failed to defend his belt and was knocked out by Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 in May 2009. He eked out a questionable decision against Mauricio Rua at UFC 104 that October but was KO’ed in the rematch at UFC 113 in May 2010. Like Machida, Shogun also wouldn’t hold the crown long as he was knocked out in his first title defense by Jon Jones at UFC 128 last August. Jones has been perfect as a champion, submitting both Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 and Machida at UFC 140.

Couture dropped his second title defense (of his current run) to Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 in November 2008 after returning from a brief retirement and lengthy court battle with Zuffa. While he was away Nogueira won the interim strap against Tim Sylvia at UFC 81, but lost it in his first defense against Frank Mir at UFC 92. As a result, Mir fought Lesnar for the title at UFC 100 in June 2009, but lost the rematch against the former WWE star whom he defeated at UFC 81.

When Lesnar was diagnosed with diverticulitis, Mir was given a second shot at the dusted off interim strap against Shane Carwin, but was unable to deal with “The Engineer’s” power, succumbing to strikes in the first round of their March 2010 UFC 111 bout. Carwin would square off against Lesnar when the champ returned for UFC 116 after a year away from the sport, but when he failed to put Brock away in the opening frame, lactic acidosis rendered him unable to deal with the power and speed of his opponent.

In his next bout at UFC 121 in October, Brock would fall to the power of Cain Velasquez, who would do the same to Junior dos Santos at UFC on Fox 1 this past November.

And now you know the paths of each of the UFC belts since February 8, 2008.

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XENOPHON- February 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm
Jonesy - yeah I know, you kind of got me there. I was going to say Carwin, but his stamina is questionable - JDS won't slow down as fast. I do remember Mir can throw a bomb, and if he gets a shot at JDS and some of the 25 minutes ends up rolling on the deck, JDS might end up beat up and tired before getting back to his feet. That being the case, Mir has KO power.
J. Jones- February 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm
Xeno, you DID NOT just say that Mir would outstrike JDS.
XENOPHON- February 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm
@dim mak - really. Your think JDS is good for only 2 title defenses? Aside from possibly getting out struck by Overeem or Mir, who is going to shut him down?
dim mak- February 9, 2012 at 10:43 am
i love watching frankie edgar fight, but he doesn't have the makings of a long-term champ. i also doubt JDS will defend more than once or twice. i could see cruz going on an extended run, and don't see anyone beating bones for the foreseeable future, unless me makes the move up HW.
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