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UFC Welterweight Title Lineage

Look back at every fighter to claim the UFC welterweight title.

On February 13, Kamaru Usman defends his welterweight title for the third time against Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 258. Usman is the latest in the line of champions to rule over perhaps the toughest division in the UFC. And as you can see below, it’s a lineage that includes five UFC Hall of Famers.

1. Pat Miletich (1998-2001)

defeats Mikey Burnett at UFC Brazil (10/16/98) to win the UFC Welterweight title, which was then called the lightweight title.
defeats Mikey Burnett at UFC Brazil (10/16/98) to win the UFC Welterweight title, which was then called the lightweight title.

Miletich defeats Mikey Burnett at UFC Brazil (10/16/98) to win the UFC Welterweight title, which was then called the lightweight title.  Miletich defends the title against Jorge Patino, Andre Pederneiras, John Alessio, and Kenichi Yamamoto.

Watch Miletich Secure The Welterweight Title On UFC Fight Pass

2. Carlos Newton (2001)

(Carlos Newton reacts after defeating Pat Miletich and securing the UFC welterweight title on 5/4/01)
(Carlos Newton reacts after defeating Pat Miletich and securing the UFC welterweight title on 5/4/01)

Newton defeats Pat Miletich by submission at UFC 31 on May 4, 2001 to securing the UFC welterweight title.

Watch Newton Claim The Title On UFC Fight Pass

3. Matt Hughes (2001-2004)

(Matt Hughes celebrates his victory over Carlos Newton at UFC 34 on 11/2/2001)
(Matt Hughes celebrates his victory over Carlos Newton at UFC 34 on 11/2/2001)

Hughes defeats Carlos Newton by knockout at UFC 34 on November 2, 2001 to win the UFC welterweight title. Hughes would go on to successfully defend his title against Hayato Sakurai, Carlos Newton, Gil Castillo, Sean Sherk, and Frank Trigg.

Watch Hughes' Infamous Slam Knockout Victory On UFC Fight Pass

4. BJ Penn (2004)

B.J. Penn reacts after his submission victory over Matt Hughes during their welterweight championship bout at UFC 46 inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on January 25, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
B.J. Penn reacts after his submission victory over Matt Hughes during their welterweight championship bout at UFC 46 inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on January 25, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Penn defeats Hughes at UFC 46 to win the UFC welterweight championship. Penn then leaves the organization, rendering the title vacant.

Watch Penn Take The Title On UFC Fight Pass

5. Matt Hughes (2004-2006)

Matt Hughes is hoisted up on Georges St-Pierre's shoulders after Hughes defeated St-Pierre in their welterweight championship bout at UFC 50 at the Boardwalk Hall on October 22, 2004 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Matt Hughes is hoisted up on Georges St-Pierre's shoulders after Hughes defeated St-Pierre in their welterweight championship bout at UFC 50 at the Boardwalk Hall on October 22, 2004 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

In 2004, Hughes regained the UFC welterweight title by defeating Georges St-Pierre at UFC 50 on October 22, 2004 to win the title vacated by BJ Penn. Hughes defends the title against Frank Trigg and BJ Penn, and defeats Royce Gracie in a non-title bout.

Watch Hughes Defeat St-Pierre On UFC Fight Pass

6. Georges St-Pierre (2006-2007)

Georges St-Pierre celebrates his victory over Matt Hughes to win the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 65 at the Arco Arena on November 18, 2006 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Georges St-Pierre celebrates his victory over Matt Hughes to win the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 65 at the Arco Arena on November 18, 2006 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

St-Pierre defeats Hughes by TKO on November 18, 2006 to win the UFC welterweight title.

7. Matt Serra (2007-2013)

Matt Serra (brown/camo shorts) def. Georges St-Pierre (green shorts) - TKO - 3:25 round 1 during UFC 69 at Toyota Center on April 7, 2007 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Matt Serra (brown/camo shorts) def. Georges St-Pierre (green shorts) - TKO - 3:25 round 1 during UFC 69 at Toyota Center on April 7, 2007 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Serra stops St-Pierre in the first round at UFC 69 on November 18, 2006 to win the UFC welterweight championship.

Watch The Incredible Upset On UFC Fight Pass

8. Georges St-Pierre (2007-2013)

Georges St-Pierre (blue tight shorts) def. Matt Hughes (black/grey shorts) - Submission (arm bar) - 4:54 round 2 during UFC 79 at Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 29, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Georges St-Pierre (blue tight shorts) def. Matt Hughes (black/grey shorts) - Submission (arm bar) - 4:54 round 2 during UFC 79 at Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 29, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

St-Pierre wins interim title with win over Hughes at UFC 79 on December 29, 2007. He then regains the undisputed title by stopping Serra in the second round at UFC 83 on April 19, 2008. GSP successfully defended his title against Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and Johny Hendricks. Vacated title on December 13, 2013.

Watch GSP Defeat Hughes On UFC Fight Pass

Watch GSP Get Revenge Against Serra To Reclaim The Undisputed Title

9. Carlos Condit (2012)

Carlos Condit poses for a photo with his new Harley Davidson motorcycle after his victory over Nick Diaz during the UFC 143 event at Mandalay Bay Events Center on February 4, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Carlos Condit poses for a photo with his new Harley Davidson motorcycle after his victory over Nick Diaz during the UFC 143 event at Mandalay Bay Events Center on February 4, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Condit won the interim welterweight title with a win over Nick Diaz at UFC 143. Lost to St-Pierre at UFC 154.

Watch Condit's Battle With Diaz On UFC Fight Pass

10. Johny Hendricks (2014)

 Johny Hendricks reacts after defeating Robbie Lawler in their UFC welterweight championship bout at UFC 171 inside American Airlines Center on March 15, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Johny Hendricks reacts after defeating Robbie Lawler in their UFC welterweight championship bout at UFC 171 inside American Airlines Center on March 15, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Hendricks won the UFC welterweight vacant title with his win over Robbie Lawler at UFC 171.

Watch Hendricks Get The Strap On UFC Fight Pass

11. Robbie Lawler (2014-2016)

Robbie Lawler reacts to his victory over Johny Hendricks in their UFC welterweight championship bout during the UFC 181 event inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Zuffa LLC)
Robbie Lawler reacts to his victory over Johny Hendricks in their UFC welterweight championship bout during the UFC 181 event inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Zuffa LLC)

Lawler defeated Hendricks at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014 to win the UFC welterweight title. He successfully defended the belt against Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit.

Watch Lawler Fight Hendricks On UFC Fight Pass

12. Tyron Woodley (2016-2019)

Tyron Woodley celebrates his knockout victory over Robbie Lawler in their welterweight championship bout during the UFC 201 event on July 30, 2016 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Tyron Woodley celebrates his knockout victory over Robbie Lawler in their welterweight championship bout during the UFC 201 event on July 30, 2016 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Woodley defeated Lawer at UFC 201 on July 30, 2016 to win the UFC welterweight title. He successfully defended the title against Stephen Thompson (twice), Demian Maia and Darren Till.

Watch Woodley Take The Belt From Lawler On UFC Fight Pass

13. Colby Covington (2018)

President Dana White places the interim welterweight championship belt on Colby Covington after defeating Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil in their interim welterweight title fight during the UFC 225 event at the United Center on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
President Dana White places the interim welterweight championship belt on Colby Covington after defeating Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil in their interim welterweight title fight during the UFC 225 event at the United Center on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illino

Covington wins the UFC welterweight interim title by defeating Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225 on June 9, 2018. Stripped of the interim belt due to injury in September of 2018.

Watch Covington Defeat RDA On UFC Fight Pass

14. Kamaru Usman (2019-Present)

Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman of Nigeria pay respects after their UFC welterweight championship bout during the UFC 235 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman of Nigeria pay respects after their UFC welterweight championship bout during the UFC 235 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Usman defeated Woodley at UFC 235 on March 2, 2019 to win the UFC welterweight title. He has successfully defended his title against Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal (twice).

Watch Usman's Masterclass Performance Against Woodley On UFC Fight Pass