For those who are not as familiar with the term, a lineal title considers a championship belt as something that is not bound by promotion, but rather a title that must be won in a fight. Another way to think about it is "The Guy Who Beat the Guy." For example, when Hector Lombard recently left Bellator to sign with the UFC, he was still considered to be the Bellator Middleweight champion. In the Lineal Title world, he did not lose his belt until Tim Boetsch took it from him at UFC 149. Therefore, Tim Boetsch is the Bellator MW champion in Lineal terms.
Below you will see that I have documented all of the Lineal Titles across all major MMA promotions over the years, many of which are now defunct. Please notice the additional notes at the bottom of each column as not every scenario flows as neatly as I would have liked for various reasons.
A quick disclaimer about my own personal lineal title philosophy (which may or may not differ from your own). I personally only like to include bouts within the particular title's weight class. For example, if a fighter holds the MW title, but loses at LHW, he retains the MW title until someone beats him at MW. I tried to note where I have deviated from this way of thinking.
Sources: wikipedia; sherdog.com
- Alistair Overeem and Gil Melendez share the crown as lineal kings with 8 titles to their name respectively. The Reem also holds the distinction of being the only fighter to hold a UFC Lineal title without holding the actual UFC title
- I found it ironic that even after distroying Rich Franklin twice, the Strikeforce title still illudes Anderson Silva. Rich won it recently with his win over Wandy, who took it from Cung Le
- GSP will have a chance to unify not just the Interim title, but 3 more lineal titles when he faces Carlos Condit
- Interesting how scattered the FW titles have become. Maybe Aldo can start to unify those soon
- I guess the UFC will have to snatch up Cole Konrad from the Bellator roster. He's the only thing standing between The Reem and total world domination
- The Pride FC Lightweight title is interesing because it either belongs to Gil or Chandler depending on whether or not you recognize the No Contest between Nick Diaz and Gomi. Either way you choose to represent it, those two are the clear leaders in the LW divison....sorry Bendo
- If you disregard weightclass there are two really crazy additions that can be made to the matrix. The first is Jon Jones as the UFC Lightweight lineal champion: Pulver > Ludwig > Penn > Machida > Rua > Bones Jones. The second is GSP as the DEEP LHW lineal champion, which would otherwise be discontinued due to Nakanishi's retirement as champion. Nakanishi > Sakurai > Ishikawa > Okami > Shields > George St. Piere
Lineal Title Leader Board:
1. Alistair Overeem (8)
1. Gilbert Melendez (8)
2. Anderson Silva (7)
3. Jon Jones (5)
4. GSP (4)
5. Carlos Condit (3)
6. Jose Aldo (2)
6. Dominick Cruz (2)
6. Ben Askren (2)
6. Michael Chandler (2)
6. Eduardo Dantas (2)
6. Cole Konrad (2)
6. Gegard Mousasi (2)
6. Korean Zombie (2)
- GSP vs Carlos Condit - The winner will hold 7 lineal titles, which would tie them with Anderson Silva for second place on the leader board
- Jon Jones vs Dan Henderson - The winner will hold 6 lineal titles, which would put them in 3rd place on the leader board (8 titles if you disregard weight classes and include the UFC lightweight title and the Strikeforce Middleweight title)
- Jose Aldo vs Korean Zombie - After the Zombie's most recent win, he was promised a shot at the title. It won't happen for awhile, but if it does the winner will walk away with 4 lineal titles
- Gilvert Melendez vs Ben Henderson - Once Gil finally makes his way into the UFC, the winner of this unification bought will boast a record 9 lineal titles to their name
- Anderson Silva vs Luke Rockhold - If this cross-over fight were to happen the winner would walk away with 8 lineal titles and a tie for 1st place on the leader board
Let me know if I have misrepresented or forgotten anything.