UFC 170 to Feature 8 Lineal Title Holders, 16 Belts on the Line

Hello there, Lineal Title fans! It's been too long. I thought this week would be a great time to comeback with a lineal title post, considering all the action we have in store for Saturday night's UFC PPV. The big one, of course, is Ronda Rousey's match up with Sara McMann in which 8 WMMA titles will be up for grabs. Two unification bouts are on the card as well including Alexis Davis (Ring of Combat, Pink Fight) vs Jessica Eye (Bellator MMA) in a battle for 3 titles and Zach Makovsky (RFA) vs Josh Sampo (CFA) for 2 lineal titles.

For those of you who may be new to these posts, over the last few years, I've been tracking lineal titles across 60 different MMA promotions from Super Heavyweight on down to Flyweight (Recently adding WMMA titles as well). This amounts to just over 300 lineal titles in total. Why? So, I can report the results to the BE Community, that's why! Plus, I think it's a fun way to appreciate the history of the sport, while understanding who THE fighter to beat is in each weight class.

Before we get started, here's a quick reminder of the rules that I follow:

1) All titles can be traced back to the original belt issued by the respective organization. If a belt dead ends due to retirement or change of weight class, then the 2nd iteration of the belt is considered.

2) A fighter can only lose the lineal belt in a fight within the weight class for which it was created. Losses at other weights will be ignored.

3) The WMMA category is treated differently because women have been forced to take fights at all different weight classes to stay busy. Now that 135 has become the weight class of choice, pretty much all the major titles have migrated there. So, I ignore weight classes when tracing WMMA titles in the interest of potential unification.


Ronda Rousey vs Sara McMann

1. UFC

Lineal History: Ronda Rousey was awarded the inaugural Women's BW title by virtue of being the last Strikeforce champion before the UFC merger

2. Strikeforce

Lineal History: Sarah Kaufman => Marloes Coenen => Miesha Tate => Ronda Rousey

3. Extreme Challenge

Lineal History: Jennifer Howe => Roxanne Modafferi => Megumi Habushita => Tara LaRosa => Roxanne Modafferi => Sarah Kaufman => Marloes Coenen => Miesha Tate =>Ronda Rousey

4. IFC

Lineal History: Jennifer Howe => Roxanne Modafferi => Megumi Habushita => Tara LaRosa => Roxanne Modafferi => Sarah Kaufman => Marloes Coenen => Miesha Tate =>Ronda Rousey

5. Bodog

Lineal History: Tara LaRosa => Roxanne Modafferi => Sarah Kaufman => Marloes Coenen => Miesha Tate => Ronda Rousey

6. Smackgirl

Lineal History: Megumi Yabushita => Tara LaRosa => Roxanne Modafferi => Sarah Kaufman => Marloes Coenen => Miesha Tate => Ronda Rousey

7. HookNShoot

Lineal History: Jennifer Howe => Roxanne Modafferi => Megumi Habushita => Tara LaRosa => Roxanne Modafferi => Sarah Kaufman => Marloes Coenen => Miesha Tate =>Ronda Rousey

8. Re-Mix World Cup 2000

Lineal History: Marloes Coenen => Toughill => Yabushita => Tara LaRosa => Roxanne Modafferi => Sarah Kaufman => Marloes Coenen => Miesha Tate => Ronda Rousey


  • Extreme Challenge title traces back to inaugural Women's Junior Lightweight Championship established in 1999
  • IFC title traces back to inaugural women's IFC MW title established in 2003 and contested at 135 lbs
  • Bodog title traces back to the inaugural Bantamweight championship established in 2007
  • Smackgirl was an all women's promotion in Japan which formed in 2001 and went defunct in 2008 when it was sold and re-branded as JEWELS. This title traces back to the 1st ever Smackgirl Open weight Queen tournament won by Megumi Yabushita in 2004
  • Re-Mix World Cup in 2000 was the first event that could really be considered to be for the women’s MMA world title and a precursor to the later additions of the Smackgirl Remix tournaments. It had all of the top women from the 1990s in it. Becky Levi was undefeated and probably the favorite. She had destroyed everyone and was more-or-less considered the uncrowned women’s champ. Svetlana Gourndarenko was the giant Russian Judoka who had won the L-1 tournament (the first women’s tournament in 1995). Irina Rodina was also undefeated and the winner of the U-Top tournament (beating Yumiko Hotta in the finals in 1996). So you had a tournament with the best women in the world at the time (except Jennifer Howe who was 3-0 at the time but relatively unknown) and Marloes Coenen won it (including a win over Levi and Megumi Yabushita in the finals). (Thanks to poster Theagenes for this info)
  • Interesting that every early title flows thru Jennifer Howe, Tara LaRosa or both and that Roxanne Modafferri has victories over both women, each considered monumental upsets at the time


Alexis Davis vs Jessica Eye

1. Ring of Combat

Lineal History: Jessica Eye => Aisling Daly => Rosi Sexton => Alexis Davis

2. Jungle Fight (Pink Fight)

Lineal History: Vanessa Porto => Sarah D'Alelio => Shayna Baszler => Alexis Davis

3. Bellator MMA

Lineal History: Zoila Frausto Gurgel => Jessica Eye


  • Ring of Combat traces back to inaugaral 130 lb title won by Jessica "Evil" Eye in 2011
  • Jungle Fight title traces back to inaugural Pink Fight BW title won by Vanessa Porto in 2012. Pink Fight was Jungle Fight's all Women spin off, which had its first event in January of 2012
  • Bellator MMA title Traces back to 1st Bellator Women's 115 lb tournament won by Frausto in 2010

Zach Makovsky vs Josh Sampo

1. RFA

Lineal History: Zach Makovsky won the 2nd iteration of the RFA Flyweight title with a win over Matt Manzanares at RFA 11 in November 2013. The 1st iteration still belongs to Sergio Pettis if he ever competes at 125 again

2. CFA

Lineal History: Josh Sampo became the first CFA Flyweight champion with a win over Alexis Vila at CFA 9 in January 2013


Pedro Munhoz vs Rafael Assuncao

1. RFA

Lineal History: Pedro Munhoz became the first RFA BW champion with a win over Jeff Curran at RFA 9 in August 2013

2. XFC

Lineal History: Jason Goodall => Pablo Alfonso => Pedro Munhoz

Aljamain Sterling vs Cody Gibon

1. Cage Fury

Lineal History: Aljamain Sterling won the 2nd iteration of the CFFC BW title with a win over Sean Santella in October 2011. The first iteration was retired, like so many others, when Joseph Benavidez moved down to 125


Daniel Cormier


Daniel Cormier is still the lineal XMMA Heavyweight champion having remained undefeated since winning the inaugural title with a victory over Lucas Browne in July of 2010. The title won't be on the line, however, as this will be Cormier's debut at 205lbs. Time will tell whether that title will need to be retired or if Cormier will return to HW someday in the future.


Here is a snap shot of the spreadsheet that I use to track this stuff:

(click to view larger image)



(click to view larger image)


As you can see below, Jacare Souza has appeared for the first time on the leaderboard with his recent win over Carmont. Also of note is that Mousasi has lost his Dream MW title to Machida, resulting in his drop down the leaderboard, although he still holds 4 titles at LHW. What this all means is that many unification opportunities remain in the MW division for Chris Weidman. He'll have a shot at 5 more in his fight with Vitor Belfort in May, the Dream title if he meets Machida next, and then the 5 that Jacare Souza just took from Carmont. If Weidman is successful in winning all of the titles just mentioned, he would rise to the #1 spot on the board with 31 titles and 82% unification at MW!

Lastly, since my last post, Aldo has added 3 titles to his collection with a recent win over Ricardo Lamas.

Next time, I'll do a post about the changing landscape of the Welterweight division now that GSP is out of the picture. (Hint: Dong Hyun Kim is making moves :)

# Name # of Titles Unify
1 Cain Velasquez 30 79%
1 Anthony Pettis 30 73%
2 Georges St. Piere 25 58%
3 Chris Weidman 20 53%
4 Jon Jones 19 56%
5 Jose Aldo 12 39%
6 Ronda Rousey 8 53%
7 Mighty Mouse 5 36%
7 Dominick Cruz 5 19%
7 Bibiano Fernandes 5 19%
7 Daniel Straus 5 16%
7 Vitor Belfort 5 13%
7 Jacare Souza 5 13%
8 Marlon Moraes 4 15%
8 Gegard Mousasi 4 13%
8 Akira Corassani 4 13%
8 Georgi Karakhanyan 4 13%
9 Rin Nakai 3 20%
10 Twelve fighters tied with two each 2
Upcoming Unification Bouts # Date
Alexis Davis vs Jessica Eye 3 titles 22-Feb
Zach Makovsky vs Josh Sampo 2 titles 22-Feb
Dong Hyun Kim vs John Hathaway 3 titles 1-Mar
Attila Vegh vs Emanuel Newton 3 titles 21-Mar
Jon Jones vs Glover Texiera 19 titles 26-Apr
Chris Weidman vs Vitor Belfort 25 titles 24-May
Other Titles on the Line # Date
Ronda Rousey vs Sara McMann 8 titles 22-Feb
Pedro Munhoz vs Rafael Assuncao 2 titles 22-Feb
Aljamain Sterling vs Cody Gibon 1 title 22-Feb
Mitsuhisa Sunabe vs Yong Ho Jang 1 title 2-Mar
Eduardo Dantas vs Anthony Leone 2 titles 7-Mar
Jimi Manuwa vs Alexander Gustafson 2 titles 8-Mar
Daniel Straus vs Pat Curran 5 titles 14-Mar
Jake Shields vs Hector Lombard 1 title 15-Mar
Dennis Bermudez vs Jim Hettes 1 title 15-Mar
Will Campuzano vs Justin Scoggins 1 title 15-Mar
Norman Parke vs Leonardo Santos 2 titles 23-Mar
Marlon Moraes vs Josh Rettinghouse 5 titles 29-Mar
Steve Carl vs Paul Harris 1 title 29-Mar
Akihiro Murayama vs Thiago Goncalves 1 title 30-Mar
Vitaly Minakov vs Cheick Kongo 2 titles 4-Apr
Patrick Cote vs Kyle Noke 1 title 16-Apr
Rafael dos Anjos vs Nurmagomedov 2 titles 19-Apr
Derrick Lewis vs Jack May 1 title 19-Apr
Yoel Romero vs Brad Tavares 1 title 19-Apr
Phil Davis vs Anthony Johnson 2 titles 26-Apr
Anthony Birchak vs Kevin Croom 1 title 9-May

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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