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Featherweight Lineal Timeline: A 25 year journey from 1 championship to the unification of 24 lineal titles (PART 2 of 2)

Hello there lineal title fans! Welcome to the final chapter of this two part saga. If you missed the lineal lunch break from yesterday, here's a link to Part 1. Or, if you're one of those terrible people that just skips right to the last page of a book because "who has the time," here's the cliff notes version:

- The first Featherweight title is created the same year that Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" goes to number one (coincidence?)

- Then we sit around for 10 years waiting for something to happen, mostly watching "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" until 1996 and then switching over to the first couple seasons of HBO's "Oz" to pass the time (before it got weird)

- When the 2000s finally arrived, some guy named David Velasquez (?) won the first two new titles. Then Hatsu Hioki kicked ass in Japan and made us all shed a tear for the days when he was freaking awesome

- Finally, California Boy stepped in and started snatching up lineal titles like they were going out of style. However, as Lyoto taught us, Eras don't last forever. So, as we left our heroes, Mike Brown was the lineal king and looking pretty unstoppable

And now, Part 2 of....

Lineal Timeline: Featherweight

2009 – Scarface Emerges

Titles Created:

1. Ring of Combat2nd Iteration Champion: Anthony Morrison (2009)

2. WVR (aka Sengoku) – Inaugural Champion: Masanori Kanehara (2009)

3. Ring of Fire3rd Iteration Champion: Tyler Toner (2009)

4. Dream Inaugural Champion: Bibiano Fernandes (2009)

- Fernandes won the Dream tournament to earn the inaugural title and in the process unified the belt with 2 other titles. See details below

5. UCMMA - Retired Lineage: Brad Pickett (2009: moved to BW)

- Brad Pickett became the first ever UCMMA Featherweight champion in 2009, then known as the UCUK Featherweight title. This lineage is retired, however, as Pickett signed with the WEC for his very next fight and moved down a weight class to Bantamweight without ever losing the title

Unification Matches:

1. Bibiano Fernandes vs Hiroyuki Takaya (2009) – 3 titles

- Already the Ironheart Crown champion from his win over Joe Warren earlier in the tournament, Fernandes unifies Takaya’s Cage Warriors title while also creating a new lineal title as the Dream tournament champion

- In the process, Fernandes solidifies a new secondary lineage

2. Wagnney Fabiano vs Fredson Paixao (2009) – 2 titles

- Fabiano puts his IFL title, introduced in 2007, together with Paixao’s Deep belt from 2005

3. Mike Brown vs Leonard Garcia (2009) – 7 titles

- Brown successfully adds the TKO and Shooto Americas titles to the dominant lineage, bringing his total to 7 out of a possible 27 or 26%

4. Jose Aldo vs Mike Brown (2009) – 8 titles

- Scarface emerges! With the win, Aldo claims the lineal crown and successfully unifies the original Shooto championship from 1990 with the dominate lineage

Lineages Finalized in 2009:

2. King of the Cage

Lineal History: David Velasquez (2000) → Charlie Valencia → Urijah FaberMike Thomas Brown Jose Aldo

3. International Fighting Championship (IFC)

Lineal History: Jens Pulver (2003) → Urijah FaberMike Thomas Brown Jose Aldo

4. TKO

Lineal History: Stephane Vigneault (2004) → Mark HominickHatsu Hioki Antonio CarvalhoHiroyuki Takaya → Leonard Garcia → Mike Thomas Brown Jose Aldo

5. Shooto Americas

Lineal History: Jeff Curran (2005) → Hatsu Hioki → Antonio Carvalho → Hiroyuki Takaya → Leonard Garcia →Mike Thomas BrownJose Aldo

6. WEC

Lineal History: Urijah Faber (2006) → Mike Thomas Brown Jose Aldo

7. Pancrase

Lineal History: Yoshiro Maeda (2006) → Joe Pearson → Urijah Faber Mike Thomas BrownJose Aldo

8. SportFight

Lineal History: Enoch Wilson (2006) → Urijah Faber Mike Thomas Brown Jose Aldo

Unification Progress:

7 of 28 titles or 25% (Brown)

8 of 28 titles or 29% (Aldo)

FW_Pie_2009.0.PNG


2010 – Meanwhile…In Japan

Titles Created:

1. Legacy FC Inaugural Champion: Daniel Pineda (2010)

2. UCMMA 2nd Iteration Champion: David Lee (2010)

- This title is currently active and takes over for the 1st iteration that was retired when Pickett moved to 135 lbs to compete in the WEC

Unification Matches:

1. Marlon Sandro vs Masanori Kanehara (2010) - 2 titles

- Sandro unifies the Sengoku (World Victory Road) title with the Cage Force title he won from Yuji Hoshino

2. Hatsu Hioki vs Jeff Lawson (2010) – 2 titles

- Hioki unifies the Shooto Pacific Rim title with the UCMMA title, creating another secondary lineage

3. Hatsu Hioki vs Marlon Sandro (2010) – 4 titles

- Hioki adds the Sengoku (World Victory Road) and Cage Force titles to the two listed above

- This marks the re-emergence of Japanese stand out Hatsu Hioki who, at this point in the timeline, holds the 2nd most dominant lineage with 4 of 34 titles or 12% unification

- Combined, Japanese fighters Hioki and Takaya hold 21% of the Featherweight lineal pie. Pretty impressive if you consider that lineal king Jose Aldo holds just 26% of all possible titles in the weight class

4. Tyler Toner vs Brandon Visher (2010) – 2 titles

- Already the lineal Ring of Fire champion from 2009, Toner unifies it with the Icon Sport title with this his win over Visher

5. Jose Aldo vs Manny Gamburyan (2010) – 9 titles

- With his first defense of his WEC title, Aldo successfully adds the Ring of Combat title to the dominant lineage at Featherweight

Lineage Finalized in 2010:

9. Ring of Combat

Lineal History: Anthony Morrison (2009) → Mike Thomas Brown → Manny GamburyanJose Aldo

Unification Progress:

9 of 34 titles or 26% (Aldo)

FW_Pie_2010.0.PNG


2011 – And the NEW UFC Featherweight Champion of the World…

Titles Created:

1. UFC Inaugural Champion: Jose Aldo (2011)

- After acquiring the WEC, the UFC finally brings the Featherweight division over to the big show. Aldo cements his position as champion of the newly minted weight class with a win over Mark Hominick, in the process, retaining his lineal crown and adding the UFC title to the lineage

2. Cage Fury Fighting Championship Inaugural Champion: Joey Gambino (2011)

Unification Matches:

1. Jose Aldo vs Kenny Florian (2011) – 12 titles

- Aldo adds Florian’s Icon Sport and Ring of Fire titles to the dominant lineage

Lineage Finalized in 2011:

10. UFC

Lineal History: Jose Aldo (2011)

11. Icon Sport (aka Superbrawl)

Lineal History: Ed Newalu (2005) → Brandon Visher → Tyler TonerDiego NunesKenny FlorianJose Aldo

12. Ring of Fire

Lineal History: Tyler Toner (2009) → Diego Nunes → Kenny Florian → Jose Aldo

Unification Progress:

12 of 39 or 31%

FW_Pie_2011.0.PNG


2012 thru 2014 – Long Live King Aldo

Titles Created:

N/A

Unification Matches:

1. Hatsu Hioki vs Bart Palaszewski (2012) – 5 titles

- With this win Hioki secures the Gladiator Challenge title brining his secondary lineage to 5 total titles

- This moment in time represents Hioki’s peak. He would later drop these titles in his next UFC bout against Ricardo Lamas, setting up a unification bout with Jose Aldo in 2014. See details below

2. Jose Aldo vs Korean Zombie (2013) – 14 titles

- Aldo adds the Deep and IFL titles to the dominant lineage

3. Jose Aldo vs Ricardo Lamas (2014) – 19 titles

- Aldo adds the Gladiator Challenge, Shooto PR, Cage Force, Sengoku, and UCMMA titles to the dominant lineage

4. Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes (2014) – 20 titles

- Aldo adds the Cage Fury Fighting Championship title to the dominant lineage

Lineages Finalized in 2012 thru 2014:

13. Gladiator Challenge

Lineal History: David Velasquez (2002) → Urijah Faber→ Tyson GriffinBart PalaszewskiHatsu Hioki → Ricardo Lamas → Jose Aldo

14. IFL

Lineal History: Wagnney Fabiano (2007)→ Mackens SemerzierDeividas TauroseviciusL.C. DavisJosh GrispiDustin Poirier → Korean Zombie → Jose Aldo

15. Deep

Lineal History: Masakazu Imanari (2005) → Fredson Paixao → Wagnney Fabiano → Mackens Semerzier → Deividas Taurosevicius → L.C. Davis → Josh Grispi → Dustin Poirier → Korean Zombie → Jose Aldo

16. Shooto Pacific Rim

Lineal History: Akitoshi Tamura (2007) → Hideki Kadowaki → Takeshi Inoue → Hatsu Hioki → Ricardo Lamas → Jose Aldo

17. Cage Force

Lineal History: Yuji Hoshino (2008) → Marlon SandroHatsu Hioki → Ricardo Lamas → Jose Aldo

18. Sengoku (WVR)

Lineal History: Masanori Kanehara (2009) → Marlon SandroHatsu Hioki → Ricardo Lamas → Jose Aldo

19. UCMMA

Lineal History: David Lee (2010) → Jeff Lawson → Hatsu Hioki → Ricardo Lamas → Jose Aldo

20. Cage Fury Fighting

Lineal History: Joey Gambino (2011) → Steven SilerDarren ElkinsChad MendesJose Aldo

Unification Progress:

- 2012: 12 of 42 or 29%

FW_Pie_2012.0.PNG

- 2013: 14 of 45 or 31%

FW_Pie_2013.0.PNG

- 2014: 20 of 49 or 41%

FW_Pie_2014.0.PNG


2015 – Conor McGregor vs Chad Mendes and Beyond…

Titles Created:

N/A

Unification Matches:

Conor McGregor vs Chad Mendes (2015) - 4 titles

21. Ironheart Crown

Lineal History: Jeff Curran (2002) → Kid Yamamoto → Joe Warren → Bibiano Fernandes → Hiroyuki Takaya →Robbie PeraltaAkira Corassani → Dustin Poirier → Conor McGregor

22. Cage Warriors

Lineal History: Paul McVeigh (2003) → Augusto Frota → Danny Batten → Yoshiro Maeda → Hiroyuki Takaya →Bibiano Fernandes → Hiroyuki Takaya → Robbie Peralta → Akira Corassani → Dustin Poirier → Conor McGregor

23. Dream

Lineal History: Bibiano Fernandes (2009) → Hiroyuki Takaya → Robbie Peralta → Akira Corassani → Dustin Poirier → Conor McGregor

24. Legacy FC

Lineal History: Daniel Pineda (2010) → Mike Thomas Brown → Steven Siler → Dennis Bermudez → Ricardo Lamas → Chad Mendes

Unification Progress:

24 of 49 or 49% (If the winner of McGregor vs Mendes faces Jose Aldo in a unification match later this year)

FW_Pie_2015.0.PNG

If this unification match occurs, the winner would hold 24 lineal titles, vaulting them ahead of Jon Jones (21 titles) for 4th place across all weight classes on the Lineal Leaderboard (Details below).

Minor FW Lineages to Keep an Eye on:

1. Patricio Freire (8 titles, 16%) Bellator MMA, EliteXC, XFC, Shark Fights, CFA, PFC, Fight to Win, PXC

- Luis Palomino, Joe Soto, Joe Warren, Pat Curran, and Patricio Freire were all involved in the unification of these lineal titles

2. Lance Palmer (4 titles, 8%) WSOF, Cage Rage, Tachi Palace, RFA

- Georgi Karakhanyan single-handedly unified all of these lineal titles

3. Jadamba Narantungalag (2 titles, 4%) ONE Championship, URCC

- Honorio Banario unified these lineal titles

I hope you enjoyed this 25 year journey through the lineal Featherweight timeline. I look forward to your feedback on the new format. (Laughed? Cried? Fell asleep?) Enjoy the fights!

Lineal Leaderboard:

# Name # of Titles Unify Big 10
1 Fabricio Werdum 37 71% 100%
2 Chris Weidman 31 60% 90%
2 Georges St. Pierre 31 55% 80%
3 Rafael dos Anjos 29 46% 60%
4 Jon Jones 21 51% 90%
5 Ronda Rousey 20 74% 90%
5 Jose Aldo 20 41% 60%
6 Donald Cerrone 11 17% 40%
7 Dominick Cruz 9 22% 40%
8 Mighty Mouse 8 31% 70%
8 Patricio Freire 8 16% 20%
8 Joanna Jędrzejczyk 8 42% 80%
9 Bibiano Fernandes 7 17% 20%
10 Jacare Souza 6 12% 10%
11 Cyborg Justino 5 100% -
11 Ben Askren 5 9% 20%
11 Daniel Cormier 5 12% 10%
12 Jessica Aguilar 4 21% 10%
12 Miesha Tate 4 15% 10%
12 Gegard Mousasi 4 10% 0%
12 Liam McGeary 4 10% 0%
12 Vitaly Minakov 4 8% 0%
12 Lance Palmer 4 8% 0%
13 Herica Tiburcio 3 75% -
13 Conor McGregor 3 6% 20%
13 Marlon Moraes 3 7% 10%
13 Khabib Nurmegomedov 3 5% 10%
13 Tyron Woodley 3 5% 0%
14 Twelve tied with 2 each 2 - -

Upcoming Unification Bouts # Date
Conor McGregor (3) vs Chad Mendes (1) 4 titles 11-Jul
Robbie Lawler (2) vs Rory MacDonald (1) 3 titles 11-Jul
Holly Holm (2) vs Marion Reneau (1) 3 titles 15-Jul
Bibiano Fernandes (7) vs Toni Tauru (1) 8 titles 18-Jul
Iliarde Santos (1) vs Tim Elliott (Titan FC) 2 titles 18-Jul
Marlon Moraes (3) vs Sheyom Moraes (1) 4 titles 1-Aug
Rafael dos Anjos (29) vs D. Cerrone (11) 40 titles TBD

Other Titles on the Line (champ listed 1st) # Date
Cyborg Justino vs Faith Van Duin 5 titles 9-Jul
Herica Tiburcio vs Ayaka Hamasaki 3 titles 9-Jul
Stephen Thompson vs Jake Ellenberger 1 title 11-Jul
Thomas Almeida vs Brad Pickett 1 title 11-Jul
Tim Means vs Matt Brown 1 title 11-Jul
Tony Ferguson vs Josh Thomson 2 titles 15-Jul
Kevin Casey vs Ildemar Alcântara 1 title 15-Jul
Paul Daley vs Dennis Olson 1 title 17-Jul
Thales Leites vs Michael Bisping 1 title 18-Jul
Pat Healy vs Mike Ricci 1 title 18-Jul
Kurt Holobaugh vs Andre Harrison 1 title 18-Jul
Paul Johns vs Anthony Gutierrez 1 title 18-Jul
Ian Entwistle vs Marcus Brimage 1 title 18-Jul
Miesha Tate vs Jessica Eye 4 titles 25-Jul
TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao 2 titles 25-Jul
Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correira 20 titles 1-Aug
Jessica Aguilar vs Claudia Gadelha 4 titles 1-Aug
Rousimar Palhares vs Jake Shields 3 titles 1-Aug
Leandro Issa vs Iuri Alcantara 1 title 1-Aug
Tyrone Spong vs Mike Kyle 1 title 1-Aug
Magomed Bibulatov vs Donavon Frelow 1 title 1-Aug
Mamoru Yamaguchi vs Yusuke Kitago 1 title 9-Aug
Yosef Mohammad vs Fernando Rodrigues 1 title 29-Aug
Tom Duquesnoy vs Brendan Loughnane 1 title 19-Sep
Borys Mańkowski vs Michail Tsarev 1 title 3-Oct

\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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