How Often Are UFC Championships Fought For?

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In the next five months, all 10 UFC Championships will be on the line. Multiple PPV cards will have two title fights, if everyone remains injury and steroid free.

So how often are UFC Title’s fought for? We know that the fighters will usually fight up to 3 or 4 times in a year, but is it the same for UFC Champions?

Here are the numbers:


From 1997 – 2015, there have been 171 title fights in the UFC (counting interim title fights). Since 1997, the average amount of title fights in a single calender year is 9.4 (14.2 since 2010).

The most important number is the one on the bottom right hand corner of the second table, 1.789. This is the average amount of times that an individual title is defended each year.

This means that if a UFC Champion fights two times in a year, they are fighting more than the average UFC Champion.

The UFC Heavyweight Championship is the most frequently defended title, having been fought for 36 times from 1997-2014 (averages do not account for the incomplete 2015 year).

In the past six years, 2013 saw the highest frequency of title fights as every title had been fought for at-least twice.

The record for the most title fights in a year was when the UFC Heavyweight Championship was introduced in 1997. The title was fought for in four separate fights that year: Mark Coleman def. Dan Severn, Maurice Smith def. Mark Coleman, Maurice Smith def. Tank Abbott and Randy Couture def. Maurice Smith.

Every weight class has seen its title be defended in some form throughout the calender year since 2005 when the UFC Lightweight Championship was not defended.

If the average amount of title fights remains the same, UFC fans should expect to see a total of 18 title fights in 2015.

We will see how drastically this number changes due to the increased drug testing that will start in July, as well as the recurring injuries to fighters.

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