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Lineal MMA Heavyweight Championship...

BJBirdy

Registered Member
Royce Gracie 11/12/93 – 4/7/95 (Retired)
Ken Shamrock 7/14/95 – 5/17/96 (defeated Dan Severn)
Dan Severn 5/17/96 – 2/7/97
Mark Coleman 2/7/97 – 7/27/97
Maurice Smith 7/27/97 – 12/21/97
Randy Couture 12/21/97 – 10/25/98
Enson Inoue 10/25/98 – 1/30/00
Mark Kerr 1/30/00 – 5/1/00
Kazuyuki Fujita 5/1/00 – 5/1/00
Mark Coleman 5/1/00 – 9/24/01
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 9/24/01 – 3/16/03
Fedor Emelianenko 3/16/03 – 6/26/10
Fabricio Werdum 6/26/10 – 6/18/11
Alistair Overeem 6/18/11 – 2/2/13
Antonio Silva 2/2/13 – 5/25/13
Cain Velasquez 5/25/13 – Present

Royce Gracie won the original UFC tournament on November 12, 1993 to become the original UFC champion. At the time there were no weight classes. He retired on April 7, 1995, and Ken Shamrock defeated Dan Severn in the finals of the next UFC tournament on July 14, 1995 to become the UFC Superfight champion. The superfight championship was then unified with the heavyweight tournament championship to crown the UFC heavyweight champion on February 7, 1997 when Mark Coleman defeated Dan Severn. Eventually, Randy Couture became the UFC Heavyweight champion, but he left the UFC due to a contract dispute while he was still the UFC heavyweight champion.

From there, Couture went to Vale Tudo Japan, where he lost to Enson Inoue. Eventually Inoue went to Pride where he lost to Mark Kerr. As a result, the lineal heavyweight title was defended in Pride until Fedor Emelianenko finally came to the United States and began fighting for Strikeforce, where he lost to Fabricio Werdum on June 26, 2010.

It wasn't until December 2011 where the true lineal champion finally returned to the UFC when Alistair Overeem made his debut in the UFC (at the time, Overeem was the Strikeforce and DREAM champion) and defeated Brock Lesnar. After Overeem lost to Antonio Silva, Silva then was matched up with Cain Velasquez who defeated him in under two minutes. As a result, May 25, 2013 marked the first time since 1998 that the UFC champion was truly the lineal champion. Mind you, I felt since 2009 that the UFC champion was better than Emelianenko or Werdum, but the UFC champion was never truly "the man who beat the man who beat the man" during that time.
 
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