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The new UFC champions in 2021

Francis Ngannou of Cameroon reacts after his victory

Francis Ngannou of Cameroon reacts after his victory over Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight at UFC 260 at the Apex on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas. Credit: Zuffa LLC/Jeff Bottari

A look at which UFC weight classes have crowned new champions thus far in 2021.

UFC bantamweight champion: Aljamain Sterling

The Uniondale-raised Aljamain Sterling won the belt from Petr Yan after Yan was disqualified for throwing an illegal knee to the head of Sterling, who was a downed opponent, late in the fourth round. It was the first time a UFC title changed hands via disqualification. Yan was up on two of the three scorecards through the first three rounds, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29, and likely would have won the fourth round if not for committing the illegal strike.

UFC heavyweight champion: Francis Ngannou

Potential reaches actual as Francis Ngannou finally became the UFC heavyweight champion when he knocked out Stipe Miocic in the second round at UFC 260 on March 27. Ngannou, who lost decisively to Miocic the first time they fought for the title in 2018, dropped Miocic twice in the second round, the last of which buckled Miocic's knees to stop the bout.

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