Of the 10 weight classes in the UFC, seven of them have crowned a new champion in 2016. Here’s a look at the new champions this year, including interim champions, in order of division.
UFC bantamweight: Dominick Cruz
In his first fight in almost a year and a half, the oft-injured Dominick Cruz won a split decision over T.J. Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night on Jan. 17. Cruz regained the title he had taken away from him after repeated injuries prevented him from defending it for more than two years. Cruz has since defended the title once, beating rival Urijah Faber at UFC 199 in June.
UFC bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt
Cody Garbrandt won the men's bantamweight title at UFC 207 by battering champion Dominick Cruz for the unanimous decision at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 30, 2016. Garbrandt won the bout, 48-46, 48-46, 48-47, on the judges' cards. Cruz, who won the title at the beginning of the year, hadn't lost since March 24, 2007.
UFC women’s bantamweight: Miesha Tate
Miesha Tate won the title at UFC 196 on March 5 by submitting Holly Holm with a rear naked choke in the fifth round. In her first title defense at UFC 200 on July 9, Tate lost the title to Amanda Nunes.
UFC women’s bantamweight: Amanda Nunes
Amanda Nunes beat up Miesha Tate then submitted her with a rear naked choke 3:16 into the first round at UFC 200 on July 9 to win the title.
UFC featherweight: Jose Aldo
Jose Aldo lost his featherweight title last December to Conor McGregor in 13 seconds, the fastest knockout in a UFC championship fight. He re-asserted himself in the division with a five-round unanimous decision over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 on July 9 to win the interim title. Aldo became the undisputed champion after UFC 205 in New York City when McGregor won the lightweight title and the UFC removed him as featherweight champion shortly thereafter.
UFC interim featherweight: Max Holloway
Max Holloway scored a knockout over Anthony Pettis 4:50 into the third round for the interim featherweight championship in the co-main event at UFC 206 on Dec. 10, 2016. It was the first time a UFC belt was on the line for just one fighter. It became an interim featherweight title bout for Holloway when Pettis failed to make weight on Friday, coming in 3 pounds over the 145-pound limit.
UFC lightweight: Eddie Alvarez
Eddie Alvarez used to be considered the best lightweight fighter not in the UFC. Four fights into his UFC career, he is the lightweight champion after beating Rafael dos Anjos via first-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 90 on July 7.
UFC lightweight: Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor was already the UFC featherweight champion entering his UFC 205 lightweight title fight with Eddie Alvarez, but he made history by becoming the first concurrent two-weight champion in UFC history with a second-round TKO.
UFC welterweight: Tyron Woodley
After an 18-month layoff, Tyron Woodley knocked out Robbie Lawler in 2:12 of the first round at UFC 201 to win the welterweight title. Lawler's reign ended after a year and a half and two successful title defenses.
UFC middleweight: Michael Bisping
A veteran of the fight game, Michael Bisping never managed to win the fight he needed to in order to get a title shot. Then, he won a decision over Anderson Silva. Then, Chris Weidman had to withdraw from his rematch against champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 because of neck surgery. Then, Bisping got his shot. Then, he knocked out Rockhold in the first round on June 4 to win the championship.
UFC interim light heavyweight: Jon Jones
Jon Jones returned from a suspension to face champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 197 in April. Cormier pulled out of the fight late with an injury, so Jones fought Ovince Saint Preux for an interim title at the April 23 event. Jones and Cormier were scheduled to unify the titles in the UFC 200 main event, but Jones was pulled from the July 9 card three days beforehand after testing positive for a banned substance. He was suspended for one year and stripped of his title in November.
UFC heavyweight: Stipe Miocic
A firefighter from Ohio, Stipe Miocic knocked out Fabricio Werdum in the first round at UFC 198 in Brazil on May 14 to become the heavyweight champion. It was the first professional sports championship for a Cleveland athlete in more than 50 years, although a month later, the Cavaliers won the NBA title.