Only a prestigious few get the opportunity to compete for a UFC title over their career, and even fewer get a second chance at it. When a fighter losses in their first title fight, it can mean a long road to another chance, but these fighters earned their second chance and took advantage of it by winning the belt after losing in their first title fight.
No fighter on this list had more time between their title fights than Glover Teixeira, as after his loss to Jon Jones at UFC 172, Teixeira would not fight for the title again for another seven years. After putting together an undeniable win streak at age forty-two, Teixeira would submit Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267 to claim his first championship.
Going into his first title shot against Stipe Miocic at UFC 220, Francis Ngannou looked unstoppable coming off his knockout win over Alistair Overeem. However, it was the wrestling of Miocic that would be unstoppable in their first battle as he would wear Ngannou down and win a decision. Ngannou would climb his way to another crack at Miocic at UFC 260, where he would defeat him via second-round knockout to claim the Heavyweight crown.
It took Jessica Andrade years of hard work in the UFC to earn her chance against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 211 where she would come up short. She would get another opportunity in her home country Brazil against new champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 237. She would win the bout via spectacular slam knockout in the second round to claim her first UFC title.
The current longest-reigning champion in the UFC claimed her Flyweight belt on the first attempt against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231; however, this was not her first title fight. Earlier in her career, Shevchenko had taken on Amanda Nunes for the Bantamweight crown at UFC 215, where she lost a closely contested decision.
Many now know Henry Cejudo for being the loud former Bantamweight champion who sold his fights with comedic skits however going into his first title bout against Demetrious Johnson at UFC 197, Cejudo was an undefeated wrestler who would lose in the first round. His second chance would come again against Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227, where he would claim the Flyweight belt in a close decision win.
Legendary wrestler Daniel "DC" Cormier became one of the few simultaneous two-division champions in UFC history at Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight after he beat Stipe Miocic at UFC 226. But before that, back at UFC 182, Cormier was defeated in his first chance at a UFC title when Jon Jones beat him over five rounds in the first matchup of their heated rivalry; Cormier entered the matchup undefeated with fifteen wins at the time.
After losing in the first-ever Strawweight title fight against Carla Esparza in The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale, "Thug" Rose would go on to win four of her next five before earning her second shot at the belt. In her second title fight, she would score a first-round knockout over longtime champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a massive upset win at UFC 217.
Miesha Tate's first attempt at the title came early in her UFC career against longtime rival Ronda Rousey at UFC 168, where she lost by armbar. After this loss, Tate would earn four straight victories to earn a second shot at gold, where she would make an incredible fifth-round comeback with a rear-naked choke win over Holly Holm at UFC 196.
After moving back down to Welterweight for his second UFC run and excitingly winning three straight, Lawler would find himself in a title fight with Johny Hendricks at UFC 171. Although their first bout would not go his way, Lawler would earn a rematch at UFC 181, where he would claim the title in a split decision win.
Of all the fighters on this list, none came closer to winning their first title than Hendricks, with many believing he should have earned the decision over Georges St.Pierre at UFC 167. Despite the judges denying his first attempt at gold, Hendricks would defeat Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 to claim the title that St.Pierre had vacated.
Before, he was one of the longest-reigning champions in UFC history. "Mighty Mouse" was an undersized Bantamweight which led to him struggling when he faced Dominick Cruz for the title at UFC on Versus 6, where he lost a decision. After the Flyweight division was created, Johnson would move down and eventually claim the title at UFC 152 in a decision win over Joseph Benavidez.
Another name on this list that involves some controversy is Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, as many believe he deserved to get his hand raised after his first matchup with Lyoto Machida at UFC 104. He would get his hand raised with no debate to be had in the rematch at UFC 113, with him ending the fight in the first round.
It is difficult to remember one of the best to do it losing in the octagon, but Georges St. Pierre's first loss was an unsuccessful first attempt to claim UFC gold as he was caught in an armbar late in the first round against Matt Hughes at UFC 50. After the defeat, St.Pierre would go on to win his next five in a row to set up a rematch against Hughes in which he would claim the title after knocking out Hughes in the second round at UFC 65.
Fighting for the vacant Heavyweight title in back-to-back fights, Randleman would come up short in his first attempt against Bas Rutten at UFC 20, losing a closely contested bout by split decision. He would eventually claim gold in his second attempt after the title was made vacant again, winning against Pete Williams at UFC 23, winning a unanimous decision.