With the return of Jon Jones upon us, the conversation surrounding who is the greatest of all time has resurfaced. Jones is known for the title reign he had in the Light Heavyweight division, and he will try to accomplish that now at Heavyweight when he faces Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. Jones is not the only one to have a remarkable title reign when champion. Let's take a look at the top six longest-title reigns in UFC history.
Jose Aldo held the featherweight title for a total of 1,848 days, with his reign lasting for over half a decade. He defended his title 7 times during this reign and had some incredible title defenses. Aldo defeated Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar during his run as champion. Many fans remember the win over Chan Sung Jung (The Korean Zombie) as one of the best victories in his title reign. He would ultimately lose to Conor McGregor in one of the most famous fights in the company's history. Aldo is known as one of the greatest of all time and an iconic figure in the sport of MMA. His title reign was like no other, and Aldo's legacy will live forever in the UFC.
Amanda Nunes is considered one of the greatest female fighters of all time, with a record of 22 wins and five losses in her professional MMA career. She also holds the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship, which she won on December 29, 2018, by defeating Cris Cyborg via knockout in the first round. With her impressive record and dominant performances, Nunes has established herself as one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. In her historical Bantamweight title reign, Nunes defeated fighters like Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), and Holly Holm. She has cemented herself as one of the most dominant champions, regardless of gender, and an essential figure in women's MMA. Nunes recently avenged her loss to Juliana Pena and took back the Bantamweight title. She begins her second reign as Bantamweight champion while still being the Featherweight champion.
Jon Jones held the light heavyweight title for 2,042 days, with his first reign lasting from March 19, 2011, to April 28, 2015. While never losing his title to a fighter, his long and dominant title reign does come with controversy. He was stripped of his title twice due to disciplinary issues outside the octagon, including a hit-and-run incident and a positive drug test for banned substances. This is the main reason why his title reign is not the longest reign in UFC history. Jones has had 15 title fights and is 14-0-1. The second fight with Daniel Cormier was overturned to an NC after failing a drug test. Jones beat Cormier in the third round via TKO in that fight. During his dominant reign in the Light Heavyweight division, he defeated some of the toughest fighters, including Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Alexander Gustafsson, and Daniel Cormier (first fight). Jones has never lost a title fight in his career, and now he is preparing to win his 15th title fight at UFC 285 and become the new Heavyweight champion over Ciryl Gane.
Georges St-Pierre (GSP) held the welterweight title for a total of 2,064 days, with his first reign lasting from April 19, 2008, to December 13, 2013. He defended his title 9 times during this reign. During his reign as champion, St-Pierre defended his title against some of the toughest fighters in the division, including Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Jake Shields, and Johny Hendricks. He was known for his technical prowess, athleticism, and conditioning, which allowed him to outstrike and outwrestle his opponents for five rounds. St-Pierre's title reign at Welterweight is known as one of the most dominant in UFC history, and he will always remain a fan favorite and a legend of the sport.
During his reign as champion, Demetrious Johnson defended his title 11 times, surpassing the previous record at the time of 10 title defenses held by Anderson Silva. He defeated some of the best flyweights in the world, including Joseph Benavidez, John Dodson, Henry Cejudo, and Ray Borg. Johnson was known for his incredible speed, technical striking, and unorthodox grappling. MMA fans remember the iconic flying armbar Johnson submitted Ray Borg with at UFC 216. His title reign would come to an end after suffering a split decision loss against Henry Ceujdo in the rematch at UFC 227. Johnson's technical skills and athleticism have made him one of the most respected fighters in the sport and forever a fan-favorite in the UFC.
Anderson Silva held the middleweight title for 2,457 days, with his reign lasting from October 14, 2006, to July 6, 2013. He defended his title a record ten times during this reign. Silva defeated some of the best middleweights in the world, including Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen. Silva is remembered for his front-kick and kickboxing talents. The accuracy and creativity of his striking ability are what separated him from everyone else in his division. Silva had incredible submission skills as well. The submission victory he had over Sonnen will be remembered as one of the best as he was down four rounds and got the submission victory in the fifth round. He finished his opponents in a fashion that would never be forgotten in the history of the UFC. Silva holds the longest title reign in UFC history and is highly regarded as a legend of the sport.