UFC 151: Dan Henderson and the 25 Best Fighters to Never Hold a UFC Belt

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UFC 151: Dan Henderson and the 25 Best Fighters to Never Hold a UFC Belt
Photo by Esther Lin courtesy of Strikeforce

At UFC 6, all the way back in 1995, Ken Shamrock beat Dan Severn to become the UFC's first superfight champion. Since that first historic belt was awarded, 47 men have claimed the title "UFC champion."

That leaves dozens of great fighters on the outside looking in. Some of them got their shot and fell just short. Others never had the chance to fight for UFC gold.

Included here are only fighters who have competed in the UFC. If you never stepped foot in the Octagon, you can't qualify for this list. Call it the "Fedor Emelianenko rule" if you'd like, though it also applies to greats like Rickson Gracie and Masakatsu Funaki.

What follows are the 25 best fighters never to wear a UFC belt around their waists. Some are still in their primes—there remains a strong chance that they will win their way right off this list. For others, their day is done. They've either retired or no longer compete at a high level. For them, the dream is dead.

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