UFC Champions Who Never Successfully Defended Their Belts

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UFC Champions Who Never Successfully Defended Their Belts
John Gichigi/Getty Images

Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes didn't believe you deserved to call yourself champion just because Dana White strapped the belt around your waist in the cage. In Hughes' mind, until you had at least one defense of your title belt, you were no real champion. 

Simply winning it was not enough. It was the act of defending the gold belt that made a man a champion.

Over the course of UFC history, 18 men have tried and failed to meet the Hughes standard during their time with the belt. They clawed and scratched their way to top, won the UFC title but failed, ultimately, to carve a legacy as champion. 

Whether it was a failed drug test, a contract dispute or simply meeting their match across the cage, these 18 champions didn't manage to defend what they had worked so hard to earn.

Think they still deserve to be called "champion"? Let me know in the comments.

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