The UFC championship belt represents the ultimate achievement in the sport of mixed martial arts.
For fighters—even those outside the UFC—this strap stands as a goal, a dream, a life-changing accomplishment. Winning the UFC championship validates the sacrifices and the pain, but the work does not end once it's seized.
Champions receive more attention—more glory when they win and more criticism when they lose. They're sought after by movie studios, by advertising agencies and by reporters at every level, making it oh-so-easy for them to lose focus and to drop the belt in their next defense.
The best champions combine charisma, focus and excellence inside and outside of the cage, becoming worldwide stars who can carry a pay-per-view card or a press conference with skill and grace.
Right now, the UFC houses nine champions of varying popularity. Taking into account a variety of factors, including their appeal as a fighter and as a personality, let's break down which champions best wear that coveted shiny belt.