UFC champions ascend to the throne of their respective weight classes for one primary reason: They're incredible mixed martial artists.
It sounds obvious, right?
Simple as that idea may be, MMA weeds out the pretenders from the contenders like few other sports. Sometimes, a fighter will catch a hot streak and work his way into a title fight, but order is quickly restored, and the champion sends him or her tumbling back to earth.
Right now, the UFC boasts a group of champions in flux. Just one year ago today, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva still ruled the welterweight and middleweight divisions, respectively, acting as tenured champs, immovable and unstoppable.
Now, we have Johny Hendricks and Chris Weidman taking their places, and suddenly the challengers at 170 and 185 pounds seem more worthy and dangerous than ever.
Even the UFC's long-running champs such as Jose Aldo and Jon Jones are showing flaws in recent fights, looking more and more prone to an upset in each title defense.
Being the champion is a difficult task, even for these elite combatants, and there's always room to improve inside the UFC Octagon. As a sport that combines several disciplines, no fighter will ever truly master MMA as a whole, and this is part of what makes watching the action unfold inside the cage so appealing.
Even the legends of the sport are flawed, and their reign can end with one punch or submission.
Click on to see the primary area that each current champion can improve upon to make sure that shiny golden belt remains firmly strapped around their waist.