When someone becomes a UFC champion, they are awarded a belt. This belt is a physical representation of their championship status and is highly coveted within the sport. However, there has been confusion over whether or not the belt is passed down from champion to champion or if the champion is allowed to keep the belt.
UFC Classic Championship Belt
From 1995-2001, UFC champions were awarded sporadic belts due to budgetary constraints. However, from 2001-2018, champions were given a new belt each time they won or defended their title. These belts were known as the UFC Classic Championship Belt.
Under this system, champions were able to accumulate as many belts as they could win. This meant that they could retire with multiple UFC championship belts as their prize.
However, there were inconsistencies to this system, as some champions were not awarded a belt for each win.
UFC Legacy Belt System
To address the inconsistencies in the Classic Championship Belt system, the UFC introduced the Legacy Belt System in January 2019. Under this system, champions are awarded one gold belt that is customized with their name, weight division, and the country they represent.
In addition to this, the belt is adorned with 16 white cubic zirconia stones, with eight on each side. Each time the champion wins or defends their title, one cubic zirconia stone will be replaced with a synthetic ruby, starting from those on the left.
This custom-made belt is the only one that champions receive, and it is theirs to keep regardless of their future status.
This system was then altered to honor the 30th anniversary of UFC’s existence.
Moreno explained: “Friday Motivation 💎🔥!! Third gem, green commemorating 30 years of ufc ”
Moreno and Islam Makhachev were the first to be spotted with belts decorated with Green Gems.
UFC Champion Belt Retention
Regardless of circumstance, UFC champions are not required to return their championship belt. Even if they lose their title, vacate their title, or are stripped of their title, they are allowed to keep their physical belt.
There are certain circumstances that can cause a champion to lose their title, such as failing to defend their title, having their title stripped due to leaving the UFC for another promotion, taking extended leave without promise of return, or getting disqualified. However, even champions who have lost their title have kept their physical UFC champion belt.
Further the actual belt that’s given in cage is a prop – it has a Velcro strap that makes it easy for UFC president Dana White to put it on a newly crowned champion.
Can a UFC Champion Hold Two Belts at Once?
It is difficult for a UFC champion to hold two titles at the same time. There are 12 weight divisions in the UFC, which includes eight divisions for men and four divisions for women. Therefore, the maximum number of undisputed champions at any given time is 12.
UFC does not award a belt for the Pound for Pound champion in the rankings. This is thought of more as a point of pride and a marketing tool.
For a champion to have two titles at any given time, they will need to win the championship in one division and then either lose weight or gain weight to compete and win in another weight division. The first to ever hold two titles at the same time was Conor McGregor in 2016. McGregor became the undisputed champion in both the featherweight and lightweight divisions. To date, he can be seen with his classic style belts.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.