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Top UFC fighters to never win a title

Tue 26 October 2021 | 10:00

As the UFC has turned out to be the most popular promotion the world has ever seen, almost every great fighter aspires to fight under its banner to grab a title. Yet a number of giant warriors were not fortunate enough to win a title. Here is the list of the top UFC fighters to never win a title.

Since the UFC is the biggest promotion in the MMA sport, grabbing the promotion's championship is by no means easy. That is why it is considered to be the highest ambition of any fighter who began fighting in the sport.

Ascending the ladders of success and going through the UFC rankings to earn the victory in title fights, undoubtedly requires an awful lot of blood, sweat, courage, endeavours and perseverance.

So it is no wonder to see that even some world-class fighters as the likes of Stipe Miocic, Jon Jones and Dominick Cruz could manage to be the supreming champion, but after the passage of some time, they also conceded the title fights to some newcomer immense fighters.

It is because of the promotion's nature of competitiveness, that many top fighters would fall short to get their hands on the championship gold, notwithstanding their immense talents and nonstop efforts.

Apart from those UFC fighters who never won a ‌title, there are also a group of fighters who have performed spectacularly in other promotions than the UFC, being widely dubbed as the

best fighters to never fight in the UFC

, who are looking forward to gaining the promotion title shot one day in their career.

Top UFC fighters to never win a title

Here we would delve into Top UFC fighters to never win a title, thereby you are not supposed to see the best fighters to never fight in the UFC, while we would cover up these fighters on the sportmob's website as soon as possible.

Alistair Overeem

As a Dutch heavyweight MMA fighter and kickboxer, he currently fights in the heavyweight category of kickboxing promotion Glory.

Since he became a professional fighter in 1999, he succeeded to earn Strikeforce, DREAM, and K-1 championships becoming the first fighter to hold world titles in MMA and K-1 kickboxing at the same time.

He debuted in the UFC Heavyweight division in 2011 and in his very first bout, he knocked out one of the giants of the division back then who was Brock Lesnar.

While he underwent a number of defeats after that, he eventually found the opportunity of challenging Stipe Miocic for his UFC Heavyweight title at UFC 203. But Miocic knocked him out in round one and the bout was ended to become the fight of the night.

Despite having a stellar MMA career, unfortunately, he did not succeed to add a UFC title to his honours, as he ended his dream of becoming a UFC champion, while he was released from the UFC, following a TKO defeat to Alexander Volkov in February 2021 at UFC Vegas 18 and therefore his nearly 10-year run with the MMA promotion was finished.

As one of the

top UFC fighters to never win a title

, he asserted once that he only missed a UFC belt in his career and if there would be one thing he could’ve changed, it would be that UFC belt. Yet he has made an already good deal with his honourable triumphs that he could be still proud of them.

Joseph Benavidez

The retired American MMA fighter competed in the Flyweight category for the UFC while he is considered to be among one of the best fighters never to win a world title.

While many assume him to be one the of most elite UFC Flyweight fighters, he debuted in the UFC promotion in a fight against Ian Loveland in 2011 in which he succeeded to grab triumph via a split decision.

Following his earning a series of consecutive victories, he confronted Demetrious Johnson for the inaugural UFC Featherweight championship at UFC 152 in 2012, in which he was defeated by a decision.

After a three winning streak, he again coped with Demetrious Johnson on a title fight at UFC on FOX 9, in 2013, but this time, he failed to grab the title in as much as he underwent a first-round TKO defeat. After all his opponent, Johnson is one of

The Greatest MMA Fighters of All Time.

Then he went on to earn more triumphs in this category as he toppled some high profile fighters like Henry Cejudo, Alex Perez, and many others which saw him take part in two other title fights.

That is to say, he confronted Deiveson Figueiredo in February 2020 and conceded the fight by a second-round TKO while Figueiredo missed weight before this battle and as a result, they had to fight again in July 2020 in which Benavidez lost this fight too.

Likewise, he lost another fight against Askar Askarov in March 2021 at UFC 259 so as to cement his place among

UFC fighters who never won a title shot

.

It is notable to suggest that just like many of his opponents, beating Askarov is not an easy job at all since he is included in Sportmob's list of

Top 10 Undefeated UFC fighters of All Time.

Demian Maia

The Brazilian professional submission grappler and MMA fighter, contested in the Welterweight division of the UFC. While he is widely revered as one of the greatest grapplers in MMA history, he has taken part in two UFC title fights, losing both of them so as to be included in the list of

best fighters never to win a world title.

That is to say, although, in his stellar UFC career, he was a true nightmare matchup for anyone who was supposed to compete with him, he failed to gain victory in his first title fight that was against Anderson Silva.

In pursuit of grabbing the UFC Middleweight Championship, Maia coped with then-middleweight king Silva in 2010, while he lose this bizarre fight vis unanimous decision which saw Silva being criticised for taunting his opponent.

Afterwards, Maia went on to win and loss the fights alternatively until he was dropped down to welterweight so as to be on a seven-fight winning streak as he toppled the fighters like Gunnar Nelson, Carlos Condit and Jorge Masvidal, earning him one more title shot, but this time in the welterweight division.

To be specific, he confronted then-champion Tyron Woodley, who is enlisted among

the most underrated UFC fighters of all time

, at UFC 214 in 2017 and unfortunately conceded the fight with a unanimous decision.

Then although he was on a three-fight losing skid in his two next battles against UFC giants Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, he managed to come back to grab triumphs over Lyman Good, Anthony Rocco Martin and Ben Askren.

Eventually, after losing several matches in his career and several months after he was defeated via unanimous decision by Belal Muhammad on 12 June 2021 at UFC 263, it was confirmed that his contract with UFC was finished.

Donald Cerrone

The American MMA fighter and former professional kickboxer currently competes in the Welterweight category of the UFC.

After a long run in the WEC, while he made his UFC debut in 2011 and amazingly grabbed 7 triumphs from his first 10 matches, the Cowboy is also honoured to anchor some of the

Best UFC Records of All Time

to his name.

That is to say, he established the records of the most wins by 22 victories, most finishes by 16, most fights in the UFC with a total of 37 as well as most post-fight bonuses with 16 awards.

But much to your consternation he has not earned any victory in a single title fight yet, but with such an illustrious career, it would not take a long time to see him grab one at least, even though he is currently assumed to be among UFC fighters who never won a title shot.

Precisely as saying, after he was on a streak of eight victories in a row during less than two years, although he grabbed a title shot against then-lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in 2015, he conceded the fight early in the first round via TKO under the barrage of Anjos punches.

Afterwards, he moved up to welterweight and went on to make his impressive feats as he won another string of four impressive triumphs in a row until he confronted Jorge Masvidal.

Since then, although he underwent many defeats, he is still considered to be among the most beloved fighters of the promotion earning a multitude of honours despite not winning a UFC title.

Jorge Masvidal

The American MMA fighter, contests in the Welterweight category of the UFC and since he became professional in 2003; he fought for Bellator, Strikeforce, Shark Fights, and World Victory Road, holding the UFC 'BMF' Championship belt as well.

As he is the record holder for the fastest knockout in UFC history, at 5 seconds, he is also the #6 fighter in the UFC welterweight rankings, as of August 9, 2021.

When he became a UFC fighter in 2013, he had an auspicious start both in the lightweight and welterweight categories including a win over Donald Cerrone which saw him a title eliminator bout against Demian Maia.

In this fight, Masvidal was defeated by Maia with a split decision and thereupon he has been considered as a warrior who often may fall short to the end of taking a spot in our list of

top UFC fighters to never win a title

.

Then when he toppled Darren Till, it resulted in his being coped with the unbeaten Ben Askren at UFC 239 who had an impressive wrestling skill. But Masvidal incredibly knocked out his opponent with a record-breaking five seconds flying knee.

Then he went on to grab a TKO triumph over Nate Diaz for the “BMF” title matchup in the encounter of two of the worst fighters.

Finally, he confronted Kamaru Usman who is an indispensable part of

Top UFC Fighters of 2021

, for the UFC welterweight title not just once but twice, while he conceded the first one by decision and the second one via KO.

Nick Diaz

The American MMA fighter competes in the middleweight category of the UFC, being the promotion title challenger, while he was a Strikeforce, WEC and IFC welterweight champion as well.

While he spent a span of his career fighting for promotions like PRIDE, EliteXC, DREAM, and Shooto, he is the older brother of fellow UFC fighter Nate Diaz, which both of them are considered to be among top UFC fighters to never win a title.

After having an illustrious career in other organizations, Nick rose to prominence in UFC as well when in 2003, he successfully knocked out Robbie Lawler at UFC 47.

Following a number of UFC fights, he started to fight for other promotions like Strikeforce, until he came back in 2011 and confronted  B.J. Penn, earning a victory via unanimous decision as it saw him grab title fight for the interim welterweight title against Carlos Condit.

Although he conceded the fight with a unanimous decision, his next matchup was set to be against then-welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, a terrifically competent opponent who cemented his place among

UFC fighters who retired as champions.

Therefore it was no wonder to see St-Pierre controlling all five rounds with his grappling so as to defeat Diaz with a unanimous decision to retain his title.

After that, although Diaz fought against several other opponents most notably Anderson Silva, none of them ended up his winning a title fight either.

Urijah Faber

The American MMA fighter and actor fought in the bantamweight and featherweight category of UFC, as he is held with the highest esteem as the pioneer for making lighter-weight classes legitimate.

In his first title fight, he confronted Dominick Cruz for the bantamweight title at UFC 132, as he was beaten via unanimous decision due to Cruz technicality and pace. But it was not their first encounter as Faber had already toppled him in WEC and this title fight was supposed to be his revenge.

Afterwards, he coped with Renan Barao at UFC 149 for the interim bantamweight championship and unfortunately lost the fight again but he went on to win his following four fights in a row so as to earn another shot at Barao. Likewise, in their rematch for the undisputed title at UFC 169, Barao knocked Faber out again.

Then he went on to fight against Dominick Cruz one more time at UFC 199 as his opponent edged him out via unanimous decision too, after all, Cruz is regarded to be among the

best MMA fighters in each weight class ever

.

When he became retired in 2017, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame as a part of the Modern-era wing and then he returned in 2019 so as to beat Ricky Simón in the first round with a TKO.

But when he was defeated with a second-round KO by Petr Yan, he became retired again as his name went down as one of the top UFC fighters to never win a title.

Yoel Romero

The Cuban MMA fighter and former freestyle wrestler, currently fights in the Light Heavyweight division of Bellator MMA, while he previously contested in the middleweight division of the UFC where he was a four-time challenger for the UFC Middleweight Championship.

Notwithstanding his immense talents and intimidating physical attributes, he is assumed to be among the top UFC fighters to never win a title.

Much to your surprise, although he earned a victory in his interim middleweight title fight with Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 when he knocked his rival out in the third round, he was not earned a title, owing to his weight missing.

But apart from this fight, he confronted Robert Whittaker twice, for the interim and undisputed middleweight titles, but he was beaten in both of them with a unanimous and a controversial split decision respectively.

In his last fight in the UFC promotion which was a title fight, he coped with Israel Adesanya as he was defeated by him with a unanimous decision, while many deem it to be one of the most boring fights in UFC history.

But nobody denies the fact that both of the fighters are very competent by their own side as Adesanya is enlisted among

UFC Current Champions: Who is the most dominant belt holder?

 

Alexander Gustafsson

The Swedish MMA fighter currently fights in the heavyweight category of the UFC, while in a long apan of his career, he competed in the Light Heavyweight category of the promotion, being considered as one of the

top UFC fighters to never win a title

as he challenged it on three occasions.

But many believe that if he was born in another era where Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier were not at the peak of their powers, he would conceivably earn the UFC light heavyweight champion.

That is to say, he confronted Jon Jones in his first title fight at UFC 165 in which Jones grabbed victory via unanimous decision, while Gustafsson also put on show a spectacular performance to such an extent that the fight became widely revered as one of the

Best UFC Fights of All Time

.

He was on the verge of grabbing a 205lbs belt in his fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 192, but he conceded the match via split-decision.

Afterwards, he faced Jon Jones again in their rematch at UFC 232 as he was beaten one more time with a third-round submission so as to be included among the best fighters never to win a world title.

Dan Henderson

The American retired MMA fighter and Olympic wrestler fought in the middleweight category of UFC in the last span of his career.

Being the last Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, the last Pride Welterweight and Middleweight champion, he challenged for the UFC Middleweight Championship twice, and the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship once.

In other words, his MMA career was so glorious that its only missing part was supposed to be a UFC title; while he became retired after UFC 204, being the oldest fighter on the UFC roster so as to be an indispensable member of the UFC fighters who never won a title shot.

To be specific, in his first title fight against the then light heavyweight champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, he was defeated via unanimous decision.

As he went on to move down to middleweight, he coped with Anderson Silva at UFC 82 as he was toppled by his opponent with a submission.

.Afterwards, his last title fight was against Michael Bisping at UFC 204, in which he was on the threshold of grabbing triumph with a huge overhand right, but he eventually ended up conceding the battle via unanimous decision.

 

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source: SportMob

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