Ranking every ‘Champ-Champ’ victory

Robert Vallejos, MMATorch Managing Editor

Nov 3, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates beating Derrick Lewis (blue gloves) during UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

At UFC 238, Henry Cejudo proved that the era of the double-champion is still alive and well in the UFC.

By holding the men’s flyweight and bantamweight titles simultaneously, Cejudo joins an elite club. Only three other fighters in UFC history have ever held two belts at the same time.

With the novelty slightly wearing off, this might be a good time to reflect on every triumph by a champion, fighting for a title in another division.

Before we start, it should be noted that all of these victories are historically significant. The aim here is not to diminish any of these victories, but actually to place context to these accomplishments.

#4  Men’s flyweight champion Henry Cejudo over Marlon Moraes for the vacant Men’s bantamweight title, UFC 238

Recency bias may tempt one to rank this win higher, but the surrounding circumstances must be evaluated.

Cejudo is the only ‘Champ-Champ’ on this list that did not defeat the incumbent champion.

Due to TJ Dillashaw’s USADA violation, Cejudo and Moraes were contending for a vacant title. Before you send a nasty Tweet, it is true that Cejudo beat Dillashaw at flyweight (An impressive feat alone) but that is not what is being contested here.

If anything, the more impressive win for Cejudo is his epic triumph over Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227 in August 2018.

Henry Cejudo defeats Marlon Moraes to become ‘Double Champion’

# 3 Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier over heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, UFC 226

Daniel Cormier beating Stipe Miocic was very impressive. But it should not be considered shocking.

For his part, Miocic is the heavyweight that finally broke the jinx and defended his title in three consecutive fights. Theoretically, Cormier defeated the greatest heavyweight champion in UFC history.

However, Cormier being a natural heavyweight prevents his win from being ranked higher. Prior to the fight, Cormier was 13-0 as a heavyweight. Cormier only elected to fight at light heavyweight to avoid facing teammate and former champion Cain Velasquez.

Additionally, fight fans can dispute Cormier’s place atop the light heavyweight division. Cormier is 0-2 against rival and current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones; with Cormier’s undisputed light heavyweight title reigns coinciding with Jones being suspended.

# 2 Men’s featherweight champion Conor McGregor over lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, UFC 205

Conor McGregor will always have the distinction as the first UFC fighter to hold two belts at the same time. His victory is eve, sweeter when his opponent and the stage is considered.

The concept of a champion from a lower weight-class defeating a champion from a higher weight-class seemed like a pipe dream before McGregor’s accomplishment.

After his 1-1 series with Nate Diaz, McGregor showed vulnerability for the first time in his UFC career. Eddie Alvarez was the nightmare matchup that could ruin McGregor’s aura. And then the bell rang…

McGregor not only showed himself to be on the level of a veteran like Alvarez, but the Irishman completely outclassed “The Underground King.”

Beyond the opponent, UFC 205 was a landmark event for the UFC. The event marked the UFC’s first trip to Madison Square Garden, and the UFC’s first event in the state of New York since 1995.

Oh, and it was this fight that got the conversation rolling on Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather boxing bout!

# 1 Women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes over women’s featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino, UFC 232

Amanda Nunes defeating Cyborg is one of the biggest wins in MMA history. Period!

Not only did Nunes become the first woman to to hold two championships at any time in UFC history, she became the first woman to defeat Cyborg since 2005.

Cyborg’s aura of invincibility cannot be ignored.

Furthermore, UFC 232, represents the culmination of the greatest resume in the history of women’s MMA. Other than Nunes, the UFC has had three women’s bantamweight  champions, (Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, and Miesha Tate) Nunes holds stoppage victories over two, and has fight booked with the other (Holm) in July. Not to mention, Nunes has defeated current women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko…twice!

Of course, there is a chance that history will not be so kind to this victory. If UFC 232 is the start of a clear decline for Cyborg, Nunes’ accomplishment may become somewhat diminished.

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