The 1 best & worst UFC champion in 2010

Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva, PJ Penn and more all held titles in 2010. Which fighter shined bright and which one was a dud?
Aug. 6, 2010: Anderson Silva during weigh-ins for UFC 117
Aug. 6, 2010: Anderson Silva during weigh-ins for UFC 117 / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Over the years there have been numerous UFC champions. More than 100 men and women have had UFC gold strapped around their waist Since its inception in 1996 the UFC has grown in popularity and size and so has the pool of champions.

In this article, and a series of articles to follow, we'll take a look at the best and worst champions from each year. For this project, we'll only be using the champion's performances in that calendar year to determine the best and worst. 2010 was the 18th year the MMA promotion was in business. It held 24 total events starting with UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva on Jan. 2, 2010.

There were 17 UFC cards, 2 UFC on Versus, 3 UFC Fight Night cards, and 2 The Ultimate Fighter events. A total of 255 fights took place, including 10 title fights.

The fighters holding titles in 2010 are as follows:

  • Shane Carwin (HW-interim)
  • Brock Lesnar (HW)
  • Cain Velasquez (HW)
  • Lyoto Machida (LHW)
  • Shogun Rua (LHW)
  • Anderson Silva (MW)
  • Georges St-Pierre (WW)
  • BJ Penn (LW)
  • Frankie Edgar (LW)
  • Jose Aldo (FEATW)
  • Dominick Cruz (BW)

Anderson Silva is the best UFC champion in 2010

It was a close one for best champion in 2010. Georges St-Pierre won two title fights in 2010 when he defeated Dan Hardy and Josh Koscheck. Anderson Silva also won two title fights in 2010 when he defeated Chael Sonnen and Demian Maia. But it was a no-brainer to select Silva when you look at the way each of the two champions won. St-Pierre had two decisions but Silva had just 1, the other was a come-from-behind fifth-round submission. That fight with Sonnen was so special that its even being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame class for 2024. I wouldn't be mad if someone would rather see St. Pierre at the top of this list either though.

BJ Penn is the worst UFC champion in 2010

Quite a few titles changed hands in 2010. Brock Lesnar lost to Cain Velasquez and Lyoto Machida lost to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. But no one had a harder year than BJ Penn. Penn lost his title at UFC 112 after a dominant performance from Frankie Edgar. He then lost again in the rematch at UFC 121 to an even more dominant Edgar.

Some might say the quick finishes of Brock Lesanr or Lyoto Machida might be the "worst" of the year, but nothing tops losing twice in one year. Sorry BJ.