The year 2000 seems like a heartbeat away for a lot of people, but for some young UFC fans, they weren’t even born yet. For others (like me) it was the year they were graduating high school, and well before I ever discovered MMA. So, just for fun, we’re putting together a brief timeline of every UFC champion since the start of the new millennium.
New UFC champions in 2000
April 14 – Tito Ortiz won the UFC light heavyweight title when he defeated Wanderlei Silva at UFC 25.
Nov. 17 – Randy Couture won the UFC heavyweight title when he defeated Kevin Randleman at UFC 28.
New UFC champions in 2001
Feb. 23 – Jens Pulver won the UFC lightweight title when he defeated Caol Uno at UFC 30.
May 4 – Carlos Newton won the UFC welterweight title when he defeated Pat Miletich at UFC 31.
Sept. 28 – Dave Menne won the inaugural UFC middleweight title when he defeated Gil Castillo at UFC 33.
Nov. 2 – Matt Hughes won the UFC welterweight title when he defeated Carlos Newton at UFC 34.
New UFC champions in 2002
Jan. 11 – Murilo Bustamante won the UFC middleweight title when he defeated Dave Menne at UFC 35.
March 22 – Josh Barnett won the UFC heavyweight title when he defeated Randy Couture.
March 23 – Jens Pulver was stripped of the lightweight title when he left the UFC due to contract issues.
July 26 – Barnett was stripped of the title when he tested positive for anabolic steroids in a post-fight drug test.
Sept. 27 – Ricco Rodriguez won the UFC heavyweight title when he defeated Randy Couture at UFC 39.
Oct. 5 – Murilo Bustamante was stripped of the UFC middleweight title when he left the promotion for Pride.