5 of the best active fighters to never win a title

Which current mixed martial artists could be UFC champions if not for bad luck, circumstances, or timing?

UFC belt
UFC belt / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages
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Despite the prestige of capturing a championship in any mixed martial arts promotion, there is a certain aura around those able to ascend the top of the UFC. Whether it is interim or undisputed gold, a UFC championship holds the most leverage in defining the legacy of a mixed martial artist.

The UFC's name value, level of competition, and history all contribute to its title belts being the most coveted in all of professional MMA.

Most fighters have to go on long win streaks, build a substantial following, or achieve a string of highlight-worthy finishes to secure their championship opportunity. For all the great fighters able to seize the chance and immortalize themselves, just as many never reached that plateau.

Unfortunately, talented fighters get lost in this mad dash to the top and never quite make the pinnacle of MMA's highest proving ground. Examples of legends such as the Diaz brothers, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, and "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung are just a few of the greats to never achieve gold despite stellar resumes otherwise.

Given that modern MMA competition is stiffer than ever, winning a UFC championship is extraordinary. Despite elite skillsets and the ability to put champion-level performances together any night they step in the cage, the five fighters on this list have never held UFC gold.