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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3. Stephen Thompson

Since making his UFC debut back in 2012, karate expert, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson has been a fixture in the UFC's welterweight division. Despite challenging for the title twice and being the honorary holder of the NMF belt (The Nicest Motherf*****), Thompson still has never won a championship.

Both of Thompson's failed title bids came against then-champion Tyron Woodley. The closest he came to gold was in the first match as he earned a majority draw at UFC 205 in what many pundits considered one of the most entertaining bouts of 2016. Unfortunately, the encore failed to live up to the prior matchup and Thompson lost an underwhelming majority decision.

Despite not winning a welterweight belt, Thompson has defeated the likes of former champions like Johny Hendricks and Robert "The Reaper" Whittaker. He has beaten mega stars like Jorge Masvidal and Kevin Holland along with rising contenders like Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal. It seems every time Thompson is finished, he puts on another stellar performance that keeps him in contention.

Unfortunately for Thomspon, those losses to Woodley in title fights along with losses to former champions like Anthony "Showtime" Pettis and fellow top challengers Gilbert "Durinho" Burns and Belal "Remember the Name" Muhammad have derailed his title hopes of late. Though his striking arsenal remains one of the most difficult puzzles in the sport to solve, some have managed to figure him out and hindered his title aspirations.

The forty-year-old Thompson still lingers on the outskirts of the welterweight top five, occupying the sixth spot. If he can get past the feared Shavkat "Nomad" Rakhmonov at UFC 296 on December 16, Thompson may once again find himself in the thick of the title hunt.