Who was the UFC’s first heavyweight champion?

Jan 22, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; The championship belt of Deiveson Figueiredo pictured
Jan 22, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; The championship belt of Deiveson Figueiredo pictured / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In what is the UFC's most powerful division, we look at who was the first fighter to become UFC heavyweight champion.

A division known for flashy knockouts and immense power, the heavyweight division in the UFC is a weight class loved by MMA fans. While many fighters have won the UFC heavyweight championship, Mark Coleman was the first lay his hands on the coveted prize.

At UFC 12, the promotion hosted a fight between Dan Severn and Coleman, who was a late substitute for Don Frye, to unify the UFC superfight title and crown the inaugural UFC heavyweight champion. The announcement of this fight led to a lot of excitement among the MMA masses.

Going into the bout, Coleman was on a five-fight win streak whereas Severn boasted a nine-fight win streak. However, on the night that mattered the most, Severn's skills couldn't match up to Coleman's, and the latter defeated Severn via scarf hold to win the inaugural UFC heavyweight championship.

Post his victory, Coleman and his fans were very excited about the fighter becoming the first heavyweight champion in UFC history. But, this happiness was short-lived, as the UFC Hall of Famer lost his title to Maurice Smith in his next fight.

However, further, in his career, Coleman experienced a lot of success. In the year 2000, he beat Igor Vovchanchyn to win the Pride FC Openweight Grand Prix Tournament. By doing so, Coleman became one of the two fighters to win both UFC and Pride FC tournaments.

Jon Jones rules the UFC heavyweight division currently

While Coleman and many other legends ruled over the UFC heavyweight division, Jon Jones is the current king of the weight class. A significant display of his skills at UFC 285 earned Jones the heavyweight championship.

Moving up in weight, the 35-year-old faced Ciryl Gane and made quick work of the Frenchman. Jones defeated Gane via submission in round one and marked the start of his reign as UFC heavyweight champion.

UFC weight classes in order. dark. Next