Who was the UFC’s first welterweight champion?

Carlos Newton, The first UFC welterweight Champion
Carlos Newton, The first UFC welterweight Champion / Brian Bahr/GettyImages

Everything you need to know about the UFC's first welterweight champion.

The 170 pound division has long been one of the most skilled in the UFC, with the champion being the crown jewel at welterweight. You may find yourself wondering, who was the first UFC welterweight champion?

Technically, Pat Militech is the answer, although the weight class was at the time, known as lightweight. At UFC 31, the weight class known as Welterweight was born, with Carlos Newton being crowned its first champion, defeating the aforementioned Militech.

Who is Carlos Newton?

The often wrongly forgotten Carlos Newton was one of the early Canadian MMA stars. Although born in Anguilla, for most of his life, Ontario, Canada was his home. Debuting in the Octagon at UFC 17 against Bob Gilstrap in a multi-fight in one night Middleweight tournament, He would ultimately lose to Dan Henderson in the final, and take his leave from the promotion to compete in Japan.

After defeating a host of Japanese talent in his time away, he was afforded a title shot upon agreeing to his return.

His UFC 31 welterweight title bout would be his return to the promotion, three years, and seven fights later. He would only hold the title briefly, losing it to Matt Hughes by way of slam, in what is now a staple of MMA highlight reels across the internet and UFC broadcasts. He would attempt to regain his title but to no avail. 

It appeared as though the best of Newton has been privy to the eyes of the Japanese MMA fans. He would go on to lose more bouts than he won, retiring with a 16-14 record, compared to the 10-4 record he entered the Hughes bout holding.

Since then, the title has been one of the more well-retained in the company. Names like Kamaru Usman, Matt Hughes, Tyron Woodley, and countryman Georges St-Pierre have had relatively long title reigns. Newton though will always be the first.

UFC weight classes in order. dark. Next