Grading every heavyweight champion in UFC history

The heavyweight division is in a bit of a stalemate as fans wait for the promotion to announce what it will do with Jon Jones, Stipe Miocic and Tom Aspinall.
Jul 7, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) celebrates beating Stipe Miocic (red
Jul 7, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) celebrates beating Stipe Miocic (red / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 17

As we all know with the UFC, no two title reigns are ever the same and no division represents that better than heavyweight.

Since the promotion decided to crown champions of weight classes in 1997 there have been 18 different heavyweight champions through 23 separate title reigns. As the winner of a few of the UFC's final tournament events, Mark Coleman became the inaugural heavyweight champion at UFC 14.

As the division with the most history in the UFC, 10 different heavyweights have been inducted into the promotional Hall of Fame — including six different champions — with eight in the pioneer wing and one in the modern wing. Coleman, a member of the pioneer wing, received the honor a second time in 2016 for his fight with Pete Williams in 1998.

Winning UFC gold has undoubtedly been the pinnacle of each champion's career but the legacy and impact each fighter left behind after claiming the belt differs vastly. Many are remembered as legends of the sport but some are even forgotten and for that, we have graded each champion based on their title reign alone.

For this list, only undisputed champions are recognized, and no interim titleholders. Fighters who claimed multiple stints as champions are given one grade for their entire time with the belt.

Due to his incumbent status with just one title win, Jon Jones is not included due to his grade being incomplete.