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Francis Ngannou: Lineal HW champion

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by GOATweight, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. A story about Francis Ngannou: the current lineal and UFC HW champion

    UFC creates the lineal HW championship and loses it to Randy Couture
    The story of the lineal HW champion in MMA begins at UFC 12 on 7 February 1997, when Mark Coleman defeated Dan Severn to become the first recognized UFC heavyweight champion. Mark "the Hammer" Coleman lost the title to Maurice Smith at UFC 14 on 27 July 1997, who in turn lost the title to Randy Couture at UFC Japan on 21 December 1997. Randy "the Natural" Couture then got into some contract disputes with the UFC and left, vacating the UFC HW title, but taking the lineal world championship with him.

    The unification of the lineal HW championship and the PRIDE HW championship
    Randy Couture went to fight in Japan and lost in his next fight against Enson Inoue at "Vale Tudo Japan 1998" on 25 October 1998. Enson Inoue moved together with his lineal HW championship to PRIDE, where he eventually lost it to Mark Kerr in the first round of the PRIDE 2000 Grand Prix on 30 January 2000. Thus the PRIDE era began. Mark Kerr, as a participant in the 3 fights in one night PRIDE 2000 Grand Prix finale that took place on 1 May 2000, put it all on the line. However, he lost the lineal HW championship in the quarterfinals to Kazuyuki Fujita, who then lost to Mark Coleman in the semi-finals. Mark Coleman, now the first two-time lineal HW champion, would go on to win the PRIDE 2000 Grand Prix that night. Mark Coleman would eventually lose to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at PRIDE 16 in September 2001. After beating Coleman, Nogueira would fight for and win the newly established PRIDE HW belt in his next fight against Heath Herring and thereby unifying the the lineal HW championship and the PRIDE HW championship.

    The long reign of the lineal HW championship by 2 PRIDE heavyweights
    Nogueira successfully defended the lineal HW championship a record six times, including wins over (the before mentioned) Heath Herring, former champion Inoue, Bob Sapp, kickboxing legend Sammy Schilt, and Dan Henderson, before losing to Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE 25 on 16 March 2003. Fedor then had 18 successful lineal HW championship title defenses (and one no-contest against Nogueira) in three different organizations: PRIDE, Affliction and Strikeforce. During his tenures at PRIDE and Affliction, Fedor fought and defeated a who’s who of elite heavyweights (and to be fair, an assortment of lesser opponents as well), including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Coleman (twice), Fujita, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Tim Sylvia, and Andrei Arlovski, most of which he dispatched via KO or submission in devastating fashion. After PRIDE folded and subsequently Affiliction folded as well, Fedor moved to Strikeforce and defended the lineal championship one more time against Brett Rogers.

    Bringing the lineal HW championship back to the UFC by "The Reem"
    In his second Strikeforce fight, Fedor was set to face Fabricio Werdum. On June 26, 2010, the MMA world was caught by surprise (much like Fedor), when Fabricio Werdum managed to catch Fedor in a tight triangle and tapped him out in just over one minute. Considered one of the biggest upsets in MMA history, Fabricio Werdum defeated the Last Emperor and won the lineal heavyweight title in the process. Fabricio Werdum, together with the lineal HW championship, then entered the Strikeforce HW Grand Prix. He lost in the quarterfinals to Alistair Overeem at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum on 18 June 2011. Alistair Overeem subsequently left Strikeforce and the Strikeforce HW Grand Prix for the UFC, bringing the lineal HW Championship back to the organization that created the title.

    Reuniting the lineal HW championship with UFC HW championship
    In his first fight, "The Reem" defended the lineal HW championship against Brock Lesnar. Overeem was then set to unify the lineal HW championship with the UFC HW championship against Junior dos Santos in 2012, but a failed drug test would put the lineal HW champ on the sidelines. Overeem came back to fight Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and lost the lineal HW championship in spectacular fashion, by a vicious KO at UFC 156 on 2 February 2013. In the meantime, Cain Velasquez had captured the UFC HW championship and the title reunification fight between Antonio Silva and Cain Velasquez was set. At UFC 160 on 25 May 2013, Cain Velasquez stops a bloodied up Bigfoot Silva to defend the UFC HW championship and unify it with the lineal HW championship. A new era was born, the undisputed lineal and UFC HW champion, with Cain Velasquez as the first holder of this title since Randy Couture.

    The crowning of Francis: undisputed lineal and UFC HW champion
    Cain Velasquez defended the title against Junior dos Santos before losing to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 188 on 13 June 2015. The reign of Fabricio Werdum, the second two-time lineal HW champion in history, was short-lived as he lost the championship in his next fight to Stipe Miocic at UFC 198 on 14 May 2016. Stipe went on to defend his title for 3 times before losing to Daniel Cormier at UFC 226 on 7 July 2018. Cormier defended his title once against Derrick Lewis before losing it back to Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 on 17 August 2019. Stipe, now the third two-time lineal HW champion in history, defended the title in his next match and won his trilogy fight against DC. But the title was to change hands soon once more. The rising #1 contender, Francis Ngannou, faced Stipe Miocic for the second time in his career at UFC 260 on 27 March 2021. In this fight, Francis knocks out Stipe to win the undisputed lineal and UFC HW championship. A new king is crowned for the most important title in combat sports: the lineal MMA HW championship.

    [​IMG]


    Collection of alternatives presented by pissed off Sherdoggers (just kidding, love you guys):

    0. For reference purposes (not an alternative from above version), lineal HW championship starts with Coleman beating Severn to crown the sport's first HW champion. Fights contested both at HW and open weight (tournaments) count. A win is a win and a loss is a loss, regardless of the situation.

    Coleman -> Smith -> Couture -> Inoue -> Kerr -> Fujita -> Coleman -> Nogueira -> Fedor -> Werdum -> Overeem -> Bigfoot Silva -> Velasquez -> Werdum -> Miocic -> Ngannou

    1. Fujita didn't really "lose" the title to Coleman in 2000 PRIDE GP, because he didn't fight the match. He just had his corner throw in the towel right away due to injury.

    Coleman -> Smith -> Couture -> Inoue -> Kerr -> Fujita -> Cro Cop -> Nogueira -> Fedor -> Werdum -> Overeem -> Bigfoot Silva -> Velasquez -> Werdum -> Miocic -> Ngannou

    2. Royce Gracie should be considered the original HW champion.

    Gracie -> Sakuraba -> Vovchanchyn -> Coleman -> Nogueira -> Fedor -> Werdum -> Overeem -> Bigfoot Silva -> Velasquez -> Werdum -> Miocic -> Ngannou

    3. Open weight fights don't count. Only fights contested at HW count.

    Version a. The 2000 PRIDE GP doesn't count, because it's open weight.
    Coleman -> Smith -> Couture -> Inoue -> Vovchanchyn -> Telligman -> Rizzo -> Kharitonov -> Overeem -> Werdum -> Nogueira -> Barnett -> Nogueira -> Mir -> Lesnar -> Velasquez -> JDS -> Velasquez -> Werdum -> Miocic -> Cormier -> Miocic -> Ngannou

    Version b. Both the 2000 PRIDE GP and 2006 PRIDE GP don't count, because they were open weight.
    Coleman -> Smith -> Couture -> Inoue -> Vovchanchyn -> Telligman -> Rizzo -> Kharitonov -> Overeem -> Kharitonov -> Monson -> Rizzo -> Fedor -> Mittrione -> Bader

    Version c. Both the 2000 PRIDE GP and 2006 PRIDE GP don't count, because they were open weight. Because Fedor Emelianenko (temporarily) retired in 2012, the lineal championship went to the next undisputed champion. This is the UFC heavyweight champion at the time.
    Coleman -> Smith -> Couture -> Inoue -> Vovchanchyn -> Telligman -> Rizzo -> Kharitonov -> Overeem -> Kharitonov -> Monson -> Rizzo -> Fedor *retired* -> JDS -> Velasquez -> Werdum -> Miocic -> Cormier -> Miocic -> Ngannou

    Version d. Both the 2000 PRIDE GP and 2006 PRIDE GP don't count, because they were open weight. Because Fedor Emelianenko (temporarily) retired in 2012, the lineal championship went to the next undisputed champion. This is the Bellator heavyweight champion at the time.
    Coleman -> Smith -> Couture -> Inoue -> Vovchanchyn -> Telligman -> Rizzo -> Kharitonov -> Overeem -> Kharitonov -> Monson -> Rizzo -> Fedor *retired* -> Cole Konrad *retired* -> Volkov -> Minakov -> Cheick Kongo -> Timothy Johnson
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2021
  2. moreorless87 Straba

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    You could argue I spose Fujita didnt really "lose" the title to Coleman in that he didnt fight the match just had his corner throw in the towel right away due to injury. In that case Crocop actually becomes champ instead before dropping it to Nog in 2003 and then Fedor gets it in 2004 when he beats Nog the second time.
     
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  3. MillingMeSoftly Purple Belt

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    Great post

    FYI Chase Sherman was the lineal bareknuckle heavyweight champion for a minute

    And said that he thought it was more important than the UFC belt
     
  4. jban Black Belt

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    Great insight. Never thought it about this way, but Francis can now be considered the Lineal HW Champ. Will be nice to have a HW champ like Francis who wants to fight 3 times a year. Stipe fought once a year since his first fight with DC in Summer of 2018. Cain was hurt a lot, and fought once a year for many years also.
     
  5. kflo Titanium Belt

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    interesting tidbit but lineal champs in mma is just a novelty. it's a title noone even knows they are fighting for.

    but good research nonetheless.
     
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  6. mcf4 Green Belt

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    It is certainly for places like this.
     
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  7. SeattleFightFan Steel Belt

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    Royce Sak Igor Coleman Big Nog Fedor Werdum Overeem Bigfoot Cain Werdum Stipe Ngannou

    Except that Royce never lost in the UFC :eek: So there is no lineal champ
     
  8. The lineal championship does not move by organization, but with whoever beat the previous champion, in whatever organization that may be.

    If we follow your way, that Royce is the original HW champion (although his fights were contested in openweight and he was never declared as a HW champion), then:
    Royce lost to Sakuraba. Sakuraba afterwards lost to Igor Vovchanchyn in the semi-finals of the PRIDE 2000 Grand Prix. Igor lost to Mark Coleman in the finals of the PRIDE 2000 Grand Prix, who then later on lost to Nogueira, who lost to Fedor etc. etc.

    This is a fair point. But because it was in a tournament setting, and Fujita forfeited the match, I think it counts.

    In any case, whatever way you look at it, all roads eventually lead to Nogueira in PRIDE being the lineal champion, and, from then on lead to Ngannou at the end.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2021
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  9. SeattleFightFan Steel Belt

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    Again, not in the UFC.

    But let’s talk about lineal 205 belts, using your criteria:

    Frank Shamrock —> Renzo Gracie —> Matt Hughes —> BJ Penn —> Nick Diaz —> GSP.

    GSP is the undisputed UFC LHW Champion of the World!

    Just pointing out the limitations (idiocy?) of this thing.

    Not to ruin a good one or anything. Enjoy.
     
  10. acannxr Red Belt

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    Except Inoue vs. Kerr was contested at Openweight, which is not Heavyweight.

    Couture -> Inoue -> Vovchanchyn -> Telligman -> Rizzo -> Kharitonov -> Overeem -> Kharitonov -> Monson -> Rizzo -> Emelianenko (vacated via retirement in 2012)
     
  11. acannxr Red Belt

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    The lineal LHW title can't change hands in fights not contested at LHW; Frank vs. Renzo was at MW.
     
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  12. The idea of a lineal champion is that it is not bound by an organization. It's to determine who beat the guy who beat the guy, who beat guy etc. I'm talking about the lineal MMA HW champion, which happened to be started in the UFC.

    Your example doesn't work because those fights were not all contested at 205. The fights in my opening post were all HW fights (and some open weight, because in the past the HW division did not have an upper limit).
     
    Gregoire1 likes this.
  13. Although I don't agree with not counting the 2000 PRIDE GP, your list is incorrect. Overeem's first loss after his Kharitonov win was against Werdum in the PRIDE 2006 Heavyweight Grand Prix Opening Round.

    Couture -> Inoue -> Vovchanchyn -> Telligman -> Rizzo -> Kharitonov -> Overeem -> Werdum -> Nogueira -> Barnett -> Nogueira -> Mir -> Lesnar -> Velasquez -> JDS -> Velasquez -> Werdum -> Miocic -> Cormier -> Miocic -> Ngannou

    So, Ngannou would still be lineal champ. But we basically skip over Fedor era lol
     
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  14. cagerageforever Purple Belt

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    Used up my likes but:
    Post Of The Month @GOATweight !
     
  15. Benoitthegr8 Bum Life Practitioner Platinum Member

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    Let’s discuss the lineal MW and WW titles...

    Where are they now...?
    upload_2021-4-15_11-47-42.gif
    0BC14184-62D8-4CED-B656-A7DFCA7F2FAA.gif
     
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  16. Young Calf Kick Orange Belt

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  17. DayV Green Belt

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    So Cro Cop was 2 times lineal UFC champion.

    1st time when he beat Fujita.

    2nd time when he breat Barnett who was undefeated after he won UFC championship untill he lost to Mirko.
     
  18. acannxr Red Belt

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    Except the 2006 Pride Grand Prix was Openweight, not Heavyweight.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. SeattleFightFan Steel Belt

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    But when Frank won 205, there was no minimum weight ;)

    Ok I’ve passively mocked this thing enough. I’ll quit being a dick to those who enjoy this topic. Sorry and goodnight.
     
  20. acannxr Red Belt

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    The lineal MW title is currently in Bellator:

    Bustamante -> Henderson -> Misaki -> Filho -> Paraisy -> Falcao -> Shlemenko -> Halsey -> Carvalho -> Mousasi -> Lovato

    The original lineal WW title never returned to the UFC:

    Miletich -> Nakao -> Kato -> Sakurai -> Anderson Silva

    Silva's losses to Takase and Chonan were at Middleweight, his loss to Okami was at 175 lbs, and after that Silva only ever fought at Middleweight or Light Heavyweight.
     
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