Every New UFC Champion in 2021

Published 12/31/2021, 11:55 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 11: Julianna Pena celebrates after defeating Amanda Nunes of Brazil to win the women’s bantamweight title during the UFC 269 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 11, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The year 2021 witnessed some surprising upsets. The astonishing nature of these bouts makes them memorable. Because of such enjoyable UFC fights in 2021, there are many fighters who became the champions in their division.


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Let us have a look at every new UFC champion in 2021.


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Brandon Moreno

Brandon Moreno became the flyweight champion after defeating Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 263. This was, however, their second bout. They had clashed at UFC 256, but the match ended in a draw and Figueiredo kept his belt.

During their second bout, Moreno snatched the belt by submitting his opponent. We will soon see both the fighters in a trilogy fight at UFC 270. ‘The Assassin Baby’ will defend his title for the first time in this upcoming bout.

Aljamain Sterling

‘Funk Master’ faced Petr Yan at UFC 259. However, things did not go as planned. When the Russian fighter landed an illegal knee on Sterling, he got disqualified. Thus, Sterling was handed the belt and declared the new bantamweight champion.

But with the current circumstances, a clash between Sterling and Yan is inevitable.

Petr Yan

After losing his bantamweight title to Sterling, unfortunately, ‘No Mercy‘ fought Cory Sandhagen. He won the bout and also became the interim champion of the bantamweight division. A unification bout, thus, needs to happen soon.

This is one bout that fans would want to see in 2022 as it has been due for a long time.

Charles Oliveira

In an exciting bout at UFC 262, Charles Oliveira defeated Michael Chandler and became the 11th lightweight champion. He also successfully defended his belt against Dustin Poirier. Both these bouts established him as a deserving combat sports athlete.

Glover Teixeira

It shocked the world when Teixeira submitted Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267 and earned the title at an age when most fighters retire. His dedication and hard work will surely inspire MMA fighters.

It would be interesting to see him defend his title in 2022.

Francis Ngannou

‘The Predator’ earned the heavyweight title after he managed to T/KO Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. Ngannou will defend his title for the first time at UFC 270 against former sparring partner Ciryl Gane. Gane has an undefeated MMA record, plus Ngannou used to train under Gane’s current coach Fernando Lopez. So there is a lot of history and hence, also a lot at stake on both sides.

Ciryl Gane

Bon Gamin‘ delivered a brutal T/KO to Derrick Lewis during their bout at UFC 265. With this, the French fighter became the interim heavyweight champion. Now the unification bout at UFC 270 will make the final decision on which fighter ultimately holds the heavyweight title.

Rose Namajunas

After landing a kick to Zhang Weili‘s head and winning the UFC 261 bout through a knockout, ‘Thug‘ became the new strawweight champion.


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At UFC 268, she faced Weili once again and successfully defended her title. Fans would surely love to see some great title defenses in the future as well.

Julianna Peña


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Perhaps one of the most shocking upsets in the history of UFC was when Peña submitted Amanda Nunes at UFC 269.

Watch This Story: Biggest UFC Upsets in 2021: Nunes vs. Pena, McGregor vs. Poirier 2, and More

‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ had commendable confidence in herself and her skills shocked the world.


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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 13: Julianna Pena prepares to fight Nico Montano in their women’s bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Golden 1 Center on July 13, 2019 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Which of the above bouts was shocking for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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Rohini Kottu

251 articles

Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.