With Dustin Poirier on the list, check out the best fighters who didn't win linear belts in the UFC

Over more than 30 years of UFC, several athletes stood out in the company, but did not reach the title

Dustin poirier won Benoit Saint-Denis (dir.) in UFC 299. Photo: Reproduction/Twitter @UFCNews

Over more than 30 years, the UFC has honored countless fighters divided into different categories. However, some of the company's references competed for years, recording victories, promoting epic clashes, breaking records, but did not achieve what, for many, represents eternal glory: a linear belt. In this special publication, the SUPER FIGHTS lists big names that did not lead a category outright.

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Dustin Poirier in UFC victory. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram/@ufc

In total, 11 athletes were listed. Among those mentioned below, there are three Brazilians.

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Dustin poirier

C. McGregor (left) was defeated by D. Poirier (right) in the UFC 257. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

First on the list is Dustin poirier, who already held the interim lightweight belt (up to 70,3kg.). For years, the North American has been a standout in the division and has excited fans with outstanding performances.

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Known as 'Diamond', the veteran still has a chance to take his place among the group of fighters who have taken on a category in absolute form. At the UFC 303, the combatant faces Islam makhachev and can consecrate himself before the Russian star.

Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson He is a former UFC interim lightweight champion. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

Famous for his unpredictable style, Tony Ferguson built a solid career in the UFC lightweight division. Called 'Bicho Papão' by MMA fans, the athlete has established himself as one of the references in the history of his division.

The American, like Poirier, took on an interim belt, but was unable to unify it. In recent years, Tony has had a dramatic career situation and, today, has accumulated seven consecutive defeats in the company.

Joseph Benavidez

J. Benavidez challenged for the UFC flyweight title on three occasions. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

Icon in flyweight (up to 56,7kg.), Joseph Benavidez He represented his division with great dedication. The athlete, however, ended up frustrated in three attempts to take over the group's linear belt.

At the first chance, he was surpassed by Demetrious Johnson. In the following matches, he ended up beaten by Deiveson Figueiredo.

Dan Henderson

Dan Henderson (right) during the UFC days. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

Over almost 20 years of career, Dan Henderson He was a true MMA employee. In his career in the sport, the North American accumulated achievements in Pride, in addition to winning a belt in the now-defunct Strikeforce.

The veteran, however, was unable to repeat his consecrations in the UFC. The athlete 'hit the post' on two occasions, being beaten by Anderson Silva in 2008 and for Michael BispingIn 2016.

Donald Cerrone

Cerrone (left) lands a beautiful shot on Iaquinta (right). Photo: Reproduction / Twitter @ufc

Another exemplary UFC employee was Donald Cerrone. Known for not rejecting opponents throughout his career in the organization, 'Cowboy' was one of the favorites of sports fans.

Aggressive and with a great ability to run over rivals in the fast lane, Donald came close to taking over the lightweight throne in 2015, but was thwarted by the then champion Rafael dos Anjos. Even without a linear belt on his resume, Cerrone was included in the company's Hall of Fame after announcing his retirement.

Yoel romero

Yoel romero (dir.) in fight against Israel adesanya (left). Photo: Reproduction/X

The 'Soldier of God' Yoel romero He was feared by most of his opponents at middleweight. Physically privileged, the athlete, even at an older age than most of his rivals, stood out with convincing performances.

The Cuban, for years, was on the front line to compete for the middleweight title. In official title disputes, the veteran was surpassed on one occasion, against Israel adesanya.

Demian Maia

D. Maia submits at UFC Fortaleza. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram @ufcbrasil

Famous for his success in translating jiu-jitsu into MMA, Demian Maia He spent most of his career in the UFC among the highlights of the categories he represented. Throughout his time in the organization, the Brazilian fought at middleweight and welterweight.

In both categories, the São Paulo native reached the status of challenger for the title. In the up to 83,9kg division, the athlete was frustrated by Anderson Silva. In the group up to 77,1kg, it was surpassed by Tyron woodley.

Ronaldo Jacare

Ronald Jacaré (right) fighting against Jack hermansson. Photo: Reproduction / Facebook @ufc

Jiu-jitsu legend and icon of the extinct Strikeforce, Ronaldo Jacare He was yet another Brazilian to chart a path to prominence in the UFC. The fighter sometimes 'hit the post' in an attempt to fight for the middleweight belt.

Executioner of names like Yushin Okami, Gegard Mousasi, Vitor belfort e Chris Weidman, Jacaré had his chance to fight for the title confirmed in 2019, but to do so, he would need to beat Jack hermansson. In the match, the Tupiniquim was defeated and, after the stumble, he no longer won in Ultimate.

Rodrigo Minotauro

Rodrigo Minotauro in a fight against Randy Couture. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

One of those responsible for the dissemination of MMA in the 2000s, Rodrigo Minotauro He is considered a legend of the sport. The heavyweight (up to 120,2kg) even took over the interim belt in the category in 2008.

The Bahian, however, ended up losing the title in the next match, against Frank mir. In 2010, the Brazilian had the opportunity to compete against Cain Velazquez, which, in case of triumph, would accredit the combatant to fight for the linear title. Minotauro, however, was knocked out.

Carlos Condit

Carlos Condit in a fight against Matt Brown. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

Former WEC welterweight champion, Carlos Condit arrived at the UFC with the bench of a superstar. After five fights in the company, the North American reached a commitment against Nick Diaz, for the interim belt in the 77,1kg division.

Condit took the interim belt, but was frustrated by Georges St Pierre in challenge for the unification of the throne. In 2016, Carlos had another opportunity to win the linear title, but was surpassed by Robbie Lawler in historical confrontation.

Colby covington

leon-colby covington

Colby covington (left) fighting against Leon edwards (dir.) in UFC 296. Photo: Reproduction/Twitter @UFC

Athlete with a controversial personality, Colby covington He is loved and hated by many in the MMA world. Despite the controversies throughout his career, the American has been a standout in the UFC welterweight division for years.

O 'bad boy' took over the category's interim belt in 2018, when he overcame Rafael dos Anjos. The athlete, however, lost the title due to inactivity. Covington had two opportunities to gain the linear throne, but was surpassed by Kamaru Usman, in 2019 and 2021. Colby had one more chance to lead the group, but lost to Leon edwards in 2023.

Which athletes follow in the UFC?

Among the names mentioned, only three athletes still have active contracts in the UFC. Dustin poirier, Tony Ferguson e Colby covington continue competing in the largest MMA organization in the world.

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