The light-weight title is on the road Saturday within the UFC 302 predominant occasion when champion Islam Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) makes an attempt a 3rd title protection in opposition to former interim champ Dustin Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC).

If Makhachev wins – he’s a prohibitive betting favourite of round 6-1 – he’ll tie the UFC file for many light-weight title defenses at three.

Forward of what might be a historic title bout, check out a chronological historical past of the UFC light-weight belt.

Jens Pulver

Jens Pulver, UFC 30

Date: Feb. 23, 2001
Occasion: UFC 30
Opponent: Caol Uno
Complete reign: 393 days
Title defenses: Dennis Hallman (UFC 33), B.J. Penn (UFC 35)
Notes: Pulver was the UFC’s first light-weight champion. After two title defenses in lower than a 12 months, he was stripped of the belt in March 2002 after he left the promotion in a contract dispute. Pulver was inducted into the Pioneer Wing of the UFC Corridor of Fame in 2023.

Sean Sherk

Sean Sherk, UFC 64

Date: Oct. 14, 2006
Occasion: UFC 64
Opponent: Kenny Florian
Complete reign: 420 days
Title defenses: Hermes Franca (UFC 73)
Notes: The title remained vacant for years after Pulver left the UFC partly due to a draw within the closing of a four-man match for the belt in 2003. Sherk was stripped of the title in December 2007 after a constructive steroid check consequence.

B.J. Penn

BJ Penn, UFC 80

Date: Jan. 19, 2008
Occasion: UFC 80
Opponent: Joe Stevenson
Complete reign: 812 days
Title defenses: Sean Sherk (UFC 84), Kenny Florian (UFC 101), Diego Sanchez (UFC 107)
Notes: Penn, a member of the 2015 UFC Corridor of Fame class, stays the usual bearer for lightweights. He has extra light-weight title fights than anybody in UFC historical past. He went on to win the welterweight title after his light-weight reign.

Frankie Edgar

Frankie Edgar, UFC 112

Date: April 10, 2010
Occasion: UFC 112
Opponent: B.J. Penn
Complete reign: 687 days
Title defenses: B.J. Penn (UFC 118), Grey Maynard (draw at UFC 125; win at UFC 136)
Notes: Edgar ended Penn’s prolonged reign, then beat him once more in a rematch earlier than two fights with Maynard. Edgar, an 11-time bonus winner, can be inducted into the UFC Corridor of Fame subsequent month.

Benson Henderson

Benson Henderson, UFC 144

Date: Feb. 26, 2012
Occasion: UFC 144
Opponent: Frankie Edgar
Complete reign: 552 days
Title defenses: Frankie Edgar (UFC 150), Nate Diaz (UFC on FOX 5), Gilbert Melendez (UFC on FOX 7)
Notes: Henderson, a former WEC light-weight champion, picked up one other piece of {hardware} with an upset of Edgar to finish his reign. Together with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edgar, he’s tied on the high for many light-weight title defenses with three.

Anthony Pettis

Anthony Pettis, UFC 164

Date: Aug. 31, 2013
Occasion: UFC 164
Opponent: Benson Henderson
Complete reign: 560 days
Title defenses: Gilbert Melendez (UFC 181)
Notes: Pettis stopped Henderson’s prolonged title reign, which included a division-best three profitable defenses. Pettis’ win over Henderson was his second in a title battle in lower than two years. He additionally beat him to win the WEC title in that promotion’s closing occasion in 2010.

Rafael dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185.

Date: March 14, 2015
Occasion: UFC 185
Opponent: Anthony Pettis
Complete reign: 481 days
Title defenses: Donald Cerrone
Notes: Dos Anjos grew to become the primary non-American to win the UFC’s light-weight title when he upset “Showtime” throughout Pettis’ Wheaties field cowl days. RDA turned in a fast first-round end of “Cowboy” Cerrone for his lone title protection.

Eddie Alvarez

Eddie Alvarez, UFC Battle Evening 90

Date: July 7, 2016
Occasion: UFC Battle Evening 90
Opponent: Rafael dos Anjos
Complete reign: 128 days
Title defenses: None
Notes: Alvarez’s reign as champion is the shortest within the division’s historical past and one of many shortest in UFC historical past, no matter weight class. The previous Bellator light-weight champ gained the belt in simply his fourth UFC battle.

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor, UFC 205

Date: Nov. 12, 2016
Occasion: UFC 205
Opponent: Eddie Alvarez
Complete reign: 511 days
Title defenses: None
Notes: McGregor famously grew to become the primary fighter in UFC historical past to carry two titles on the identical time when he took out Alvarez so as to add the light-weight title to his featherweight belt. However then he infamously by no means defended both and was stripped of each.

Tony Ferguson (interim)

Tony Ferguson at UFC 216.

Date: Oct. 7, 2017
Occasion: UFC 216
Opponent: Kevin Lee
Notes: Ferguson gained an interim title whereas Conor McGregor took a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. He later was stripped of the interim belt as a consequence of damage.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223.

Date: April 7, 2018
Occasion: UFC 223
Opponent: Al Iaquinta
Complete reign: 1,077 days
Title defenses: Conor McGregor (UFC 229), Dustin Poirier (UFC 242), Justin Gaethje (UFC 254)
Notes: Nurmagomedov was speculated to battle Tony Ferguson, who pulled out. Then-featherweight champ Max Holloway stepped in, however was pulled on weigh-in day. Due to Conor McGregor’s bus incident two days prior, a number of fighters had been within the wind. Anthony Pettis wanted a brand new opponent, however was over weight. Paul Felder was rejected by the New York fee. So as an alternative, Iaquinta fought Nurmagomedov as an alternative of Felder for what was in essence a vacant title – although McGregor hadn’t been stripped for inactivity but.

Dustin Poirier (interim)

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 13: Dustin Poirier celebrates after recieving the title belt from UFC President Dana White throughout the UFC 236 occasion at State Farm Area on April 13, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Picture by Logan Riely/Getty Photographs)

Date: April 13, 2019
Occasion: UFC 236
Opponent: Max Holloway
Notes: When Khabib Nurmagomedov was suspended for 9 months for his half within the UFC 229 post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor, Poirier beat then-featherweight champion Holloway to win the vacant title. He misplaced to Nurmagomedov later that 12 months in a unification battle.

Justin Gaethje (interim)

Might 9, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Dana White places the championship belt on Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) after defeating Tony Ferguson (pink gloves) throughout UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Area. Obligatory Credit score: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports activities

Date: Might 9, 2020
Occasion: UFC 249
Opponent: Tony Ferguson
Notes: When Khabib Nurmagomedov couldn’t go away Russia as a consequence of air journey restrictions early within the COVID-19 pandemic, Gaethje stepped in on brief discover and dominated Ferguson to win the interim belt. He misplaced a title unification battle later that 12 months to Nurmagomedov, who retired after the bout – in the end leaving the belt vacant but once more.

Charles Oliveira

HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 15: Dana White locations the belt on Charles Oliveira after he defeated Michael Chandler throughout their Championship Light-weight Bout of UFC 262 at Toyota Heart on Might 15, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Picture by Carmen Mandato/Getty Photographs) ORG XMIT: 775648973 ORIG FILE ID: 1318236868

Date: Might 15, 2021
Occasion: UFC 262
Opponent: Michael Chandler
Complete reign: 357 days
Title defenses: Dustin Poirier (UFC 269)
Notes: Oliveira was stripped of the title Might 2, 2022, when he missed weight for a title protection in opposition to Justin Gaethje. Oliveira gained the battle, however couldn’t win the belt again and it grew to become vacant.

Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev

Date: Oct. 22, 2022
Occasion: UFC 280
Opponent: Charles Oliveira
Complete reign: Incumbent
Title defenses: Alexander Volkanovski (UFC 284), Volkanovski (UFC 294)
Notes: Makhachev beat Oliveira to win the belt Oliveira needed to vacate for lacking weight. Then he stopped back-to-back makes an attempt by Volkanovski to turn out to be a two-division champion. The longtime Khabib Nurmagomedov coaching companion and shut household pal is considered among the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.