What Is Interim Champion?

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By Charlotte Miller

Are you curious to know what is interim champion? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about interim champion in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is interim champion?

In the world of combat sports, the pursuit of championship glory is a driving force for athletes who dedicate their lives to their craft. While the path to becoming a champion is marked by challenges and triumphs, there’s a unique title that stands as a testament to a fighter’s skills and determination: the “Interim Champion.” In this blog, we’ll delve into the concept of an interim champion, its role, and the significance it holds in the realm of combat sports.

What Is Interim Champion?

An interim champion is a titleholder who has achieved a championship status in a specific weight division within a combat sport, such as boxing or mixed martial arts (MMA). This title is distinct from the “Undisputed Champion,” who holds all the recognized titles within a division. The interim champion is typically crowned when the reigning champion is unable to defend their title due to injury, contract disputes, or other reasons.

The Role Of An Interim Champion

  1. Temporary Reign: The primary role of an interim champion is to hold the title temporarily until the reigning champion is able to return and defend their belt. The interim champion steps in to maintain the division’s activity and momentum.
  2. Continuing Competition: An interim champion ensures that the division remains competitive and active, providing contenders with the opportunity to challenge for the title.
  3. Title Defense: Interim champions are expected to defend their title against top-ranked contenders, thereby maintaining their own status as a champion and potentially positioning themselves for a title unification bout.

Significance And Impact

  1. Recognition: An interim champion’s achievement is a testament to their skill, determination, and ability to navigate the competitive landscape of their division. It acknowledges their talent on a larger stage.
  2. Opportunity: For fighters striving for a shot at the championship, an interim title presents a golden opportunity to showcase their abilities on a high-profile platform and potentially earn a title unification bout.
  3. Division Activity: An interim champion ensures that the division remains active and relevant, preventing stagnation while the reigning champion is temporarily unavailable.
  4. Legacy Building: Holding an interim title can be a stepping stone in a fighter’s career, paving the way for them to secure a title unification bout and etch their name in the annals of the sport’s history.

Challenges And Considerations

While an interim title is a significant achievement, it’s essential to recognize that the ultimate goal for most fighters is to become the undisputed champion. Interim champions often face the challenge of proving themselves as worthy contenders and transitioning from an interim status to a unified titleholder.


The journey of an interim champion is a testament to the resilience, skill, and dedication of fighters in the world of combat sports. As they hold the title temporarily and navigate the challenges of their division, they contribute to the excitement, drama, and narrative of the sport. Interim champions serve as a reminder that the path to championship glory is not always straightforward but is marked by hard-fought battles and unwavering determination.


What Is A Interim Champion Ufc?

Once a champion is injured or unable to defend his belt for whatever reason, the UFC will put an interim titleholder into place, which is essentially just a fighter guaranteed to be next in line for a shot at undisputed gold.

What Is The Difference Between Interim Champion And Champion?

If the current champion is unavailable for fights (PEDs, injury, “taking a break,” etc), the UFC will open an “interim” belt. That means, in the interim, the time between the real champ being able to fight, we can still have a belt. This IS NOT a real belt. It’s a place-holder.

Is An Interim Champion Still A Champion?

If the original champion cannot return, refuses to defend their title, or transfers to a different weight division, the interim champion is promoted to full championship status.

Do Interim Champions Get A Belt?

The Interim Belt is supposed to be reserved for when the champion is injured and cannot defend his belt but has not been sidelined for so long that he needs to be stripped of it (ie when Aldo pulled out of the first scheduled McGregor fight and they had Mendes step in and fight Conor for the Interim Belt).

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