Some fans were justifiably upset with the news of Yoel Romero and Jose Aldo earning title shots after two straight losses. Romero is slated to fight middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on March 7 at UFC 248, while Aldo will battle bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 250.
However, this isn't the first time a fighter has been given such an opportunity after multiple setbacks. Here's a look at five fighters who fought for the title off consecutive losses.
David "Tank" Abbott vs. Maurice Smith - UFC 15
Abbott filled in as a replacement on four days' notice for Dan Severn, who was unable to compete against heavyweight champion Smith. The California native described the short-notice opportunity in an interview with Sherdog as "falling off the barstool into the Octagon."
Despite knocking Smith down in the opening round, Abbott's lack of conditioning played a major factor. "Mo" took advantage of his exhausted opponent and won the fight by technical knockout due to strikes in the first round. Keep in mind this was back in 1997 when the UFC did just one 30-minute round per fight.
John Lober vs. Frank Shamrock - UFC 17.5
Lober is the lone fighter on this list who was given a title shot after suffering four straight losses. However, the California native already held a win over the Strikeforce veteran and middleweight champion a year earlier.
Shamrock finished Lober at the 7:21 mark of the first round via TKO. The bout was one round with a 21-minute limit. Lober went on to win only two more fights in his career before retiring in 2009 with a 5-9-4 record.
Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell - UFC 43
Couture's losses both came in the heavyweight division, which is likely why he was able to secure an interim light heavyweight title shot against Chuck Liddell.
Couture previously lost his heavyweight title to Josh Barnett at UFC 36, only to have his opponent test positive for steroids. He later fought Ricco Rodriguez at UFC 39 for the vacant championship. "The Natural" lost that fight as well, suffering a fifth-round TKO setback which prompted his move down to 205 pounds against Liddell.
A betting underdog heading into his title fight, Couture knocked out "The Ice Man" in the third round. With the victory, the Xtreme Couture founder became the first fighter in UFC history to win titles in multiple weight classes.
Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo - UFC 156
Edgar lost his lightweight title to Benson Henderson at UFC 244 by unanimous decision and was awarded an automatic rematch at UFC 150. The New Jersey native then lost to Henderson again via split decision, a controversial title fight where every media member scored the contest for Edgar.
With many feeling Edgar was undersized during his 155-pound career, the UFC gave him a featherweight title shot against Aldo.
Unfortunately, Edgar suffered a career-high third straight loss, as Aldo outpointed the American in a unanimous decision victory. The now 38-year-old competed two more times for the 145-pound belt, falling short on both occasions.
Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie - UFC 208
After the UFC created a women's featherweight division in 2017, Holm found herself up a weight class in a 145-pound title fight against De Randamie.
Previously, the Jackson/Wink MMA product had lost her bantamweight title to Miesha Tate at UFC 196 and then followed that up with another setback against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC on FOX 20.
Although "The Preachers Daughter" put forth a great performance, the judges awarded the Strikeforce veteran the decision and the vacant title. Fourteen media members scored the fight for Holm, with nine giving the nod to De Randamie.