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Most experienced UFC fighter, by division

Vitor Belfort made his MMA debut in October 1996, so one would think his experience would be very valuable when he takes on 25-year-old light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. However, Belfort is not even the most experienced challenger Jones has met during his reign as 205-pound titleholder.

The Brazilian's 30 career bouts have prepared him well for almost any UFC opponent, but Jones possesses unparalleled talent and has already proven he can handle veterans of the sport with relative ease. Throw in a significant size disadvantage, and Belfort has his hands full in trying to reclaim the UFC's light heavyweight belt.

Still, whether it was deserved or not, the fact that Belfort is even competing in a UFC title fight at this late stage in his career is an accomplishment in itself. Nearly 16 years have passed since Belfort knocked out Jon Hess to begin his career, making him one of the longest tenured fighters competing inside the Octagon today.

These are the most experienced fighters in each of the UFC's eight weight divisions.

Heavyweight
Alistair Overeem
Debut: October 24, 1999

Light Heavyweight
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Debut: November 13, 1999

Middleweight
Wanderlei Silva
Debut: November 1, 1996

Welterweight
Brian Ebersole
Debut: February 24, 2000

Lightweight
Dennis Hallman
Debut: May 18, 1996

Featherweight
Bart Palaszewski
Debut: January 27, 2002

Bantamweight
Johnny Eduardo
Debut: November 1, 1996

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