UFC Hall of Fame
UFC Hall of Fame
UFC Hall of Fame: Don Frye
Don Frye will take his rightful place in the UFC Hall of Fame. The 2016 Induction Ceremony will stream LIVE on FIGHT PASS on July 10 but, before then, relive the greatest moments from “Big Nog’s” legendary career.
UFC Hall of Fame: Minotauro Nogueira
Minotauro Nogueira – the only heavyweight to win world titles in both the UFC and PRIDE FC organizations – will take his rightful place in the Pioneers Wing of the UFC Hall of Fame. The 2016 Induction Ceremony will stream LIVE on FIGHT PASS on July 10 but, before then, relive the greatest moments from “Big Nog’s” legendary career.
UFC Hall of Fame: BJ Penn
The UFC Hall of Fame welcomes one of the greatest of all time: former UFC welterweight and lightweight king BJ Penn. Outrageously gifted, teak tough and freakishly flexible, Penn spent most of his career fighting – and beating – much bigger men, even ending Matt Hughes’ reign as UFC welterweight king. But it was when “the Prodigy” dropped down to lightweight where Penn produced some of the greatest performances not only of his career, but in the history of the 155lbs weight class.
UFC Hall of Fame: Bas Rutten
Sebastiaan “Bas” Rutten is a true MMA pioneer. A kickboxer who was recruited to compete in the original Pancrase event in September 1993, the Dutchman not only became perhaps the biggest star in Pancrase history – winning the King of Pancrase title on several occasions – but also capped off his career by switching to the Octagon and winning the UFC heavyweight title. Here are his biggest wins in Pancrase, his two UFC bouts, and his retirement fight in the WFA.
UFC Hall of Fame: Pat Miletich
Pat Miletich is a genuine MMA original, dominating the embryonic US MMA scene in the mid 1990s before getting called up to compete in the four-man, one night UFC 16 welterweight tournament in March 1998. Miletich won that and returned at UFC 17.5 to annex the inaugural UFC welterweight championship, too. Four successful defenses followed, until mounting injuries got the better of him in May 2001. In addition to his own career, he has trained dozens of elite fighters including UFC champions Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, Tim Sylvia and Robbie Lawler. He retired with a 29-7-2 record and as one of only five men to ever hold both a UFC tournament and a UFC world title.
UFC Hall of Fame: Forrest Griffin
With his a self-effacing attitude and quirky sense of humor, former Georgia cop Forrest Griffin was an unlikely MMA superstar but, unquestionably, an all-time great. His amazing victory over Stephan Bonnar in the very first Ultimate Fighter finale is widely credited with establishing MMA as a mainstream sport. Griffin also defeated fellow Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz 2-1 in a their epic trilogy, bested the likes of Chael Sonnen, Jeff Monson and Rich Franklin, crushed “Shogun” Rua when the Brazilian was considered the best fighter in the world and, ultimately, annexed the UFC light heavyweight title by outlasting Rampage Jackson. Griffin retired in 2013 with a 19-7 pro record.
UFC Hall of Fame: Tito Ortiz
Brash, in-your-face and with a confidence that he could conquer the world, Tito Ortiz was the face of the UFC in the early 2000s. An outstanding wrestler with powerful hands, Ortiz’s challenge to Frank Shamrock for the 205lbs belt was perhaps the best fight of the late 1990s. He won the title in his next fight vs Wanderlei Silva and went on a reign of terror that lasted three-and-a-half years. He defeated men like Ken Shamrock (three times), Forrest Griffin (twice), Vitor Belfort, Patrick Cote and Ryan Bader during his 15-year run in the UFC. Ortiz’s record for the most title defenses of the 205lbs belt and three-year plus reign stood for years, and the memory of the era of the Huntington Beach Bad Boy will last forever.
UFC Hall of Fame: Matt Hughes
Two UFC welterweight title reigns, seven successful title defenses and victories over a who’s who of two different eras of MMA made Matt Hughes a shoo-in Hall of Famer. The teak-tough wrestler from Hillsboro, Illinois, defeated Carlos Newton to annex the UFC 170lbs for the first time and was still a factor in the division at the time of his final bout a decade later. In between, he defeated the likes of Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg, BJ Penn, Georges St-Pierre, Royce Gracie, Matt Serra and Renzo Gracie. Still considered by some to be the greatest welterweight of all time, Hughes retired with a 45-9 record.
UFC Hall of Fame: Chuck Liddell
Chuck Liddell is the epitome of what it means to be a UFC fighter. “The Iceman” reigned as UFC light heavyweight champion from 2005 to 2007, helping thrust the sport in the mainstream as the UFC’s flagship star during the boom period. In a 12-year career he defeated the likes of Jeff Monson, Kevin Randleman, Vitor Belfort, Randy Couture (twice), Tito Ortiz (twice) and Alistair Overeem. His last great performance came at UFC 79 in December 2007, where he outfought Wanderlei Silva in the fight of the year. The Iceman’s record for the most knockouts – 10 – in UFC history still stands today.
UFC Hall of Fame: Mark Coleman
The godfather of ground and pound, Mark “The Hammer” Coleman essentially invented a whole avenue of attack for fighters who, like him, were world class wrestlers with natural born punch power. Turning pro in 1996, Coleman walked through the fields to win both the UFC 10 and UFC 11 tournaments before beating Dan Severn to become the first man to hold the newly-created UFC heavyweight world title. He went on to have legendary wars in PRIDE, where he won the 2004 Open-weight Grand Prix, before ending his career in 2010 as a UFC light heavyweight contender.
UFC Hall of Fame: Randy Couture
A two-time Olympic alternate in Greco-Roman wrestling, Randy Couture made up for missing out on a gold medal by winning plenty of titles in the UFC. He won the UFC 13 heavyweight tournament, the UFC heavyweight world title three times, the UFC light heavyweight title twice and defeated some of the biggest names in the history of the sport. “The Natural” beat the likes of Chuck Liddell, Vitor Belfort, Kevin Randleman, Pedro Rizzo, Tito Ortiz, Tim Sylvia and Mark Coleman. He retired in 2011 with a 19-11 record.
UFC Hall of Fame: Dan Severn
A former Olympic-level wrestler who bristled whenever boxers were called the toughest fighters on the planet, Dan Severn saw the emerging sport of MMA as a platform to prove to the world that wrestling was the ultimate martial art. Debuting at UFC 4, he stunned the audience by suplexing his way to the final, where he beat Royce Gracie for 15 long minutes before, finally, getting caught in a triangle. “The Beast” returned to win not only the UFC 5 tournament, but also the Ultimate Ultimate 1995 tournament, and UFC Superfight Championship before leaving the UFC. Severn holds wins over Ken Shamrock, Tank Abbott, Oleg Taktarov and Forrest Griffin in a 18-year career that finally ended with an amazing 101-19-7 record in 2012.
UFC Hall of Fame: Royce Gracie
Royce Gracie was the original UFC tournament champion from November 1993 and the man who single-handedly destroyed the Hollywood and dojo myths about what real fighting was. It is no exaggeration that Gracie’s sublime demonstrations of ground-fighting against much larger opponents did more to evolve martial arts in one night than anything in centuries. Gracie would underline his dominance over his era by returning to win the second and fourth UFC tournaments. Gracie’s records for the most consecutive UFC wins – 11 – and most submissions in the UFC – seven – still stand two decades later.
UFC Hall of Fame: Ken Shamrock
A true legend, Ken Shamrock fought in UFC 1 and chased the rematch with Royce Gracie for four years until he fought a 36-minute draw with the Brazilian at UFC 5. Almost everybody believes Shamrock would have been judged the winner, had a scoring system been in place in the early UFCs. From there, Shamrock won the UFC Superfight Title, the precursor to the UFC heavyweight title, and as a Pancrase world champion and King of Pancrase tournament champion, Shamrock’s accomplishments outside the UFC were equally impressive. He holds victories over icons like Bas Rutten (twice), Masakatsu Funaki (twice), Maurice Smith, Dan Severn and Kimo and his years-long feud with Tito Ortiz was perhaps the most important in UFC history. He took his place in history when he was inducted into the newly created UFC Hall of Fame alongside his great rival Gracie in 2003.
UFC Hall of Fame: Charles "Mask" Lewis
The first non-participant to be inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame, the man known to millions of MMA fans as “Mask” – Charles Lewis – made a big contribution to the sport’s development. After discovering the sport during the early days of the UFC, Lewis helped found a MMA inspired clothing line – TapOut – which for a time was synonymous with the sport. From humble beginnings himself (selling t-shirts out the truck of his car), Mask never forgot where he came from and was a great benefactor of up-and-coming MMA talent. He died in a car accident in March 2009.
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