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Chuck Liddell, Charles 'Mask' Lewis Jr. to Be Inducted Into UFC Hall of Fame

Chuck Liddell and the late TapouT co-founder, Charles "Mask" Lewis Jr., will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on Friday. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news via his Twitter account Monday night. Liddell and Lewis will join Royce Gracie, Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, Ken Shamrock, and Randy Couture as the only members in the UFC Hall of Fame.

White also mentioned that the induction ceremony will take place during the UFC Fan Expo at the Mandalay Bay Events Center at 6:30PM PT.

When the UFC announced that it would be adding two new members to its Hall of Fame in May, most expected Lewis to be one of its new inductees. Lewis, 45, died tragically on March 11 in an automobile accident in California. Along with Dan "Punkass" Caldwell, he founded TapouT in 1997 selling T-shirts out of the back of a car. More than a decade later, the company is considered to be the leading MMA apparel company, and reportedly grossed over $100 million in 2008 alone.

The 39-year-old Liddell (21-7) made his UFC and MMA debut at UFC 17 in May 1998, defeating Noe Hernandez via decision. "The Iceman" defeated Randy Couture at UFC 52 to win the organization's light heavyweight title, and successfully defended the belt four times before losing it to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 71. Liddell is tied with Matt Hughes for the most UFC wins (16). He also holds the record for most UFC wins via knockout (10) and is tied with Karo Parisyan for most UFC wins via decision (6).

Liddell is considered by many to be MMA's first crossover star. He famously appeared in an episode of Entourage, and was the first MMA fighter to grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine.

Liddell most recently lost to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 97, prompting White to proclaim that his fighting days were over. However, Liddell never officially retired, and recently told SI.com that he plans on deciding whether he will continue fighting sometime in 2010.

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