Five new members will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in a ceremony on July 10, the day after UFC 200, in Las Vegas.
As with the past few years, the induction ceremony will take place at the summer Fan Expo, this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It will air live at Noon Pacific time and be available on demand afterwards on Fight Pass.
Like with last year, there will be one person or persons inducted in four different categories:
The Pioneer era - Open to those who began their careers before November 17, 2000, when the current rules were largely put into place, is 35 years old and has been retired for at least one year.
The Modern era - For those who have turned pro after November 17, 2000.
The Contributors Wing - This is for non-fighters, with the two prior inductees being Charles "Mask" Lewis and Jeff Blatnick.
Fight Wing - This is for a legendary fight which has to have take place prior to July 10, 2011. Because it is for a fight, two members would be inducted. The only fight inducted was the second Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg fight on April 16, 2005.
Fighters inducted into the Hall of Fame have been Stephan Bonnar, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, Forrest Griffin, Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, Pat Miletich, Tito Ortiz, B.J. Penn, Bas Rutten, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock. Although not officially listed as such, Bonnar got in largely due to his legendary fight with Griffin, but was inducted prior to when there was a specific best fight category.
The inductees will be announced over the next several weeks. Admission to the induction ceremony will be part of the Fan Expo package.
Among the most viable retired fighters who should be under consideration would be Kevin Randleman, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Kazushi Sakuraba, Frank Shamrock, Rich Franklin and Don Frye, all of who would fit into the Pioneer category.
Other fighters not yet retired who should be under consideration for either fighting or historical importance would include Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, Rampage Jackson, Urijah Faber, Frank Mir, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Rashad Evans, Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort,
There is almost an endless supply of great or legendary fights, but among the top contenders would include Maurice Smith vs. Coleman (1997), Frank Shamrock vs. Ortiz (1999), Sakuraba vs. Royce Gracie (2000), Randy Couture vs. Pedro Rizzo (2001), Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (2002), Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida (2009) and Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung (2010).
Currently there is no physical Hall of Fame, but plans have been talked about in the past. The long-term goal is to establish the Hall of Fame as a stand-alone annual ceremony similar to that of the other major sports.