On July 10, as part of the UFC 100 festivities, two new members will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. They will join Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, and Mark Coleman as the sixth and seventh members. There are some early favorites, including Chuck Liddell, Charles "Mask" Lewis, and Evan Tanner. All are certainly deserving of the honor though I'm lukewarm to idea of adding Liddell since he's still a large part of the current UFC landscape. However, one thing is quite apparent based on list of names already inhabiting the UFC Hall: hopefuls need not retire.
I have no real problem with how the UFC runs its own Hall of Fame. Some take exception to the fact that the UFC is unlikely to induct those who aren't currently friendly with the organization. Seriously? If Tito Ortiz believes it imperative to blast the UFC and Dana White at every opportunity, he has effectively barred himself from consideration. The same goes for any other like-minded, would-be inductees; these are the rules of the game. The purest of sportsmen may deem the situation shameful, but halls of fame aren't always about the "pure sport." Matter of fact, accomplishments are often somewhat discounted due to outside factors. Pete Rose is not in the
Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. I think that fact says a lot.
I'm quite confident that two deserving parties will soon be part of the Hall of Fame. Of course, some will be satisfied by the outcome, and some won't. This is all well and good, but the speculative side of me wonders who will join this exclusive group further down the road - five, ten, or more years? Matt Hughes should definitely get in (maybe sooner than one might imagine). Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre are a couple of guys who may have already done enough to get in. What do you think? Putting the politics and such aside for a moment, who are the fighters or non-fighting contributors who have already accomplished enough to warrant induction into the UFC Hall of Fame?