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UFC Hall of Fame 2016 Media FAQ's

Q: What is the UFC Hall of Fame?

“The Hall of Fame is a celebration of the forbearer, the trail-blazer, the innovator, the visionary and the modernizer. It is a vibrant, unflinching celebration of the DNA of the UFC and mixed martial arts. Even in the company of other champions, the Hall of Fame serves as the ultimate differentiator between the outstanding athlete and the all-time icon.”

 

Q: What categories are there for the UFC Hall of Fame?

There are four distinct categories or “wings” commemorating specific achievements and contributions in the UFC Hall of Fame. These serve as differentiators and enable UFC to place Hall of Fame members in their appropriate historical content.

 

These categories are for:

1) Fighters who debuted in the Modern Era, on or after November 17, 2000

2) Fighters who debuted in the Pioneer Era, before November 17, 2000

3) Fights of great historical significance

4) Outstanding contributions to the UFC outside of active competition (ie non-participants).

 

Q: Who is currently in the UFC Hall of Fame?

Modern Era

Forrest Griffin (inducted 2013)

BJ Penn (inducted 2015)

 

Pioneers Era

Royce Gracie (inducted 2003)

Ken Shamrock (inducted 2003)

Dan Severn (inducted 2005)

Randy Couture (inducted 2006)

Mark Coleman (inducted 2008)

Chuck Liddell (inducted 2009)

Matt Hughes (inducted 2010)

Tito Ortiz (inducted 2012)

Pat Miletich (inducted 2014)

Bas Rutten (inducted 2015)

Don Frye (inducted 2016)

Minotauro Nogueira (inducted 2016)

 

Fight Wing

Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar I, April 2005 (inducted 2014)

Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg 2, April 2005 (inducted 2015)

Pete Williams vs Mark Coleman, May 1998 (inducted 2016)

 

Contributor Wing

Charles “Mask” Lewis (inducted 2009, posthumous)

Jeff Blatnick (inducted 2015, posthumous)

Bob Meyrowitz (inducted 2016)

Q: Is this a UFC Hall of Fame or MMA Hall of Fame?

It is the UFC Hall of Fame, but overall career achievements in, and contributions to, the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) are noted and celebrated.

 

Q: Why have separate Pioneer and Modern categories?

The fights which took place in the early UFC events – conducted with no time limits, few rules and without standardized scoring systems – were very different to the bouts which the modern UFC presents.

 

The original competitors were often single-skilled fighters (wrestlers, kickboxers, judoka etc) who entered the Octagon with little training in other martial arts disciplines. It is proper to make a distinction between the warriors who invented this sport as they went along, and modern athletes who had the advantage of learning from those early pioneers.

 

The forerunners of the sport – the fighters whose courage forced martial arts to evolve more in a single decade than it had in centuries – are honored as the founding fathers of the sport in the Pioneers wing of the UFC Hall of Fame.

 

Q Why use UFC 28 and November 17, 2000, as the dividing line between “Pioneer” and “Modern” eras?

UFC 28 – held on November 17, 2000 – was the first event to use the Unified Rule of Mixed Martial Arts and is thus considered by many historians and experts – including official UFC statisticians FightMetric – to be the first event of the modern era. Before UFC 28 the rules for each event – and even each fight – varied depending on where, when and who was fighting. After UFC 28, rules were standardized.

 

Q: What is the “Fight” category?

With the Fight wing, the UFC Hall of Fame honors the athletes who took part in the greatest and most significant fights in the history of the sport. UFC has long recognized outstanding individual bouts with its performances of the night awards (instituted in 2006) and it is only proper for the UFC Hall of Fame to do the same. Both athletes who competed in the Fight are inducted as UFC Hall of Famers.

 

Q: What are the criteria for the Modern category?

  • For individuals who made their professional MMA debuts on or after November 17, 2000
  • Accomplishments in UFC are major consideration, but record outside Octagon is noted
  • Individual should be aged 35 or older OR have been retired for one calendar year
  • Active fighters are eligible, but not preferable

 

Q: What are the criteria for the Pioneer category?

  • For individuals who made their MMA professional debuts before November 17, 2000
  • Accomplishments in UFC are major consideration, but record outside Octagon is noted
  • Individual should be aged 35 or older OR have been retired for one calendar year
  • Active fighters are eligible, but not preferable

 

Q: What are the criteria for the Fight category?

  • Fight must have taken place at least five calendar years before induction (eg fights in 2011 are eligible  in 2016)
  • Fight will have captured imagination and be of historic significance to UFC
  • Both participants will be inducted together as UFC Hall of Famers

 

Q: What are the criteria for the Contributors category?

  • This category celebrates those individuals – or group of individuals – who have made outstanding and historical contributions to the sport outside of active competition
  • There are no age limits in this category
  • There is no time limit on induction

 

Q: Why have a “Contributors” section? Shouldn’t the UFC Hall be all about the fighters?

With two wings specifically for fighters and another recognizing legendary bouts, the UFC Hall of Fame is a celebration of the fighters and fights first and foremost. However, the sport is bigger than the Octagon. The Hall recognizes there are individuals and groups whose major contributions to the rich tapestry of the sport deserve to be acknowledged for future generations to appreciate.

 

Q: What types of people are eligible for consideration as a Contributor?

Anyone – or any group – who made a positive and significant contribution to the sport; including but not limited to officials, judges, trainers, commissioners, commentators, promoters etc.

 

Q: Can a single individual be inducted in more than one wing?

Yes. While it is impossible to be in both the Pioneer and Modern wings, any other combination is allowed for an individual. For example, a retired Hall of Fame fighter may go on to become a celebrated Contributor outside of the Octagon and/or have a Fight enshrined in that category.

 

Think of it in terms of the well-respected Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just like John Lennon is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an individual musician and as a member of the Beatles, so is, for example, Forrest Griffin a member of both the Modern and Fight wings of the UFC Hall of Fame.

 

Q: Are individuals who are inducted as part of a Fight (winner and loser) considered UFC Hall of Famers?

Yes. Both athletes who competed in their historic fight are full members of the UFC Hall of Fame.

 

Q: When will the formal inductions of the Class of 2016 take place?

The inductions will be made during a special ceremony at International Fight Week 2016 in Las Vegas, July 7-11. More details to come?

 

Q: How will fans be able to see the induction ceremony?

The UFC 2016 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be live streamed on UFC FIGHT PASS, UFC’s digital streaming service, and will also be made available on-demand to FIGHT PASS subscribers.

 

Q: With so many great fighters, contributors and fights to choose from, how does UFC come up with the specific members of each induction class?

The UFC Hall of Fame is an institution designed to not only celebrate greatness and honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the UFC, but also to connect the newer generations of fight fans with the stories of the heroes of the sport’s past. In just a few decades, the UFC and the sport of MMA have forged a rich history. There are so many great fighters, fights and contributions to celebrate - and the UFC Hall of Fame will take the proper time to tell these stories and preserve their legacies for future generations. Some inductions may be timed to take storytelling advantages of anniversaries and other factors, while at other times mundane things like a candidates availability to be in attendance could be a factor, too.

 

Q: What do inductees actually receive when they become Hall of Famers?

All 2016 inductees will receive a special UFC Hall of Fame trophy, created by the UFC and Society Awards.

 

Q: Will there be a physical Hall of Fame?

Discussions continue for a physical UFC Hall of Fame to be inaugurated in the UFC’s hometown of Las Vegas in the future.

 

Q: Who decides which athletes and contributors get into the Hall of Fame?

UFC President Dana White leads an internal UFC committee to decide the annual inductees.

 

Q: Will there be a women’s wing of the UFC Hall of Fame?

No. UFC is one of the few major sports organizations to make no distinction between male and female athletes and will not segregate the Hall of Fame along gender lines, either. In the years to come any female UFC legend will take her place amongst her contemporaries in the Modern wing.

 

Q: Will there be new Hall of Famers in each of the new categories every year?

Not necessarily. That will be judged on a case by case, year by year basis. 

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