Wednesday, June 12, 2013

UFC Hall of Fame

Commentary on the UFC Hall of Fame - Who's Next by MMA Blaster

The UFC is the only mixed martial arts organization with a Hall of Fame. As of now, the members of the hall include Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Mark Coleman, Matt Hughes and Tito Ortiz. The late, Charles "Mask" Lewis was inducted as a contributor to the sport.
(Dan Severn Pictured)

Tito Ortiz (16-11-1, 15-11-1 UFC) (LHW belt holder) is the latest entrant into the Hall.  Ortiz kept the UFC in the limelight during the dark ages, winning the LHW belt after Frank Shamrock left the UFC. He defended the belt five straight times, a mark just tied by Jon Jones. Victories over Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffin, 3X Ken Shamrock, Jerry Bohlander, Ryan Bader, Evan Tanner, Yuki Kondo, Vladimir Matyushenko, Wanderlei Silva and a split with Guy Mezger anchor his resume.
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Hall of famer Chuck Liddell's UFC career came to a crashing halt at the hands of Rich Franklin at UFC 115, marking his 3rd straight loss.  However, Liddell will always be remembered for his epic knockouts of his opposition.  The Iceman notched UFC wins over Kevin Randleman, Vitor Belfort, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Wanderlei Silva and owns Pride wins over Guy Mezger and Alistair Overeem.

9X UFC champ Matt Hughes (45-8, 18-5 UFC) was another recent entrant. Hughes, known for his wrestling, submissions and ground game, is the most dominant 170 pounder in the history of the UFC. Hughes holds victories over Frank Trigg, Georges St. Pierre, Carlos Newton, Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Sean Sherk, Hayato Sakurai and split with BJ Penn.
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My hope would be that the UFC would look at inducting Don Frye and Pat Miletich into the Hall of Fame next. Each is long overdue, especially considering what they have accomplished inside and outside the UFC. Bad blood was definitely created when each joined the IFL as coaches, but I believe that has passed.

Don Frye (20-9, 9-1 UFC)(UFC 8, UU96 belts)- Plowed through the competition in UFC 8 to win the belt. Won the UU96 and UFC 8 title's in a epic fashion defeating Tank Abbott and Gary Goodridge, respectively. Runner-up at UFC 10.  Was an innovator with solid stand-up with excellent take down defense. 

Pat Miletich (29-7, 8-2 UFC)(UFC 16 Lightweight tourney winner, WW belt holder)- Won two bouts to take UFC 16. Won a slim decision over Mikey Burnett to take the WW belt. Defended 4 times before losing to Carlos Newton. Other wins over John Alessio and Shonie Carter. Bigger impact may be in the UFC champions he has trained over the years.

Locks for the Hall of Fame:

1. Georges St. Pierre (24-2, 18-2 UFC)(WW belt holder)- Currently, Georges has looked unbeatable during his 9 fight win that has spanned four years. GSP has TKO's over BJ Penn and Matt Serra, while submitting Matt Hughes and taking decisions over Dan Hardy, Jake Shields, Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck. Other victories over Sean Sherk, Josh Koscheck, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Frank Trigg, Jay Hieron and Karo Parisyan.

2. Anderson Silva (33-4, 16-0 UFC)(MW belt holder)- Has crushed all comers while rarely getting touched in his matches. Worked over James Irvin, Stephen Bonnar and Forrest Griffin in the first round at 205. Won the belt in his second UFC fight over Rich Franklin and has defended eight more times. Victories over Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin 2X, Nate Marquardt, Travis Lutter, Thales Leites, Demian Maia and Chris Leben.

3. Rich Franklin (29-7, 13-5 UFC) (MW belt holder)- Won MW belt from Evan Tanner and defended twice. Victories over Yushin Okami, Jason MacDonald, Ken Shamrock and Evan Tanner 2X. More recent wins over Chuck Liddell, Travis Lutter and Matt Hamill with a close decision loss to Dan Henderson. Was crunched twice by Anderson Silva at 185. Defeated Wanderlei Silva at a 195 pound catch-weight then was TKO'd by Vitor Belfort.

4. BJ Penn (16-9-2, 12-8-2 UFC)(LW and WW belt holder)- Won the LW belt over Joe Stevenson and then defended against Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez as the most dominating 155 in UFC history. Won WW belt from Matt Hughes in a great fight, recently scored a KO over Hughes. Victories over Din Thomas, Matt Serra, Caol Uno and split with Jens Pulver. Two of his losses are to GSP at 170.

5.  Jon Jones (18-1, 12-1 UFC)(LHW belt holder)- In 5 years, Jones has gone from JUCO wrestling champion to the greatest 205 pounder to ever fight in the UFC.  He has dominated all foes, looking vulnerable only on one occasion when Vitor Belfort had an armbar briefly locked in.  Jones has won over Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson and recently Chael Sonnen despite a dislocated and gnarly toe injury.

6. Forrest Griffin (19-7, 10-5 UFC, LHW belt holder)- Two back to back victories over the number one light heavyweights in Shogun Rua and Rampage Jackson. Won a decision in one of the sports biggest fights over Stephen Bonnar in the 1st Ultimate Fighter.  Lost the LHW belt to Rashad Evans, then was crushed by Anderson Silva. He rebounded with a victories over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin. Dana White has stated that Griffin will be inducted to the Hall of Fame in short order.

Former champs who are close:

1. Frank Mir (16-7, 14-7 UFC)(HW belt holder)- Biggest win by far was the arm break of Tim Sylvia for the HW title and then the knee bar come from behind win over Brock Lesnar. His most recent wn was an arm breaking victory over Antonio Noguira for the interim belt following his stint coaching TUF.  Other wins over Pete Williams, Tank Abbott, Roy Nelson, Cro Cop, Cheick Kongo and Roberto Traven.

2. Rashad Evans (18-3-1, 13-3-1 UFC, LHW belt holder)- Won the LHW belt over Forrest Griffin, but then was KO'd by Lyoto Machida in brutal fashion in first defense.  Has since rebounded with wins over Thiago Silva, Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz. Defeated Sean Salmon with a nasty high kick. KO'd Chuck Liddell and Jason Lambert. Decision victories over Dan Henderson, Micheal Bisping, Stephan Bonnar and Brad Imes for the TUF 2 HW belt.

3.  Lyoto Machida (19-3, 11-3 UFC)(LHW belt holder)- Won LHW belt with brutal KO of Rashad Evans, took a controversial decision win in first defense over Shogun Rua, before being KO'd in the rematch.  Brilliant kick to the face of Randy Couture for KO win in last fight.

4.  Vitor Belfort (23-10, 12-6 UFC)(HW tourney/LHW belt holder)- A big draw in the early days of the UFC when he won a 4 man tournament at UFC 12 TKO'ing Tra Telligman and Scott Ferrozzo in 2 minutes in total.  He defeated Randy Couture for the LHW belt via cut.  He blitzkrieged Wanderlei Silva for a 44 second KO.  Other wins over Anthony Johnson, Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin and Tank Abbott.

5. Tim Sylvia (31-9, 9-4 UFC) (HW belt holder)- Won HW belt over Ricco Rodriguez at UFC 41, reclaimed at UFC 59 over Arlovski defending twice. Other victories include Brandon Vera, Jeff Monson, Gan McGee and Assuerio Silva. He has gone 1-2 since leaving the UFC, losing in 36 seconds to Fedor Emelianenko, then in 9 seconds to Ray Mercer.

6. Andrei Arlovski (19-10, 10-4 UFC)(HW belt holder)- Won HW belt from Tim Sylvia with an achilles lock. Defended twice against Justin Eilers and a 15 second KO of Paul Buentello. Other victories over Vladimir Matyushenko, Marcio Cruz, Ian Freeman, Fabricio Werdum and Jake O'Brien. His contract expired after the O'Brien fight and the UFC shunned him to the under card. After KO'ing Roy Nelson in Elite XC, he has really fallen off the radar losing four straight.

PhotobucketToo bad - Frank Shamrock (23-10, 5-0 UFC)(LHW, then called MW belt)- Entered the UFC winning the MW belt (now LHW) over Olympic Gold medalist Kevin Jackson (4-2) with an arm bar in 16 seconds. He then slammed undefeated Igor Zinoviev (4-1) into retirement in 22 seconds in his first title defense.

Shamrock then submitted Jeremy Horn with a kneebar and John Lober submitted to punches in his next two defenses. Shamrock defended the belt once more in one of the best fights in MMA history against Tito Ortiz. The UFC has a rocky relationship with Frank, after his retirement as he fought and comments with rival Strikeforce and was a coach in the IFL.

Maybe - Evan Tanner (32-8, 11-6 UFC) (MW belt holder)- Wins over Robbie Lawler, Homer Moore, Phil Baroni 2X and David Terrell (MW belt). Unfortunately, Evan Tanner has passed away. With 17 total fights in the UFC and a title, I think Tanner deserves a spot.

**All text copyright of MMA Blaster**

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