The UFC Hall of Fame is widely considered the most prestigious post-career honor in mixed martial arts. Though there are no strict criteria which determine who does and who does not get into the UFC Hall of Fame, induction is generally reserved for fighters whose achievements go beyond “exceptional” and enter the realm of “legendary.”
Established in 2003 just before UFC 45, the UFC Hall of Fame consists of a very small and select group of fighters. Charles Lewis, Jr. was the first and, to date, the only non-fighter ever to be inducted. Lewis was enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009, just a few months before his death in a high-speed car crash. He had gained prominence in the MMA world as a designer and vendor of specially themed mixed martial arts athletic apparel.
Here is a list of UFC fighters in the Hall of Fame, along with their date of induction:
- Royce Gracie, inducted on November 21, 2003
- Ken Shamrock, inducted on November 21, 2003
- Dan Severn, inducted April 26, 2005
- Randy Couture, inducted June 24, 2006
- Mark Coleman, inducted March 1, 2008
- Chuck Liddell, inducted July 11, 2009
- Matt Hughes, inducted May 29, 2010
- Tito Ortiz, inducted July 7, 2012
- Forrest Griffin, inducted July 6, 2013
- Stephan Bonnar, inducted July 6, 2013
Of these competitors, Bonnar is the only inductee who never held a UFC championship during his career.
Many fans enjoy speculating on the question of who will be the next inductee, and when they will be inducted. As there is no annual induction ceremony, this can be difficult to predict, but names like Georges St-Pierre, Brock Lesnar and Wanderlei Silva recur again and again in discussions of worthy potential members. The UFC is filled with highly skilled competitors, and there’s just no telling when a new superstar might emerge.