Although he has yet to decide whether or not he is going to retire, Chuck Liddell could very likely be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July at their historic UFC 100 event.
In an interview with Fighter’s Only Magazine, UFC President Dana White hinted at the very real possibility of Liddell being one of the two new members going into the UFC’s Hall of Fame.
White would only give a maybe and a possibly when pressed for a more definitive answer. He went on to say he was waiting to see what they were going to do with Liddell and how they were going to do it. White had made an a previous announcement stating that there would be two new inductees at UFC 100 and ever since then rumors have been flying as to who those individuals would be.
Many people have made the case for former middleweight champion the late great Evan Tanner who perished in a California desert last September. Tanner battled through his personal demons and primarily taught himself the skills that would make him a champion and endear him to fans all across the world. Tanner came back from a hiatus in March of 2008 but lost to Yushin Okami in his first fight in almost two years. Three months later Tanner fought a much younger and bigger opponent in Kendall Grove to a split decision in what would be his last hurrah in the octagon. Overall he was 32-8 with victories over Paul Buentello, Heath Herring, Phil Baroni (2), Robbie Lawler and David Terrell.
Charles”Mask” Lewis who was the charismatic founder of the TapouT clothing line that has become synonymous with mixed martial arts is also widely believed to be a favorite for induction. Lewis had a smile that could light up any room that he walked into and gave support to fighters who a lot of other companies would not even consider getting involved with. He always said that he wasn’t concerned with wins or losses but rather the effort that a fighter gave. His tragic death on a California road in March was felt throughout the entire MMA community and his presence cage side will certainly be missed for a long time to come.
Another UFC legend thought to be under consideration is long time welterweight champion Matt Hughes who will take on Matt Serra this Saturday at UFC 98. Hughes who is an incredible 13-4 inside the octagon and has had two separate reigns as the welterweight champion has long been a favorite of Dana White. He has defeated such stars as Georges St. Pierre, B.J. Penn, Frank Trigg (2), Sean Sherk, Royce Gracie, Carlos Newton (2), Dave Menne and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai. If Hughes does retire after his bout with Serra it would make a lot of sense to see him inducted in July.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Godfather Helio Gracie who recently passed away has been talked about as a possible candidate. The father of UFC legend and Hall of Famer Royce Gracie would be an excellent choice for induction. Whomever is bestowed with the honor of being an entrant into the Hall of Fame will certainly be deserving and will join a select group of fighters that include Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, and Royce Gracie.