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Tito Ortiz, B.J. Penn both set for Hall of Fame induction

With former UFC champions Tito Ortiz and B.J. Penn both coming to the ends of their storied careers it makes sense to start looking forward to their eventual admittance into the organization’s Hall of Fame. In reality, that date will come sooner than later considering Ortiz’s plan to hang his gloves up after a July fight with Forrest Griffin and Penn still stating he’s enjoying his recent retirement.

UFC President Dana White echoed similar sentiments last week in a conversation with MMAFighting where he discussed the HoF credentials of each iconic athlete.

“Despite my personal problems with Tito, he belongs in,” said White who nearly boxed Ortiz for charity one time at the peak of their rivalry. “He was the champion when we first bought this thing. The fact that Tito is still here, Tito and I have had our moments, but it doesn’t change what he did for the company. The beef between me and Tito, Chuck (Liddell) and Tito, the fact is, that played a huge role in helping making this thing as big as it is.”

Turning to Penn, White pointed out the impact “The Prodigy” had being along the lines of Royce Gracie’s from the standpoint of showing an impressive level of technique and tenacity despite his stature.

“There was a point in time when we first bought this company when people thought guys in the lighter weight divisions couldn’t be stars and couldn’t see pay-per-views and couldn’t cross over. Penn was definitely that first crossover guy for us,” admitted White of Penn’s role in the UFC’s development into a billion-dollar business.

White didn’t reveal specific plans to induct Penn and Ortiz into the Hall of Fame though an opportunity to do so is set for this summer at UFC 148. In addition to featuring Ortiz’s final fight on the lineup, the card is the deepest in recent memory with a ton of other notable tilts including title-fights between Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen and Urijah Faber-Dominick Cruz, plus comes with the added bonus of a Fan Expo similar to those where other Hall of Fame announcements have been made in the past.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

8 COMMENTS
  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Two very deserving guys.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    I agree, but Tito’s already said it’s his last fight unless he wins..then maybe it wont be.

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  • MCM says:

    It’s getting tougher and tougher to be in the HOF. These are the last two of the MMA generation that really helped pull the UFC (and by definition MMA) out of the dark ages and helped turn it into a real sport. You have to look past their W/L records to really understand how influential they were to the sport. Who in today’s landscape can claim that?
    GSP? He was the first fighter to really go from being just an MMA star to a true star athlete, so there’s something.
    Anderson? As great as his fighting is (and it’s HOF worthy on it’s own), what has he done to further the sport of MMA, that the Gracies and GSP hadn’t done already?
    Jones? An incredible talent and amazing fighter, but honestly, what can he do to transcend just being a fighter?
    I’m not knocking today’s talent. I’m just saying that guys like Royce and Ken laid the groundwork and fighters like Tito and Penn built the house, so it just makes it that much more difficult for today’s stars to leave their lasting impact.
    But I look forward to them trying.

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  • fitfreak says:

    I see GSP and Anderson being inducted. Jones is on the path.

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  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Jones is not HOF worthy at this point but, what I have seen from him outside of the cage he is working at being a crossover athlete.

    He is on ESPN frequently in various interviews on their smaller shows. Since his brothers both play in the NFL he was on a show not too long ago talking about the draft and growing up with two brothers who now play in NFL and other such fluff stories.

    Does this mean he is the greatest ever or will be held in same regard as Coture, not just yet but, the more exposure he has the better it is for all of MMA.

    Whether you feel is is arrogant or not, he is a well spoken man who isn’t some idiot that spouts off dumb catchphrases or speaks of himself in 3rd person.

    People like him and also Tito are helping change mainstream thinking that all MMA competitors are drooling savages incapable of forming complete sentences.

    Things like that help a person transcend their current sport and help fuel discussions for what ” being HOF worthy” means.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Hopefully this comes to fruition… they both deserve the nod.

    I hope they have a UFC Fan Expo in NYC I would love to go.

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  • GSP has earned his spot just by defending his title a record number of times at WW…..Anderson has earned it by setting a record for consecutive wins and title defenses…..end of story.

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  • oh and these two just for being the laqst of their generation not deserving to be in….except for pulver

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