When retired light heavyweight Tito Ortiz was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame there was no question the former “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” (and longstanding champion) deserved his spot. The same has also been true in the case of every other athlete receiving the honor, as all impacted the organization in a significant way while calling the Octagon home. However, some eyebrows have been raised about the upcoming inclusion of Stephan Bonnar including those belonging to Ortiz.
“Forrest Griffin deserves it. He beat me, and he beat some other really good guys. He was a world champion. He had some great fights. I think he deserves it,” explained Ortiz to MMAJunkie. “As far as Stephan, I have nothing against the guy, but you’ve got to be a world champion, I think, to be in the Hall of Fame.”
“That’s a big honor to be in the Hall of Fame. It means you had a significance in the sport at one time or another,” he continued. “You look at that, and the Forrest and Stephan fight was a big step for the UFC, so do they deserve it? Possibly. But can one fight get you in the Hall of Fame? I don’t know. I guess that’s Dana’s decision.”
Ortiz also added he would like to see fans have a chance to vote for future HoF members.
Bonnar was a mediocre competitor in the UFC but, as alluded to by Ortiz, was part of an incredibly important fight with Griffin many see as the turning point for the company as a mainstream force. He and Griffin are expected to receive their Hall of Fame nods next month during festivities for UFC 162.