UFC: Odds of Each Current UFC Champion Making the Hall of Fame
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is currently ruled by the most dominant champions in the organization's history.
From bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz to heavyweight titan Junior dos Santos, each division is ruled by a steady-handed king who refuses to give up the throne.
While such consistency has cemented the current status of these champions, which ones will rise above sheer greatness and become legendary? Which current UFC champions will go on to the UFC Hall of Fame?
Start the slideshow to see the odds for each of the seven current UFC champions in making the leap from champion to all-time great.
Bantamweight: Dominick Cruz
Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is widely considered the best 135-pound fighter on Earth, but he has plenty of divisional competition.
With interim champion Renan Barao patiently awaiting his chance at Cruz's title and young stars like Michael McDonald and Mike Easton in the wings, Cruz will have to be in perfect form in his Octagon return to stay atop the bantamweight mountain.
He has already defended his title four times (twice in the WEC). I do not think he has done enough to be considered an automatic bid into the UFC's Hall of Fame. With one or two more definitive defenses, Cruz will earn that spot, but he is in one hellaciously tough division to accomplish this goal.
For that, I'm placing Cruz's odds at 3 to 1.
Odds of making the Hall of Fame: 3 to 1
Bantamweight Interim Champion: Renan Barao
While I think we can all agree Dominick Cruz is the real champion in the bantamweight division, Renan Barao deserves a mention for what he has accomplished to this point in his career.
Barao has fought 31 times in his career, and he lost his professional debut.
He has not lost since. You do the math.
Barao is an explosive and rangy striker with incredible athleticism and a nicely tuned ground game; this skillset makes him a real threat wherever a fight may go.
He is the perfect model of a fighter, and because of this, I do not see him being defeated anytime soon—even against Cruz.
Barao will defeat Cruz in their matchup and continue his streak of excellence, solidifying his spot in the UFC's Hall of Fame.
Odds of making Hall of Fame: 2 to 1
Featherweight: Jose Aldo
Featherweight champion Jose Aldo is an absolute destroyer. With the most powerful and accurate striking in the 145-pound division, Aldo has obliterated each and every opponent put in front of him, including superstars like Urijah Faber, Kenny Florian and Chad Mendes.
Put simply, Aldo has not looked human inside the UFC Octagon, and he is as scary an opponent as one can face. You do not want to fight this man; he will put you on the wrong end of a highlight reel, and you will end up wondering why you even tried to challenge his greatness.
A win over Frankie Edgar would have officially cemented my decision to put Aldo in the Hall of Fame, but as I see it, he needs just one more big-time victory to solidify that status.
For now, his odds sit at 3 to 2.
Odds of making the Hall of Fame: 3 to 2
Lightweight: Benson Henderson
Benson "Smooth" Henderson has certainly looked good since making his Octagon debut in April 2011, but I still am not sold on him as a truly elite lightweight.
His striking is good, his wrestling is good and his ground game is excellent, but Henderson lacks the killer instinct and explosiveness of other UFC champions. He does not utterly dominate like the Anderson Silvas and Jon Joneses, but he does get by at a very high level.
That said, the lightweight division is perhaps the most loaded division in the UFC, and Henderson has some seriously tough tasks ahead. Nate Diaz, who is slated to fight Henderson in December at UFC on Fox 5, will be a monumental challenge, and even if "Smooth" wins there, his path is still littered with landmines named Pettis, Miller, Cerrone and Maynard.
I do not see Henderson getting past Diaz, and once he loses, he will never regain the title. For this, "Smooth" will never see the walls of the UFC Hall of Fame unless he takes a personal day to check out the bust of Jose Aldo up close and in person.
Odds of making the Hall of Fame: 6 to 1
Welterweight: Georges St. Pierre
He is the face of the UFC in Canada and across the globe.
He is the best welterweight of all time.
He has defended his 170-pound title six times, defeating every opponent in this stretch without ever facing any real danger.
He is George "Rush" St. Pierre, and he is a lock to make the UFC Hall of Fame.
Odds of making the Hall of Fame
There is not point in quantifying this; he's in.
Interim Welterweight Champion: Carlos Condit
Carlos "The Natural Born Killer" Condit has a very real chance of making the UFC Hall of Fame.
He has explosive power in his hands, shins, knees and elbows; he has a slick submission game, and a chin that could withstand a Charlie Murphy slap attack with ease.
If—if—Condit can get past Georges St. Pierre at UFC 154, he will defend his title and be a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame on those credentials alone. He is already on a five-fight winning streak, and a win over GSP and the next contender is more than enough to justify that call.
The operative condition here is beating GSP, though: a task easier said than done.
Odds of making the Hall of Fame: 5 to 2
Middleweight Champion: Anderson Silva
I am sure the UFC's Hall of Fame production unit already has this plaque crafted.
Did you know that Anderson Silva is a pretty good fighter?
There is a better chance of Roy Nelson eating a salad than Anderson Silva not making the Hall of Fame, so we can pen this one in right now.
Odds of making the Hall of Fame
It is a little surprising he is not already in there. Give it time, Kevin. Give it time.
Light Heavyweight: Jon Jones
Like Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre before him, Jon Jones is a lock to be in the UFC Hall of Fame.
He is too big, too skilled and too focused to achieve anything less than greatness—his resume already speaks for itself. The dude is a killer inside the Octagon, and it is a rare event to event see the 205-pound champ in a bad position where he is not completely dominating the fight.
"Bones" may not be everyone's favorite fighter right now, but he is still the creative force that has ruled the light heavyweight division for 18 months.
There is no doubt in my mind that Jon Jones will continue to excel inside the cage (I just hope he starts to work on that whole "PR" thing sooner rather than later).
I think he has done enough already to warrant a spot in the Hall of Fame; however, if he loses to Vitor Belfort and never wins again, I could see the UFC brass keeping him out solely based on his recent missteps. For that, there is a small chance that we do not see his name beside Anderson's and GSP's someday.
Odds of making the Hall of Fame: 1.05 to 1
Heavyweight: Junior Dos Santos
With a 9-0 record inside the Octagon and one title defense to his name, Junior dos Santos is already the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.
The question is: how high is his ceiling?
We have not seen dos Santos in any sort of trouble, and with the heavy hitters and mammoth challenges that comprise the heavyweight division, one punch or one lapse of judgement can spell an unfortunate end at any time.
Still, dos Santos appears to be on another level, and despite threats like Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem looming, I see his hand raised at the end of every fight for the foreseeable future.
"Cigano" is not an instant shoo-in, but he is knocking on the door of legends, and he is primed to bust it down with one of his bombs.
Odds of making the Hall of Fame: 3 to 2