Many years from now, when fans look back on the sport, they will be able to recognize several important men who were celebrated for their contributions and achievements in the sport by way of the UFC Hall of Fame.
Sadly, should they content themselves with that accounting they will never know such fighters as Frank Shamrock, Fedor Emelianenko, Jeremy Horn, Kazushi Sakuraba and others—men who either fought for other promotions or who simply weren’t on Dana White’s list of friends.
The UFC Hall of Fame is a great thing, but it will never be a true HOF for the sport because it is totally dependent on the whims of a single man who is not above ignoring the contributions of others if he does not like them.
A true HOF is not dependent upon the selections of one man. The International Boxing Hall of Fame has five categories (Modern, Old-Timer, Pioneer, Non-Participant and Observer). Those inducted are chosen by an international panel of boxing historians and members of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Votes are cast and tabulated, and inductees can become members.
And that is just what the sport of MMA needs: a true HOF that recognizes fighters and other contributors to the sport with no biases for or professional prejudices against. It would be a committee of many minds and sensibilities, not an army of one, and from there, recognition and induction would be the byproduct of a concerned consensus.
Which is how it should be.
As great as the UFC is, the sport is too big to have its HOF members decided upon by a single man.
So, who should be inducted without hesitation or delay once such a HOF is born?
Here are the names of 25 deserving individuals for your consideration.