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UFC HALL OF FAME 2015 - MEDIA FAQs



Q: What is the UFC Hall of Fame?
The Hall of Fame is a celebration of the forbearer, the trail-blazer, the innovator, the visionary and the modernizer. It is a vibrant, unflinching celebration of the DNA of the UFC and mixed martial arts. Even in the company of other champions, the Hall of Fame serves as the ultimate differentiator between the outstanding athlete and the all-time icon.

Q: Why is UFC changing the Hall of Fame format in 2015?
After 12 years and with 12 inductees, the UFC Hall of Fame is evolving to provide UFC with an institution which can lend the kind of historical context and long-term narrative storytelling that you would expect from the official UFC Hall of Fame.

This new format enables UFC to celebrate and commemorate the greatest achievements in the organization’s history, by placing these accomplishments in a well-defined historical context.

Q: Is this a UFC Hall of Fame or MMA Hall of Fame?
It is the UFC Hall of Fame, but overall career achievements in, and contributions to, the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) are also noted and celebrated.

Q: What will be the new format for the rebranded UFC Hall of Fame from 2015 onwards?
The UFC Hall of Fame will evolve along similar lines to other major sports and entertainment halls of fame. There are now four distinct categories or “wings” commemorating specific achievements and contributions in the sport, serving as differentiators and enabling UFC to place existing and future Hall of Fame members in an appropriate historical content.

These categories are for:
1) Fighters who debuted in the Modern Era, on or after November 17, 2000
2) Fighters who debuted in the Pioneer Era, before November 17, 2000
3) Fights of great historical significance
4) Outstanding contributions to the UFC outside of active competition (ie non-participants).

Q: Who is currently in the UFC Hall of Fame? And how will the existing Hall look under the new format?
There have been 11 athletes and one contributor inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame over the last 12 years. Under the new-look Hall of Fame, this is how those inductees appear in each wing:

Modern Era
Forrest Griffin (inducted 2013)

Pioneers
Royce Gracie (inducted 2003)
Ken Shamrock (inducted 2003)
Dan Severn (inducted 2005)
Randy Couture (inducted 2006)
Mark Coleman (inducted 2008)
Chuck Liddell (inducted 2009)
Matt Hughes (inducted 2010)
Tito Ortiz (inducted 2012)
Pat Miletich (inducted 2014)

Fights
Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar I, April 2005 (inducted 2014)

Contributors
Charles “Mask” Lewis (inducted 2009)

Q: Why have separate Pioneer and Modern categories?
The fights which took place in the early UFC events – conducted with no time limits, few rules and without standardized scoring systems – were very different to the bouts which the modern UFC presents.

The original competitors were often single-skilled fighters who entered the Octagon with barely any training in other martial arts disciplines. It is proper to make a distinction between the warriors who invented this sport as they went along, and modern athletes who had the advantage of learning from those early pioneers.

The forerunners of the sport – the fighters whose courage forced martial arts to evolve more in a single decade than it had in centuries – will be honored as the founding fathers of the sport in the Pioneers wing of the UFC Hall of Fame.

Q: Why use UFC 28 and November 17, 2000, as the dividing line between “Pioneer” and “Modern” eras?
UFC 28 – held on November 17, 2000 – was the first event to use the Unified Rule of Mixed Martial Arts and is thus considered by many historians and experts – including official UFC statisticians FightMetric – to be the first event of the modern era. Before UFC 28 the rules for each event – and even each fight – varied depending on where, when and who was fighting. After UFC 28, rules were standardized.

Q: Why have a Fight category?
With the inauguration of the Fight wing, the UFC Hall of Fame will honor the athletes who took part in the greatest and most significant fights in the history of the sport. UFC has long recognized outstanding individual bouts with its performances of the night awards (instituted in 2006) and it is only proper for the UFC Hall of Fame to do the same. Both athletes who competed in the Fight are inducted as UFC Hall of Famers.

Q: What are the criteria for the Modern category?
• For individuals who made their professional MMA debuts on or after November 17, 2000
• Accomplishments in UFC are major consideration, but record outside Octagon is noted
• Individual should be aged 35 or older OR have been retired for one calendar year
• Active fighters are eligible, but not preferable

Q: What are the criteria for the Pioneer category?
• For individuals who made their MMA professional debuts before November 17, 2000
• Accomplishments in UFC are major consideration, but record outside Octagon is noted
• Individual should be aged 35 or older OR have been retired for one calendar year
• Active fighters are eligible, but not preferable

Q: What are the criteria for the Fight category?
• Fight must have taken place at least five calendar years before induction (eg fights in 2011 are eligible in 2016)
• Fight will have captured imagination and be of historic significance to UFC
• Both participants will be inducted together as UFC Hall of Famers

Q: What are the criteria for the Contributors category?
• This category celebrates those individuals – or group of individuals – who have made outstanding and historical contributions to the sport outside of active competition
• There are no age limits in this category
• There is no time limit on induction

Q: Why have a “Contributors” section? Shouldn’t the UFC Hall be all about the fighters?
With two wings specifically for fighters and another recognizing legendary bouts, the UFC Hall of Fame is a celebration of the fighters and fights first and foremost. However, the sport was not developed in the Octagon alone. The Hall recognizes there are individuals and groups whose major contributions to the rich tapestry of the sport deserve to be acknowledged for future generations to appreciate.

Q: What types of people are eligible for consideration as a Contributor?
Anyone – or any group – who made a positive and significant contribution to the sport; including but not limited to officials, referees, judges, trainers, commissioners, commentators, promotors etc.

Q: Can a single individual be inducted in more than one wing?
Yes. While it is impossible to be in both the Pioneer and Modern wings, any other combination is allowed for an individual. For example, a retired Hall of Fame fighter may go on to become a celebrated Contributor outside of the Octagon and/or have a Fight enshrined in that category.

Think of it in terms of the well-respected Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just like John Lennon is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an individual musician and as a member of the Beatles, so is, for example, Forrest Griffin a member of the Modern and Fight wings of the UFC Hall of Fame.

Q: Are individuals who are inducted as part of a Fight (winner and loser) considered full UFC Hall of Famers?
Yes. Both athletes who competed in their historic fight are full members of the UFC Hall of Fame.

Q: When will the formal inductions of the Class of 2015 take place?
The inductions will be made during the second day of the UFC Fan Expo 2015, Saturday July 11, at International Fight Week 2015. More details will be released shortly.

Q: With so many great fighters, contributors and fights to choose from, how did UFC come up with this specific list for UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2015?
The UFC Hall of Fame is an institution designed to not only celebrate greatness and honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the UFC, but also to connect the newer generations of fight fans with the stories of the heroes of the sport’s past. In just a few decades, the UFC and the sport of MMA have forged a rich history. There are so many great fighters, fights and contributions to celebrate - and the UFC Hall of Fame will take the proper time to tell these stories and preserve their legacies for future generations. Some inductions may be timed to take storytelling advantages of anniversaries and other factors.

Q: What do inductees actually receive when they become Hall of Famers?
From 2003 to 2014, Hall of Famers received a glass shield trophy. The UFC Creative Department is working on a new-look commemorative artifact which will be issued to all Hall of Famers from 2015 onwards. The design will be revealed during the build-up to the Induction Ceremony.

Q: Will there be a physical Hall of Fame?
Preliminary plans are underway for a physical Hall of Fame to be unveiled in the UFC’s hometown of Las Vegas in the next two to three years.

Q: Who decides which athletes and contributors get into the Hall of Fame?
UFC President Dana White leads an internal UFC committee to decide the annual inductees.

Q: Will there be a women’s wing of the UFC Hall of Fame?
No. UFC is one of the few major sports organizations to make no distinction between male and female athletes and will not segregate the Hall of Fame along gender lines, either. If, for example, Ronda Rousey is inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in the years to come she will take her place amongst her contemporaries in the Modern wing.

Q: Will there be new Hall of Famers in each of the new categories every year?
Not necessarily. That will be judged on a case by case, year by year basis. However, to help establish the new four wings of the new-look Hall in the minds of the public, UFC has committed to inducting a Modern, Pioneer, Fight and Contributor ever year for the next three years.

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