Tito Ortiz will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame prior to UFC 148 and will retire after that bout win or lose. As I wrote yesterday he was one of the first dominant champions of the Zuffa era and should be remembered as the champion he was.
We were given more news heading into UFC 148 though. Forrest Griffin is nearing his retirement also. The former Ultimate Fighter winner is 2-3 in his last five fights and hasn’t looked impressive recently. He was the first Ultimate Fighter veteran to win a title and has faced the who’s who of MMA.
This is a new era that the UFC is stepping into. We are leaving the golden age of the Zuffa era and heading into a completely different style of fighting.
We’re changing from a time where fighters could get away with one outstanding style to fighters needing to be well rounded in all aspects of mixed martial arts.
In the past couple years we’ve seen the likes of Kenny Florian, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture retire from the sport and new fighters like Jon Jones and Junior Dos Santos step into the limelight.
It’s interesting to see all these fighters that we grew up watching retiring and usher a new group of fighters into the sport. Even our champions like Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva are aging and may only have a few fights left.
This is the biggest need for an official MMA hall of fame. These fighters need to be remembered and there needs to be a specific criteria for getting into the hall of fame rather than Dana White and the rest of the UFC feeling a fighter is deserving.
This is the only way younger fans are going to learn about the fighters of the past. We can’t forget them either. These are the fighters that saved the sport.
Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar saved the UFC. If it wasn’t for them we may not be talking about fighters like Jon Jones or Rory MacDonald and we may not even have the UFC.
These fighters are the ones that helped change the sport and allowed us to know the sport as we do today. Thank You.