As predicted, five-time UFC light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and TapouT founder Charles Lewis Jr. will be inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame this week, according to a press release published last night. From UFC.com:
One was perhaps the greatest light heavyweight of all-time, a feared striker who ruled the 205-pound weight class with an iron right hand and in doing so became mixed martial arts’ first crossover superstar. The other was his close friend, a visionary who helped create a brand that is now synonymous with the sport, but who did it not with a ruthless business sense, but with an infectious enthusiasm and an attitude that could light up a room. On Friday, July 10th, the UFC Hall of Fame inducts its two newest members, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and TapouT co-founder Charles “Mask” Lewis.
“I appreciate this gesture and I’m glad that people appreciate what I do and that they think that I deserve this, but I’m just one of the guys that fight out there,” said Liddell, who admitted that this crowning moment of his storied career does come with some bittersweet feelings due to the fact that he won’t be able to share it with his longtime friend Lewis, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in March
. “It’s gonna be a little rough being that it’s Charles and me, but for us to go in together, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
It’s good to see the UFC add some new faces to their ultra-exclusive legends club. Maybe they can start inducting members on a more regular schedule from now on; Matt Hughes and Helio Gracie certainly deserve a nod. Speaking of the Iceman, he’s still not officially retired, but he’s vowed to take a break from competition until next April at the earliest. As he told SI.com, "Hopefully my brain can heal over time." We’re not sure it works that way, but we wish Chuck the best.