(Hint: It’s these guys.)
MMA Fanhouse tips us that two new names will be added to the UFC Hall of Fame during the UFC Fan Expo on July 10th, the day before UFC 100 — meaning there’s only two months left before our t-shirt becomes outdated (at which point we’ll jack up the price and call it a "collector’s item," obviously). As the official announcement goes:
Allow us to speculate wildly…
— Notice it says "worthy members of the UFC world," and not "fighters"? That seems like a pretty clear sign that a peripheral figure may be inducted, namely Charles "Mask" Lewis, the TapouT co-founder who gained patron saint status when he died in a car wreck in March. Considering all he did to support young fighters and help develop the sport during his lifetime, Lewis seems like a shoe-in.
— Chuck Liddell, the UFC’s longtime franchise player, is probably a lock for the next fighter spot, unless Dana White is so pissed at his refusal to retire that he decides to give the honor to somebody else. Which would make sense, after all: If the Hall of Fame is for retired fighters, you don’t get to enter until you’ve called it quits.
— Dark horse: If Matt Hughes loses to Matt Serra at UFC 98, it’ll signal the end of his career as much as Chuck’s loss to Shogun signaled the end of the Iceman’s. (Meaning, it’ll be over even if he thinks it isn’t.) With a 9-2 record in welterweight title fights, Hughes is one of the most dominant fighters in UFC history, and he’ll definitely get the honor as soon as he retires. If he does that before July, he might sneak in before Liddell.
— Very dark horse: Tank Abbott. The original Huntington Beach Bad Boy owns the most losses in UFC history (10), and was fighting when the prize was going to jail. That’s gotta count for something, right?