10 Fighters Likely to Enter the UFC Hall of Fame
July is a calm period in MMA leading up to a torrent of action in August. In the downtime, here is a look at the top ten fighters who, if they retired today, have the credentials for induction into the UFC hall-of-fame. For this effort, Pride resumes were taken into consideration, as the company is wholly owned by the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa. However, only current UFC fighters are under consideration, so no, we didn’t forget about Pat Miletich, Frank Shamrock, Dan Henderson, or Fedor Emelianenko. Has any otherwise deserving fighter been left off the list?
Images Courtesy Zuffa and James Law
10. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
On his UFC resume alone, he is not in consideration. Opening things up to include his time in Pride and he is a lock. Cro Cop is on the short list of the biggest stars in the history of Japanese MMA, and his Pride record is as impressive as his UFC record is mediocre. Cro Cop went 18-4-2 during his time with Pride with wins over Kazushi Sakuraba, Heath Herring, Igor Vovchanchyn, Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Coleman, Hidehiko Yoshida, Wanderlei Silva, and Josh Barnett (on three occasions), and all but Barnett by knock out. The greatest moment of Cro Cop’s career occurred in 2006 when he won Pride’s Open-weight Grand Prix by beating Silva and Barnett in consecutive matches on the same event.
Cro Cop’s ability to render his opponent unconscious seemingly at will fueled his great success in Pride. To this point in this history of MMA, it is hard to argue against him as the most feared knockout. His historical impact is such that, despite having not beaten a ranked opponent since 2006, many feel that Cro Cop remains ranked among the top 20 heavyweights in the world.