Ronda Rousey is a trail-blazer in the world of Mixed Martial Arts and one of the greatest female athletes of her generation.
Her contributions to the sport and changing the perception of female combat athletes will be rewarded when she becomes the first female inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame on Thursday.
The 2018 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony continues the organization’s seventh annual International Fight Week, and it will take place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here is everything you need to know about this year’s ceremony:
Ronda Rousey, Former Fighter
Rousey, former Strikeforce and UFC women’s bantamweight champion, headlines this year’s inductees.
She finished her career an astounding 12-2 (6-2 in UFC) after a remarkable 12-0 start. She lost her bantamweight title to Holly Holm via knockout at UFC 193, and failed to defeat Amanda Nunes for said title coming off sabbatical, losing via TKO at UFC 207. She also competed in two separate Olympics and won a bronze medal in judo wrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
Bruce Connal, TV Producer
Bruce Connal will enter the Hall of Fame as the first “Contributor.” Connal died this past March, but left his mark on the industry as a successful television producer. He produced over 300 televised events in his 19-year run with the company, and was an important presence behind the scenes as the UFC, along with each of the major North American based professional sports leagues, transitioned into the digital world after the turn of the millennium.
Art Davie, Promotion Co-founder
The second “Contributor” is Art Davie, who is the creator and co-founder of UFC. Davie, a successful entrepreneur in his own right, originally partnered with well-known Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Rorian Gracie on a project. The planned project was eventually rebranded as “Ultimate Fighting Championship” in 1992, and eventually blossomed into the premiere MMA promotion.
Davie sold his interest before UFC took off in the late 90s and early 2000s, but was instrumental in laying the foundation and groundwork, and he will finally be recognized for his influence.
Matt Serra, Former Fighter
Matt Serra will enter the Hall of Fame as a “Pioneer.” He is a former UFC welterweight champion and winner of The Ultimate Fighter 4. Serra, however, is most known for being one of only two men to ever defeat former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, Georges St. Pierre. Serra defeated GSP via first-round TKO at UFC 69 in April 2007:
The pandemonium when Serra upset GSP reverberated throughout the entire sports industry. Not only is the upset considered one of the greatest UFC/MMA upsets of all-time, it is considered one of the great, major modern sports upsets of all-time. The rematch took place just over a year later at UFC 83, as GSP handed Serra a second-round loss via TKO.
Henderson vs. Rua, UFC 139
For the final induction: Dan Henderson defeating Mauricio Rua via unanimous decision at UFC 139 will also be inducted into the “Fight” wing. The fight was historic because, at that time, it became just the second non-title, five-round main event in UFC history.
Source: Heavy Sports