Dana White could soon honor the show that started it all by inducting every member of The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 cast into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Yes, that would even include 0-1 Canadian fighter Jason Thacker.
“I’ve thought about the whole cast should be [in the hall of fame],” White recently told Fox Sports. “Even the Canadian Jason Thacker—without the group of people that we had and the way the synergy worked and the way things went down, that season really launched everything.”
A decade has nearly passed since the first episode of TUF aired on Spike TV.
Along with Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, White saw an opportunity to flip the perceived notion that MMA was a barbaric and savage sport. TUF 1 enlightened new fans to the sacrifice and dedication it takes to become a professional MMA fighter. It also gave a unique glimpse into the personalities of each competitor.
Perception quickly changed when people began to realize these weren’t street thugs brawling for chump change and some minor time in the spotlight. MMA fighters were real-life athletes coming from different backgrounds, all seeking an opportunity to excel at their craft and provide a better life for their families.
The television-fueled drama, along with great fights, provided fans with one of the greatest reality shows to date. Cast members Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanchez, Stephan Bonnar, Chris Leben, Josh Koscheck, Kenny Florian, Mike Swick and Nate Quarry all went on to become stars in the sport.
Does the entire 'TUF 1' cast deserve Hall of Fame recognition?
Griffin and Bonnar were both officially inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame last year. Koscheck, Sanchez and Swick are the only fighters left out of the 16-member cast still competing in the UFC.
“I think that’s a must. I think that entire season should be inducted. Without a doubt, that group of people are all game changers,” said White.
The UFC generally does its Hall of Fame inductions during its Fourth of July weekend cards. With UFC 175 scheduled to go down next weekend, White assures fans that an announcement will be made soon regarding the new inductees.
To think, even Thacker may see the Hall of Fame before MMA legend Frank Shamrock.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.