The UFC Hall of Fame is home to just eight members right now according to its website, and since the UFC is still quite young compared to other major sports organizations, there hasn't been much debate about the members that have been admitted.
But that could change in the coming years as the organization decides the future of the Hall of Fame and starts to give a better template for what it may take to be admitted as well as how often new members should be inducted.
One of the biggest potential debates on the horizon could well involve Brock Lesnar, the former heavyweight champ who's now back in the WWE and seems retired for good.
The current Hall of Fame features mostly no-brainers like Royce Gracie, Matt Hughes and Randy Couture, who all have better resumes than Lesnar, even though Lesnar beat Couture back at UFC 91.
And even though I was never a fan of Brock Lesnar, I will say he has a solid resume at least worthy of consideration as a pure fighter. He beat Couture on the big stage as a fighter who was still green at the time, beat Shane Carwin to defend his belt, and had a monumental win at UFC 100 in his first title defense that every MMA fan will remember for a lifetime. His career was also derailed in large part due to an ongoing bout with a nasty disease, diverticulitis, which actually strengthens his case.
Yes, he was the beneficiary of the fastest track to the title that we've ever seen, but the heavyweight division was so thin during his heyday in the middle part that wasting time pitting Lesnar against the kind of sloppy, one-dimensional brawlers that populated the middle tier of the division would have been a waste of time.
There's no doubt that the title shot granted against Couture after just one UFC win went too far, but you can't fault Lesnar for UFC President Dana White's decision to give the fans what they wanted at the time.
Lesnar took his opportunities and ran with them, and there were times when he transcended the sport of MMA even as one of the least well-rounded champions of all-time. His personality, aura, and unique physical stature are aspects of his career that likely won't ever be forgotten.
It's hard to find a comparison for Lesnar's Hall of Fame chances in other sports, but perhaps Bill Walton's inclusion into the NBA Hall of Fame as a champion whose career was severely lacking in terms of longevity can be cited as somewhat similar to a potential Lesnar inclusion, as odd as that comparison may seem.
Perhaps a better benchmark for Lesnar's possible inclusion comes from Charles "Mask" Lewis of the Tapout (clothing company) Crew, a big personality who was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame despite never stepping foot in the Octagon as a fighter. If Lewis can make it based on his memorable personality and contributions to the sport in general alone, then surely Lesnar can make it as a former champ who possessed a lot of the same qualities and accomplishments in terms of driving up fan interest.
Even though I've never been a Lesnar fan because of some of the disrespectful displays he put on in the Octagon including the post-Frank Mir fight antics and always thought there was a little too much luck involved in his run for the belt, I have to admit that he is likely to enter the UFC Hall of Fame same day, and certainly deserves it upon closer inspection. But it may take a while since the UFC has plenty of more deserving former champs to induct beforehand.
Nick Meyer is a longtime MMA fan from Metro Detroit.
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