#Brad Katona #Kyler Phillips #Daniel Cormier #Stipe Miocic #UFC Fight Night 128 #Kevin Lee #Edson Barboza #Joe Giannetti #John Gunther #Conor McGregor #Jon Jones #Tony Ferguson #UFC Brooklyn #Khabib Nurmagomedov #Nate Diaz

Pioneer Maurice Smith Headed to UFC Hall of Fame | MMAWeekly.com

UFC today announced that former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith has been named to the 2017 UFC Hall of Fame class as a Pioneer. The 2017 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 6 in Las Vegas. The event will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS.

Smith, the brand’s second heavyweight champion and first to make a successful title defense, will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as a Pioneer. The Pioneers era category includes athletes who turned professional before November 17, 2000 (when the unified rules of mixed martial arts were adopted), is a minimum age of 35 or has been retired for one year or more.

“It will be an honor to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and be forever connected to this sport,” Smith said. “I was the first world-class striker to win a UFC title because I worked with great training partners to evolve into a well-rounded fighter. I’m proud of the titles I won in MMA, but helping advance the game towards the mixed martial arts of today is my greatest accomplishment in the sport.”

Smith made his UFC debut at UFC 14: SHOWDOWN on July 27, 1997, at the age of 35, where he upset UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman, who was 6-0 at the time, by unanimous decision to become the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion. UFC 14 also marked the first event where athletes were required to wear “fingerless” MMA gloves. Smith entered UFC after a brief stint with Extreme Fighting Championships, where he won and defended the heavyweight title. Following his successful defense of the EFC heavyweight title in 1996, the organization ceased operations and his fight with Coleman was deemed a “unification” of both belts, as EFC was an organization competing with UFC at the time.

Although his victory over Coleman was viewed as a huge upset, Smith entered UFC as a 17-year veteran professional of Kickboxing and Muay Thai competition, having also previously fought in Pancrase, where he faced UFC Hall of Famers Bas Rutten and Ken Shamrock. He also participated in PRIDE Fighting Championships and Strikeforce during his post UFC-tenure.

Following his victory over Coleman, Smith defeated Tank Abbott to defend his title at UFC 15: COLLISION COURSE (October 17,1997) before relinquishing his championship to UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture at UFC JAPAN: ULTIMATE JAPAN (December 21, 1997). Smith’s career in the Octagon totaled seven events with a 4-3 record.

Known primarily as a Kickboxer and Muay Thai specialist, Smith captured the World Kickboxing Association heavyweight (1983), World Kickboxing Council light heavyweight (1983) and International Sport Karate Association World Muay Thai heavyweight (1996) championships, respectively. During his tenure competing in WKA as a heavyweight, Smith spent a decade (1983-93) as the undefeated and undisputed kickboxing champion, making more than 20 successful title defenses.

A native of Seattle, Washington, Smith, while attending West Seattle High School, studied a variety of mixed martial arts disciplines, focusing on kickboxing exclusively and going pro at age 19 in 1980 by joining the World Kickboxing Council. Smith retired from professional competition in 2013 at the age of 51.

The remaining inductees of the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2017 will be announced in the coming weeks leading up to the 6th Annual UFC International Fight Week™, which takes place from Wednesday, July 5 through Saturday, July 8 in Las Vegas.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.


Show Comments

Related News

Dana White: Brock Lesnar is 'Coming Back' to the UFC | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago

Former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is ready to resume his UFC career. UFC president Dana White announced on Wednesday that Lesnar plans to resume his fighting career in the near future with a r read news >>

Ben Rothwell Accepts Two-Year Suspension for Anti-Doping Violation | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago

USADA announced today that UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell, of Kenosha, Wis., has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. read news >>

Josh Barnett is Fighting Back, Suing Maker of Contaminated Supplement | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago

Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett has had a sordid past when it comes to drug testing in relation to his mixed martial arts career, but this time, he's fighting back against a supplement c read news >>

UFC Fighter Amanda Lemos Suspended 2 Years by USADA for Doping Infraction | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago

UFC women's bantamweight competitor Amanda Lemos has been suspended two years after testing positive for steroids from an out of competition drug test administered by USADA last year. USADA officials read news >>

Listen In On The UFC 223 Media Conference Call Live at 5 PM ET | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago

UFC will host a media conference call with all four athletes competing in title fights on the UFC 223 fight card on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET. read news >>

Nick Diaz Accepts USADA Sanction, Won't Return to UFC Anytime Soon | MMAWeekly.com

  • 17 days ago

USADA announced today that Nick Diaz, of Stockton, Calif., has accepted a one-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy resulting from three unsuccessful test attempts during a 12-m read news >>

Daily Debate: Should Brock Lesnar get Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier UFC title winner?

  • 15 days ago

If former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE star Brock Lesnar returns to the octagon, should he get an immediate UFC title shot? read news >>

Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori: UFC on FOX 29 Daniel Cormier Preview | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago

Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier previews the UFC on FOX 29 middleweight bout between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori. read news >>

UFC on FOX 29 Main Event Leads the Charge on Fighter Bonuses | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago

UFC on FOX 29 was a fight card that promised fireworks and it delivered on Saturday in Glendale, Az. The main event featured two of the most exciting fighters on the UFC roster, regardless of divisio read news >>

John Moraga Not Beating Down the Door for Another UFC Title Shot | MMAWeekly.com

  • 11 days ago

UFC flyweight John Moraga should take a nice leap up the UFC rankings after his win over Wilson Reis, but he's not clamoring for a title shot. read news >>

Dustin Poirier's Brutal Victory Puts Him Atop UFC on FOX 29 Fighter Salaries | MMAWeekly.com

  • 10 days ago

UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier stood atop the UFC on FOX 29 fighter salaries after defeating Justin Gaethje in an epic stand-up battle on Saturday in Glendale, Az. The two battle back and f read news >>

Dustin Poirier's Brutal Victory Puts Him Atop UFC on FOX 29 Fighter Salaries | MMAWeekly.com

  • 10 days ago

UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier stood atop the UFC on FOX 29 fighter salaries after defeating Justin Gaethje in an epic stand-up battle on Saturday in Glendale, Az. read news >>

Matt Serra to be Inducted into UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2018 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 5 days ago

UFC announced on Saturday that former UFC welterweight champion and winner of season four of The Ultimate Fighter, Matt Serra, has been named to the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2018 as a Pioneer. The 2 read news >>

Michael Bisping 'Definitely Interested' In Retirement Fight at UFC Event in Liverpool | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago

If the UFC needs to add another marquee fight to the upcoming card in Liverpool, England, Michael Bisping is ready and willing to step up to the challenge. The former UFC middleweight champion has go read news >>

Evan Dunham Breaks Down UFC 223 Main Event | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube) UFC veteran Evan Dunham breaks down the UFC 223 main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson faces unbe read news >>

Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson vs. Darren Till Official for UFC Liverpool Main Event | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson will travel across the pond for the main event in Liverpool as he takes on local favorite Darren Till on May 27 in England. The matchup between Thompson and Till had been read news >>