Compared to other sports leagues, the UFC is still in its infancy. Although a fairly new organizations, the UFC established a Hall of Fame back in 2003. There are currently 12 inductees, including Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock who were the initial inductees, and Pat Miletich, the most recent inductee.
The UFC announced it will restructure its Hall of Fame, adding four distinct categories for induction.
The new categories for inductees are:
• Modern era wing: All fighters who made their pro debut after Nov. 17, 2000, and UFC 28, when the unified rules were first implemented, are eligible for selection in this class.
• Pioneer era wing: This category will honor fighters who debuted prior to UFC 28 or Nov. 17, 2000.
• Contributors wing: This category will honor anyone or any group that has made a significant contribution to the sport beyond fighting. It will consider, for example, referees, judges, trainers, commissioners, announcers and promoters. So, people such as Greg Jackson, the elite trainer at Jackson’s MMA; announcer Joe Rogan and/or referee “Big” John McCarthy would be eligible for selection in this category.
• Fight wing: The UFC wants to honor the greatest fights in the sport’s era and have them recorded for posterity. So fights like the Mauricio “Shogun” Rua-Dan Henderson I bout at UFC 139 in 2011 would be eligible here.
The 12 fighters currently inducted into the Hall of Fame will be divided into the new categories.
Fighters in the modern category must be 35 or older or have been retired for one calendar year. Active fighters are eligible if over 35 but not preferred.
In the pioneer category, fighters must be 35 or older and retired for one calendar year. Their accomplishments outside of the UFC will be taken into consideration, but more weight will be given to UFC accomplishments because it is a UFC Hall of Fame and not a general MMA Hall of Fame.
For a fight to be inducted, it must have taken place five years before the year of induction. So Henderson-Rua I wouldn’t be eligible until 2016.
White will lead a committee of UFC employees in the selection process.
h/t Yahoo Sports