As traditional here at MMA Freak, December is the month that we induct our annual hall of fame class. As is traditional, our class is full of prestigious members of the MMA community that have contributed to the sport. As is usual, here are the rules for the induction of the various Hall of Famers:

“The Hall of Fame classes are decided by an open ballot which all writers for the site are eligible to cast. Each writer has the power to vote for up to five individuals ranked from lowest (5) to highest (1) with the highest ranks being given priority. The top five individuals with the highest number of votes are inducted into the Hall of Fame this year and are ranked based on the number of votes they received.”

*Please note that from 2013 to 2015, the Hall of Fame classes consisted of 10 inductees. From 2016 onward, the Hall of Fame classes were shortened to 5.

Here are the previous six Hall of Fame classes:

Class of 2013

1) Chuck Liddell – UFC Hall of Fame, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, former IFC World Light Heavyweight Championship

2) Ken Shamrock – UFC Hall of Fame, 1st UFC Super Fight Champion, 1st Open Weight King of Pancrase, WMMAA Heavyweight Championship

3) Anderson Silva – Longest serving UFC Middleweight Champion, final Cage Rage Middleweight Champion, Shooto Middleweight Champion

4) Royce Gracie – UFC Hall of Fame, UFC 1 Open Weight Tournament Winner, UFC 2 Tournament Winner, UFC 4 Tournament Winner

5) Tito Ortiz – UFC Hall of Fame, Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion

6) Georges St.-Pierre – 2x and longest serving former UFC Welterweight Champion, former Interim UFC Welterweight Champion, former UFC Middleweight Champion, former UCC Welterweight Championship

7) John McCarthy – 3x Referee of the Year (World MMA Awards)

8) Rorion Gracie – Co-founder of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

9) Dana White – President of the UFC, Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards 11x Promoter of the Year, World MMA Awards 9x Man of the Year

10) Randy Couture – UFC Hall of Fame, former 3x UFC Heavyweight Champion, former 2x UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament Winner

Class of 2014

1) Wanderlei Silva – Pride Middleweight (204 lbs) Champion, Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Winner, IVC Light Heavyweight Champion

2) Fedor Emelianenko – Last Pride Heavyweight Champion, Pride 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Winner, last RINGS Open Weight Champion, RINGS 2001 Absolute Class Tournament Winner, RINGS 2001 Open Weight Title Tournament Winner, only WAMMA Heavyweight Champion

3) Matt Hughes – UFC Hall of Fame, former 2x UFC Welterweight Championship, Extreme Challenge 29 Tournament Winner

4) BJ Penn – UFC Hall of Fame, UFC WW Champ, UFC Lightweight Champ

5) Dan Severn – UFC Hall of Fame, Last UFC Superfight Champion, UFC 5 Tournament Winner, Ultimate Ultimate 1995 Tournament Winner

6) Mark Coleman – UFC Hall of Fame, UFC HWT Champ, Pride 2000 GP

7) Frank Shamrock – Former Interim King of Pancrase, 1st UFC LHWT Champ, 1st WEC LHWT Champ, 1st Strikeforce Middleweight Champion

8) Art Davie – Co-founder of the UFC, Legends of MMA Hall of Fame

9) Jens Pulver – First UFC Lightweight Champion (called Bantamweight)

10) Ronda Rousey – UFC Hall of Fame, First UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Last Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion

Class of 2015

1) Bas Rutten – UFC Hall of Fame, Former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Former King of Pancrase Openweight Champion

2) Evan Tanner – Former UFC Middleweight Champion, USWF Heavyweight Champion (7 title defenses), Rest in Peace Champ

3) Pat Miletich – UFC Hall of Fame, 1st UFC Welterweight Champion, UFC 16 Welterweight Tournament Winner

4) Renzo Gracie – World Combat Championships 1 Tournament Winner

5) Dan Henderson – Last Pride Middleweight Champion, Only Pride Welterweight Champion, Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion

6) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – UFC Hall of Fame, Pride HWT Champ, Interim Pride Heavyweight Champ, Interim UFC Heavyweight Champ

7) Jose Aldo – Former 2 time UFC Featherweight Champion, Former Interim UFC Featherweight Champion, final WEC Featherweight Champion

8) Kazushi Sakuraba – UFC Hall of Fame, UFC Japan Heavyweight Tournament Winner, 2000 Pride Grand Prix semi-finalist

9) Forrest Griffin – UFC Hall of Fame, Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, The Ultimate Fighter 1 Light Heavyweight Tournament Winner

10) Mirk Filipovic – 2006 Pride Grand Prix Winner, former IGF Champion, 2016 Rizin World Openweight Grand Prix Winner, K-1 Grand Prix Winner

Class of 2016

1) Miesha Tate – UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion, FCF Women’s Bantamweight Championship

2) Don Frye – UFC Hall of Fame, UFC 8 Open Weight Tournament Winner, UFC Ultimate Ultimate 1996 Open Weight Tournament Winner

3) Mark Kerr – UFC 14 Heavyweight Tournament Winner, UFC 15 Heavyweight Tournament Winner, WVC 3 HW Tournament Winner

4) Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III – Former co-owners of the UFC/oversaw the Zuffa era

5) Gina Carano – Women’s MMA Pioneer

Class of 2017

1) Ariel Helwani – World MMA Awards 7x MMA Journalist of the Year

2) Joe Silva – UFC Hall of Fame, retired longtime match maker at the UFC

3) Rich Franklin – Former UFC Middleweight Champion, One FC VP

4) Megumi Fuji – Women’s MMA Pioneer

5) Mike Goldberg – UFC play by play announcer, Bellator announcer

Class of 2018

1) Tom Heffernan – Recently retired MMA Freak Journalist

2) Marloes Coenen – Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion

3) Urijah Faber – UFC Hall of Fame, WEC Featherweight Champion

4) Michael Bisping – UFC Middleweight Champ, TUF 3 LHWT Winner

5) Kevin Randleman – UFC Heavyweight Champ, UVTF 4 Tourni Winner

Honorable Mentions

The following individuals were nominated by the writers and will be eligible for the Hall of Fame next year:

Glenn Robinson – Founder of the Blackzilians gym (Rest in Peace)

Johny Hendricks – Former UFC Welterweight Champion, now retired

With that we welcome the MMA Freak Hall of Fame Class of 2019:

5) Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto – Hero’s 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament Winner, All Japan Amateur Shooto Tournament Winner

4) Cain Velasquez – 2x former UFC Heavyweight Champion, now retired

3) Rashad Evans – former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, TUF 2 Winner

2) Tim Sylvia – 2x former UFC Heavyweight Champion, only PWP Heavyweight Championship, ISKA MMA Super heavyweight Championship

1) Israel Adesanya – Current UFC Middleweight Champion (undefeated)

Congrats to this year’s inductees and a belated Merry Christmas to all of our readers here at MMA Freak!

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