Dana White: TUF 1 cast ‘should be inducted’ into UFC Hall of Fame
The UFC Hall of Fame will induct its newest member or members at the UFC Fan Expo next weekend as part of International Fight Week in Las Vegas with both UFC 175 and The Ultimate Fighter 19 finale taking place over the weekend.
Traditionally the UFC has used the platform for the Fourth of July weekend card as a way to induct new members including Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and last year’s induction which saw both Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar find a home in the Hall of Fame.
UFC president Dana White confirmed recently that someone would be inducted during the weekend’s festivities, but wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag regarding who might be honored.
"You guys will know soon," White teased.
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
— Dana White
One possibility could include a group of fighters instead of just an individual. The cast of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter has always been regarded as an iconic group of individuals that helped push the UFC into the mainstream, not to mention the level of talent that came from the inaugural offering.
Griffin and Bonnar were the finalists from the light heavyweight portion of the show while Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez represented the middleweight division. In addition to those four fighters, names such as Chris Leben and Nate Quarry also decorated the list of cast members who stuck around for long careers inside the Octagon.
Out of the 16 fighters who made up the cast of TUF 1, only two remain on the active UFC roster. Sanchez and Josh Koscheck are the last men standing from the historic season although Koscheck has pondered retirement lately and it’s unclear when or if he’ll make a return to action again.
Whether it’s this year or after all of the fighters from the cast have officially retired, White says the entire cast deserves to go into the UFC Hall of Fame and predicts it will happen one day.
"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," White said.
"I’ve thought about the whole cast should be (in the hall of fame). 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."
As far as this year’s induction goes, that remains a mystery but a reunion of all the members of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter certainly wouldn’t be a bad way to go in 2014.