Does Frank Shamrock deserve to be in the UFC Hall of Fame? Photo by Esther Lin for AllElbows.com via Flickr.com.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Fame was created to honor past mixed martial arts (MMA) legends and their contributions to the fastest growing sport in the world.
Fighters such as Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Royce Gracie, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock are past UFC competitors enshrined in the promotion's Hall of Fame. These fortune sons, among few others, have put their time inside the Octagon and have had an impact in helping MMA become the sport it is today, while assisting the UFC emerge is the clear-cut worldwide leader.
In a rare move, TapouT founder Charles "Mask" Lewis was inducted after his passing in 2009, earning his place amongst the aforementioned legends because of his impact his clothing brand had on the sport and its rabid fans.
With no set criteria, many have questioned the exact requirements that one must meet to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Frank Shamrock, who was the UFC's first-ever Light Heavyweight champion, seems to think that that Hall of Fame has no credibility whatsoever.
Why? Because he's not in it.
Check out his comments on the matter in his recent appearance on Rebellion MMA Radio:
"I don’t think the(UFC) Hall of Fame has any credibility unless I’m in it. I was the first champion ever and set two world records and I’ve been pioneering for this sport since before there was weight classes and gloves. So, it kind of looks to me like the whole hall of fame is, it’s up to Dana's own jock as to who decide to go in and unfortunately that does not apply in a real sport, in a real sport it is completely different, so."
Shamrock made his UFC debut in 1997, submitting Kevin Jackson to become the promotion's first ever 205-pound champion in Japan. For the next two years, Shamrock defended his title four consecutive times, including his "Fight of the Year" with Tito Ortiz at UFC 22, which he won via technical knockout in the fourth round.
The bout marked the last time Shamrock competed inside the Octagon, as he announced his retirement and forfeited the title in the process, leaving the promotion with a perfect (5-0) record.
Shamrock would go on to cut his retirement short and compete in the now defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) organization, as well as with the San Jose-based promotion, Strikeforce, with which he now works for as a ringside announcer.
Perhaps the fact that the relationship Shamrock has with UFC President Dana White is not the greatest, seeing as how they like to take verbal shots at one another any chance they get, is an indication as to the reason the former Pancrase champion isn’t -- and will probably never be -- inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame alongside side his adopted brother, Ken Shamrock.
Then again, in the business, we should probably never say never.