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Former UFC Heavyweight champion Maurice Smith to be inducted to 2017 Hall of Fame


During last night’s (Sat., April 22, 2017) UFC Fight Night 108: “Swanson vs. Lobov” event on Fox Sports 1 (results here), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced the latest inductee to the 2017 Hall of Fame Class, as Maurice Smith will enter the Pioneer Wing on July 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Maurice — and established world class kickboxing champion — made his UFC debut in 1997 when he took on Mark Coleman at UFC 14 in a Heavyweight title fight. Maurice went on to defeat “The Hammer” via unanimous decision to become the promotions second-ever Heavyweight champion. He also became the first to ever defend the title, as he defeated Tank Abbott in his subsequent bout before losing the strap to Randy Couture at UFC Japan.

Maurice spoke on his upcoming Hall of Fame induction:

“It will be an honor to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and be forever connected to this sport. 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.”

Following his loss to Couture, Smith competed four more times inside the Octagon, and even fought for PRIDE FC and Strikeforce before retiring from the fight game in 2013.

Smith joins Urijah Faber as the latest UFC Hall of Fame inductees, with two more expected to be announced as the ceremony -- which goes down during International Fight Week — draws closer.

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