This weekend marks the 100th numbered show in UFC history and so it is only right that the UFC inducts two more members into its hall of fame. This round of inductions includes Chuck Liddell and a posthumous award to Charles “Mask” Lewis of Tapout fame.
Liddell, who has not officially retired, was the UFC light heavyweight champion for over two years defending his title four times. While his accomplishments as a fighter cannot be questioned he is being inducted as much for his ability to bring MMA to the mainstream as he is for his accomplishments in the Octagon. Liddell was the face of the marquee division of the best organization in the world during the post Ultimate Fighter springboard into popular culture.
Charles “Mask” Lewis, who recently passed away after being involved in a fatal car accident, was co founder of the biggest MMA apparel company in the world: Tapout. The Tapout brand became synonymous with MMA in the U.S. and they were close friends and sponsors of the UFC. Lewis will be the first non fighter to be inducted into the UFC hall of fame.
Also in Chuck Liddell news this week, after rumors of future bouts swirled, Liddell has officially been put on the shelf until 2010. He is hoping that the extra rest allows his body to recover from a string of brutal KO losses and give it one more shot to see if he can compete in the UFC. No timetable was set for his return other than that it will happen next year.
UFC 101 is already making news. The UFC’s first trip to Pennsylvania has already broken the Pennsylvania gate record with over $3 million in sales. This is great news for the newly regulated state and hopefully it will show other non regulated states (namely New York and Massachusetts) the financial benefits of holding a UFC event in their state.
In future UFC location announcements two future sites were made official this week. Ultimate Fight Night 19 has been made official for Sept. 16th in Oklahoma City. And UFC 103 has found a home at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
More good news for the sport of MMA as Indiana officially began regulating MMA on July 2nd. It is not necessarily a hot bed of MMA however with successful events in Chicago, Columbus, and Cincinatti the possibility of another big show in Indianapolis may not be a bad thing. Also, it is another step in the right direction of getting MMA regulated across the country.
In Affliction news Takanori Gomi will make only his third American appearance at Affliction Trilogy in August. He will take on Rafaello Oliveira. The “Fireball Kid” has been on a slide recently. If he loses this fight he could be in a full fledged career free fall.
Last but not least it was announced this week that the much rumored heavyweight title fight between Allistair Overeem and Brett Rogers was just talk. Overeem will defend his belt on August 15th but it will be against UFC cast off Fabricio Werdum. Werdum has the better resume (including a win over Overeem) but this was a bad business decision by Strikeforce. Rogers is coming off the biggest win of his career over a name opponent while Werdum’s last fight was an embarrassing loss to Junior Dos Santos back in October.
Tags: Affliction, Brett Rogers, Chuck Liddell, Fabricio Werdum, Junior dos Santos, Mixed Martial Arts, Rafaello Oliveira, Strikeforce, Takanori Gomi, The Ultimate Fighter, UFC, ufc 100, UFC 101, ufc 103