Bas Rutten Latest Pioneer to Be Inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

Video courtesy of AXS TV

Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten will take his place alongside other MMA legends in the UFC Hall of Fame, Dana White revealed late Friday.

The UFC president appeared on AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” and surprised Rutten with the announcement of his upcoming induction, which will take place in July.

“We have International Fight Week in Las Vegas in July,” White began. “And on July 11, at the UFC Fan Expo, you will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.”

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Rutten first entered the Octagon at UFC 18 on Jan. 8, 1999 and defeated Tsuyoshi Kohsaka by knockout. He then returned at UFC 20 four months later to defeat Kevin Randleman to win the vacant UFC heavyweight title.

“I never expected to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame,” Rutten said through a statement provided by AXS TV. “I won the UFC heavyweight title, but injuries cut my UFC run short. Most of my big wins were in Japan. I saw the new UFC Hall of Fame format and I thought maybe I could get in eventually as a Contributor because of my years of commentating. But I’m so honored that the UFC recognized what I did as a fighter.”

Apart from his UFC run, Rutten also dominated Japan’s Pancrase organization during his career. The Hall of Famer will join other UFC pioneers Royce Gracie, Dan Severn and Chuck Liddell in the Pioneer Era wing of the UFC Hall of Fame.

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