Tuesday, August 9, 2022

UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony 2022: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier headline this year’s class

The UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony is one of the staples of the promotion’s annual “International Fight Week” schedule. This year, the event takes place on June 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This year sees three inductions, with no new entries into the pioneer or contributor wings.

That doesn’t mean the ceremony is short on notable inductees, however, as two of the most dominant fighters of the modern era and one incredible fight will all be honored.

Let’s take a look at the 2022 UFC Hall of Fame inductees.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (Modern Wing)

Nurmagomedov already possessed an impressive 16-0 record when he made his UFC debut. He then tore through the lightweight ranks in the Octagon, picking up 13 more victories and capturing the lightweight championship in April 2018, winning the vacant belt in a bout with late-replacement opponent Al Iaquinta. Nurmagomedov successfully defended the championship three times, most notably in a fight with bitter rival Conor McGregor that ended in a bitter brawl. After defending the title against then-interim champion Justin Gaethje, Nurmagomedov announced he was retiring from the sport with a perfect 29-0 record. The decision came after the death of his father, Abdulmanap, who was also Nurmagomedov’s head trainer and guiding voice in his career. Nurmagomedov’s legacy stands as the most dominant lightweight in the history of the UFC, if not MMA as a whole.

Daniel Cormier (Modern Wing)

One of the great American amateur wrestlers of his generation, Cormier seemed like a can’t-miss prospect when he made the transition to mixed martial arts. Cormier found early career success in Strikeforce, going from a Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament reserve to the tournament winner. In April 2013, Cormier debuted for the UFC with a decision victory over multi-time heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Despite his 13-0 record and success at heavyweight, Cormier dropped to the light heavyweight division two fights after his win over Mir so that he and longtime friend and training partner Cain Velasquez would never have to meet in the Octagon. He engaged in a legendary feud with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones that saw Cormier lose his first fight, but after Jones’ legal troubles stemming from a hit and run, Cormier would win the vacant title against Anthony Johnson one fight later. After several more title defenses — and a loss to Jones in their rematch that was overturned due to a Jones drug test failure — Cormier returned to heavyweight and knocked out Stipe Miocic to become a two-division champion. Cormier decided to retire from active competition after losing both the rematch and rubber match to Miocic. He now is one of the voices of the UFC, serving as both a commentator and analyst for the promotion.

Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi (Fight Wing)

Swanson and Choi met in 2016 in a wild featherweight battle. At the time, Choi was riding a 12-fight winning streak, including eight consecutive knockout victories (three in the Octagon). Swanson was an established veteran who had competed in the WEC and UFC cage 19 times prior to meeting Choi. The two would immediately engage in a back-and-forth brawl, but each man nearly scored finishes as they went the full three-round distance. Swanson took the win on the scorecards, breaking Choi’s streak. The fight was an obvious choice for Fight of the Night and garnered many awards as 2016’s best fight of the year.

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