Friday, June 26, 2009

This One Might Get Me in Trouble

We're closing in on UFC 100 - and the release of The UFC 100 - which means talks of who will be the next entrant into the UFC Hall of Fame are heating up again.

Evan Tanner's name constantly comes up and I keep wondering why.

Don't get me wrong - I loved Evan Tanner as a fighter and appreciate the trials and tribulations he went through outside the ring battling alcoholism. That being said, Evan Tanner is not a Hall of Famer.

I'm just trying to come at this logically, leaving all emotions at the door. Hypothetically speaking, if Evan Tanner were alive today, would a single soul be talking about him becoming the next member of the UFC Hall of Fame?

Of course they wouldn't. Tanner was a damn tough fighter who marched to the beat of his own drum, but he wasn't a dominating force at any point in his career and his one UFC title reign lasted four months minus a day, as Rich Franklin claimed the Middleweight belt in Tanner's first defense.

By no means am I trying to kick dirt on the grave of a fallen warrior - as I said, I completely respect what Tanner did inside the cage and outside the cage - but there are numerous people far more worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame than Evan Tanner... and no, as sad as his loss is as well, "Mask" isn't one of them either, unless you're inducting the entire Tapout Crew as a whole.

I look at it this way: Helio Gracie did far more for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts than both Charles Lewis and Evan Tanner combined, as the founder of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and patriarch of the legendary Gracie family. Oh, his son also started the original UFC. Kind of important, I think.

But many people don't think that way. I haven't read one article or list of candidates that mentions Helio Gracie, but everyone seems to be pulling for Mask and Tanner, with many considering them locks for induction.

They look back nostalgically at the career of Evan Tanner and romanticize it, using his brief championship stint and 17 career UFC fights as qualifications. Of course, Tim Sylvia is a two-time heavyweight champion with a number of fights in the UFC as well, but I don't hear anyone calling for "The Maine-iac" to be recognized...

The same goes for Mask. With all due respect, if he was still with us, would anyone be promoting him for the Hall of Fame? Probably not and while I know it's the answer to the question is moot because Charles Lewis was taken from us too soon, death shouldn't be the main criteria for induction.

If we're paying tribute to pioneers and people who showed incredible support and love for the sport, than do so accordingly, by acknowledging legends like Helio Gracie and not just the fallen whose imprint is freshest in our minds.

* * * * * * * * * *

Like everyone else who calls themselves a fan of Mixed Martial Arts, I too am saddened by the loss of these great contributors to our sport.

Without question, they did more than I could ever possibly do for Mixed Martial Arts and their presence can never be replaced.

My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families and friends of Evan Tanner and Charles "Mask" Lewis, as they do for Helio Gracie and his family.


  1. I diagree with you, I and many fans think that you and others who act as commentators on this subject should do a little more work and familiarize yourselves with the details of a mans career and contributions before you decree that people like Evan Tanner are somehow not worthy of inductance into the UFC Hall of Fame.

    I'm no the only fan that has a real issue with a bunch of dickheads in a boardroom, or a bunch of writers sitting around harping about technical excellence, making the decision of who is and is not recognized for their contributions to UFC and MMA.

    Tanner taught himself MMA from vids, refused commecial endorsement ,and turned to his fans for spornsorship. I'm sure this made him extremely unpopular with all you *hypocrites* that go on and on endlessly about UFC being legitame a sport, yet doing very little to actually back it up.

    Integrity, have a little, try to recognize it, and most of all, do try not to devalue it when someone displays it, lives it.

    Absolutely, Evan Tanner deserves to be in the UFC Hall of Fame. But does the UFC Hall of Fame deserve him ?

  2. Who are you to say that Evan Tanner is not Hall of Fame worthy? Have some respect for the dead, please.

    Also you want Helio Gracie in HOF instead, you're kidding? He and the whole Gracie clan are scum. Deceitful liars who have harped on their name so much that lazy idiots who don't bother to do any research just take their word for it and hail them as some great fighting family. They're not.

    They are dishonourable even to their own, and they are only out for themselves. They just take, take, take and never give anyhing back. And if given the chance they would bleed MMA dry.

    Can't believe you mentioned Rorion as well. You say it like he created the UFC of today, no he created a barbaric retard tournament for tv and his self gain. It was so bad that we are still carrying stigma from it today! Also MMA was around before the UFC, so don't say Rorion started it or even popularized it because that wasn't MMA that was "human cock fighting."

    The only one of them who deserves to be in the HOF is Royce, the only one who dared step in to the cage though it was the barbaric early days but even so I can understand why people would say he's HOF worthy. That said he is still a deceitful coward, who will only fight if the price is right and with that has to make up his own special rules to the fight for his advantage. Pure scum. Also holds submission moves for too long to the point of injury on some people and took steroids (don't give me that he's not a big guy crap, steroids can be used to heal injuries amongst other things). Yeah a class act.

    The Gracie family didn't invent shit, they just like to claim they do. Like the legendary Rickson, considered one of the greatest yet has never proven it just harped on about his obviiously made up 400-0 record. Another Gracie coward who mostly fought sub par competition, made up and overxagerated everything he's ever done and praised as some type of legend of MMA.

    You talk down Tanner's 17 UFC fights and winning of the Middleweight title like it was nothing. Shame on you. At least he actually had the balls and step up and fight like a man. He didn't make up some unbeaten record and never actually fight haha.

    Also don't compare Tanner to Sylvia total disrespect. Sylvia is a moron who once he won the belt turned into a coward and did not come to fight, he came to win and only hold onto the belt like a coward. That's not a fighter.

    Tanner laid his heart on the line everytime he fought. True warrior. Was he the greatest fighter ever? No! Was he the most popular fighter ever? No he wasn't. But he fought his heart out everytime, he didn't care about money unlike the Gracies. He'd be fighting for peanuts and sometimes fight for free. This man was a fighter. This is a man who should be imortalised as the Warrior he was and respected by many even after death. He was also a great human being unlike the Gracies.

    When he made his UFC return did he ask the UFC for an easy fight like some many people in his position coming back would have done. No he asked for a tough fighter and fought Yushin Okami. Not many other people would have done that. Just shows how tough and great he was. It's a shame there's not more people like him.

    But it can't be blamed the guy was one of a kind and for you to just write him off and say he's not HOF worthy is disgusting.

  3. ^ What an awful comment. You made no case for yourself. You basically said: Tanner should be in the Hall of Fame because 1) he taught himself MMA, 2) refused commercial endorsement and 3) turned to his fans for sponership.

    None of those three facts amounts to a tangible accomplishment in the cage. If you wanted to make a halfway persuasive case, you should have mentioned his time as MW champion. But there were many, many more dominant champions who are not being considered for the HoF.

    Ask yourself this: if he was alive, would you still be pulling for him in the hall of fame? No. No you wouldn't.

  4. Also though Mask never fought in the UFC he has helped so many other people, so many fighters who wouldn't be fighting today without his help. Very kind gentleman who I wouldn't mind being honoured.

    He gets my respect and desreves it from other people for everything he's done to help MMA grow, he hasn't just taken and never gave anything back like most of the Gracies.

  5. @above
    I also agree to your opinion. I think we should not blame Tanner. Everything always happen because of a reason, and the reason is good. Then, a person needs to respect each other so that others will (be expected) respect to him. When Tanner made his UFC return, I consider this is one of his strategies. If those people don't like it, say it in polite way. We know Tanner's reputation, so please do not misjudge him. Regards.

  6. I think Integrity, have a little, try to recognize it, and most of all, do try not to devalue it when someone displays it, lives it. And if you wanted to make a halfway persuasive case, you should have mentioned his time as MW champion. That's my opinion.


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