It should be considered not only a sad day for the sport, but also a sad day for this forum aswell, as Forrest Griffin announces his retirement. Some of us on this forum will remember the Great Schism of UFC59, apart from Matt Hughes, its fair to say, the UFC fighter thats caused the single most excitement, and the most epic amount of division...Forrest Griffin and whether or not people on the forum at the time believed he would/did win against Tito Ortiz at UFC 59.
Its also fair to say that the single most important moment in UFC History, outside of its Founding, and then the purchase by Zuffa, is undoubtedly the success of The Ultimate Fighter...and whilst its continued success can be clearly debated, and whilst hundreds of Fighters, and many a brilliant Coach have taken part. Forrest Griffin being THE Ultimate Fighter, as in, the first to win, and the exposure of the shows finale, is often seen as the representation of that success.
It is on those grounds that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July at the Fan Expo...
...However...there is an issue that i'd like to address. Personally speaking, The UFC ruined their "hall of fame" when they decided to induct "Mask" into it. Someone who had not officially been part of the UFC, not a fighter, and whose death, whilst tragic, also raises a lot of questions about what might had happened had Mask survived and his opponent in the illegal street race died instead.
The UFC in recognising, and using the TUF 1 Finale Fight as THE moment to epitomize the whole ideology of TUF and its influence on the spread of the sport, are forced to acknowledge the other competitor. Unfortunately, Stephan Bonnar, is also well know for a bad record, and cheating by taking illegal substances. In NO WAY, can Stephan Bonnar OR Mask be mentioned in the same category as Matt Hughes (nor likely Georges Saint Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Jay Penn) and that shouldnt be forgotten either really...The best way to think about this is to say that there are two DIFFERENT types of Fighter in the Hall of Fame....Those who are there on personal merit, and those who are there by circumstantially being part of an important moment in the UFCs History. You may consider that a Two Tier system for the Hall of Fame...but it stands True...Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin should be remembered for the part they unwittingly played in advancing the Sport...people like Matt Hughes should be remembered for Personal Merit and Achievement. One is an Icon in the Sport itself, One is an Epitome of a Revolutionary moment in the sports progression.
Viewed in that manner, it all makes sense