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Old 05-08-2012, 03:21 PM
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Default Dana White: Tito Ortiz, BJ Penn Deserve to Be in UFC Hall of Fame

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Apr 25, 2012 - WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- The UFC hasnít set a time or date for its next set of inductions into the companyís Hall of Fame. But when they get around to it, said company president Dana White, two former champions will likely get a call.

During a lunch gathering at The Palm restaurant, White said two fighters coming close to the end of the line, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and multi-weight class champ B.J. Penn, belong in the Hall of Fame.

"Despite my personal problems with Tito, he belongs in," said White. "He was the champion when we first bought this thing. The fact that Tito is still here, Tito and I have had our moments, but it doesnít change what he did for the company."

Ortiz was the first major drawing card of the Zuffa era. "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" held the light heavyweight title from 2000-03, still the third-longest reign in company history, and his rivalries with Ken Shamrock and Chuck Liddell helped etch the new-era UFC into mainstream consciousness.

Ortiz and White have famously clashed over the years. But White says he canít deny the former champion his place in history.

"The beef between me and Tito, Chuck and Tito, the fact is, that played a huge role in helping making this thing as big as it is."

Penn, a Hilo, Hawaii native billed as "The Prodigy," is one of the most naturally gifted fighters ever to set foot in the Octagon. His willingness to fight anyone -- he once gave up 50 pounds in a fight against future UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and took him to a decision -- made him one of the companyís most popular fighters.

Penn is one of just two fighters to win titles in multiple weight classes. In 2004, the natural lightweight went up to welterweight and submitted Matt Hughes to claim the crown, ending Hughesí 13-fight win streak. In 2008, he defeated Joe Stevenson for the vacant UFC lightweight title and held the belt for two years.

"Definitely," White said when asked if Penn belongs in the Hall. "The thing about B.J. Penn is that what he brought to the lightweight division, there was a point in time when we first bought this company when people thought guys in the lighter weight divisions couldnít be stars and couldnít see pay-per-views and couldnít cross over. B.J. Penn was definitely that first crossover guy for us."

Ortiz will fight Forrest Griffin in their trilogy fight on July 7 in what is expected to be Ortizís last fight. Penn is hinting at retirement, but White thinks heís not done yet.

"Heíll be back. Itís tough, when there are 16,000 people in the arena chanting your name, itís tough to walk away from that. B.J. Penn is a fighter. You hear some of these guys, and Tito was one of these guys, he said he wanted to be famous. B.J. Penn is a fighter."

Fighters currently in the Hall are Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Mark Coleman, Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes. Late TapouT co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis is also inducted.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:46 PM
rearnakedchoke rearnakedchoke is offline
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they both belong there ... they should also induct gsp this time around too .. i know he will get his shot, but it would be cool to see three guys like them getting inducted at the same time
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rearnakedchoke View Post
they both belong there ... they should also induct gsp this time around too .. i know he will get his shot, but it would be cool to see three guys like them getting inducted at the same time
GSP's story isn't over yet. There are still great chapters that could still be written. For Matt, BJ & Tito, all their greatest accomplishments are, sadly, behind them at this point. They could still win against tough guys & build further upon their legacy, but it's doubtful that any of them will pull a Randy Couture.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by VCURamFan View Post
GSP's story isn't over yet. There are still great chapters that could still be written. For Matt, BJ & Tito, all their greatest accomplishments are, sadly, behind them at this point. They could still win against tough guys & build further upon their legacy, but it's doubtful that any of them will pull a Randy Couture.
What getting his teeth knocked out? LOL
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:43 PM
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What getting his teeth knocked out? LOL
Well, Matt already did that in his first class at Pat's...
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:05 PM
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Well, Matt already did that in his first class at Pat's...
Is that how he lost his teeth? I always wondered? Also Dan Henderson? Do you care to elaborate and share your knowledge with this noob
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:49 PM
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Is that how he lost his teeth? I always wondered? Also Dan Henderson? Do you care to elaborate and share your knowledge with this noob
I dunno about Hendo, but Matt has told the story about his teeth a few times: his very first time training up at Pat's, it was a grappling class. Matt had been wrestling for years, so when Pat said for everyone to put in mouthpieces, Matt disregarded it. Very first guy Matt rolled with was apparently a bit spastic: guy failed & Matt caught a to the mouth, knocking out his top-front-left tooth.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:52 PM
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I dunno about Hendo, but Matt has told the story about his teeth a few times: his very first time training up at Pat's, it was a grappling class. Matt had been wrestling for years, so when Pat said for everyone to put in mouthpieces, Matt disregarded it. Very first guy Matt rolled with was apparently a bit spastic: guy failed & Matt caught a to the mouth, knocking out his top-front-left tooth.
Damn that sucks
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rearnakedchoke View Post
they both belong there ... they should also induct gsp this time around too .. i know he will get his shot, but it would be cool to see three guys like them getting inducted at the same time
Why?.........What has GSP done for the UFC and what are his great accomplishments? Not finishing fights? Always going to decision? Having Vasoline rubbed all over his upper body? Quitting after getting punched by Matt Serra? Putting on sub-par performances just about every time he fights? Kicking Matt Hughes in the groin several times in the same fight, then winning? (had to throw that one in there)
He's not even committed to the sport of MMA.....Not long ago he was going to leave and try to compete in the olympics.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:13 AM
rearnakedchoke rearnakedchoke is offline
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Why?.........What has GSP done for the UFC and what are his great accomplishments? Not finishing fights? Always going to decision? Having Vasoline rubbed all over his upper body? Quitting after getting punched by Matt Serra? Putting on sub-par performances just about every time he fights? Kicking Matt Hughes in the groin several times in the same fight, then winning? (had to throw that one in there)
He's not even committed to the sport of MMA.....Not long ago he was going to leave and try to compete in the olympics.
tell us how you really feel .. gsp is one of the most dominant fighters ever in the ufc .... so aside from your personal feelings he will get in the HoF ... but it is probably best that he goes in one his own .... more fitting of a dominant champ like him ...
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