The UFC Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame are somewhat similar regarding who can be considered for induction. However, outside the question of who, the two Halls differ greatly.
According to the Baseball Hall of Fame website, any player is eligible as a Hall of Fame candidate if they meet the following requirements:
A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning fifteen (15) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3(A).
C. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
As for the UFC Hall of Fame, this is the criteria for the Modern category:
For individuals who made their professional MMA debuts on or after November 17, 2000.
Accomplishments in UFC are major consideration, but record outside Octagon is noted.
Individual should be aged 35 or older OR have been retired for one calendar year.
Active fighters are eligible, but not preferable.
After that, any similarities between the two ends.
UFC Hall of Fame vs Baseball Hall of Fame screening process
The baseball players who make it through the screening process from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA) then show up on a ballot (which is later published) and voted on by the members of the BWAA. In order for a player to make the Hall of Fame cut, their names have to checked on at least 75 percent of the ballots.
The BWAA voters are asked to consider, “…the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
As for unwritten rules, 300 wins for pitchers, 500 homer runs, and 3,000 hits are often considered the line where a player will be considered for induction.
As for what will keep a player out of the Baseball Hall Fame these days, “integrity, sportsmanship, character” does a lot of heavy lifting. (see: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Curt Schilling).
The BWAA lists each of the writers who receive a Hall of Fame vote on its website. In the most recent voting year, the number of voters was 389. While not all voters make their ballots public, in 2023, 308 of the voters did just that.
As for the UFC Hall of Fame, there is no transparency. The promotion’s site simply says, “UFC President Dana White leads an internal UFC committee to decide the annual inductees.” There is no list of who is on that committee beyond White. There is no public list of who is under consideration for the UFC Hall of Fame during a given year. There is no published requirement of how many voters on the committee have to approve of a candidate before induction, and there is no published list of who voted for what fighter.
As for what gets one into the UFC Hall of Fame, that too is vague at best. Before this year, a UFC/WEC championship was the one thing that seemed to be a requirement for induction into the “Modern” wing. With the induction of Donald Cerrone that prerequisite has been dropped.
Cerrone was an entertaining fighter, and he had a long career with the UFC, but when you put his accomplishments, 0-4 in WEC/UFC title fights against the man he is going into the Hall of Fame with in 2023, Jose Aldo (two-time UFC featherweight Champion with 7 defenses and one-time WEC featherweight Champion with 2 defenses), Cerrone’s achievements pale in comparison.
If Cerrone is going to be the bar by which other UFC fighters are judged for induction into the UFC — and it should be, because otherwise the UFC Hall of Fame becomes a “guys and gals the UFC likes a whole lot” — the door is now open for fighters like Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Demian Maia and Jeremy Stephens. All competitors who are known for lengthy UFC careers and a lot of wins, but who don’t necessarily have what would be considered Hall of Fame credentials.
As far as that “integrity clause,” it’s a good thing that’s not in play for the UFC Hall of Fame because Cerrone, along with recent inductees Michael Bisping, and Jon Jones would all be under the microscope.
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