The UFC Hall of Fame, Class of 2020, was a night that featured two of the greatest fighters of all-time and ended as a melancholic evening honoring the great careers of several men in the sport.
After a year of waiting, the UFC finally was able to hold a Hall of Fame ceremony to honor several legends and pioneers, in what became a melancholic evening. While the festivities were built around arguably the two greatest MMA fighters of all-time, the show was stolen by the widow of the late Kevin Randleman in a speech that encapsulated the life, career, and personality of “The Monster.”
The evening began with the inaugural Forrest Griffin Community Award in which the UFC legend bestowed an honor to a member of the promotion who best exemplified the spirit of giving back to their community. The recipient went well-deserved to Dustin Poirier, whose work with the Good Fight Foundation has made headlines throughout this year and the last. During his speech, Poirier discussed the story of the Make A Wish foundation connecting him with a young boy who asked for a handicap accessible playground for other children like him before passing away, which The Good Fight Foundation made happen.
The UFC’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner, was honored for his contributions to the sport. Former owner of the UFC Lorenzo Fertitta spoke about Ratner’s impact as he was honored for his work in getting MMA regulated across the United States and around the world. Ratner accepted the award and admitted that his crowning achievement was finally breaking through to get the sport regulated in the state of New York. Ratner is also notably a member of the boxing Hall of Fame.
Longtime UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones could not avoid the shadow of his negotiations with the promotion as pre-show questions revolved around where he stood with the company in terms of his return at heavyweight. Jones acknowledged his future in his speech, but gave credit to his opponent Alexander Gustafsson and his coaches who he brought with him on-stage as he accepted the honor for the 2013 epic that was inducted into the Hall.
Receiving the award for the late Kevin Randleman was his widow Elizabeth Randleman who also brought fellow Hall-of-Famers and longtime friends Bas Rutten and Mark Coleman to speak about the life and career of “The Monster.” In one of the most touching moments of the evening, the UFC presented a Hall-of-Fame jacket to Randleman’s son ten year-old son Santino who was helped into the coat by Coleman.
Finally, UFC legend Georges St-Pierre took his final bow for the promotion as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The former two-division champion spoke on his journey in the sport, from how he wanted to conduct himself, his love-hate relationship with the actual fights themselves, and his commitment to continue pushing for a clean sport.