The UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2015 has its first two inductees. Former Olympic Gold Medal wrestler and former UFC announcer Jeff Blatnick will be inducted into the Contributor’s Wing. The 2005 rematch between Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg will be inducted into the Fight Wing.
Jeff Blatnick won Olympic gold at the 1984 games in Los Angles. He was a Greco-Roman wrestler and NCAA Division II National Championships in 1978 and ’79. He served as a commentator for the UFC starting at UFC 4 and carried those duties until UFC 32. He was also named commissioner of the UFC in 1998 and as commissioner he lead the charge to help get the organization regulated by athletic commissions throughout the country. He is also credited for first giving the new sport the name of mixed martial arts. Blatnick passed away in October on 2012 from complications following heart surgery.
Though their 2005 welterweight championship bout only lasted one round it was a memorable bout and deemed worthy of the Hall of Fame. The bad blood between the two men leading up to the fight captured everyone’s attention and though it was not the night’s main event it has gone down as the most memorable one of the event. Huge was on an 11-fight win streak going into the night and has a strong hold on the UFC’s welterweight division.
The bout started bizarrely when Trigg tried to kiss Hughes but as the action started it was a unnoticed low blow that lead to Trigg gaining an early advantage on the champion Hughes. As Hughes stumbled away to recover from the low blow, Trigg was able to land a few punches on the chin that sent Hughes to the canvas. From there Trigg went for a rear naked choke and almost made Hughes tap out.
Hughes was able to escape the choke and in almost one single motion, he was able to pick up Trigg and put him on his shoulders. Hughes then proceed to run across the octagon and slammed Trigg down to the canvas. It was only a matter of time before Hughes was able to secure a rear naked choke of his own to make Trigg tap and retain his title.
The UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on July 11 at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.