Welcome to the Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Fame!
      

How the Hall of Fame works

MMAHallofFame.com recognizes fighters, trainers, officials, promoters, and others for extraordinary contributions to mixed martial arts worldwide.

There are three critical parts to the process:
I. Judges Panel
II. Nomination Process
III. Induction Process

I. Judges Panel

Hall of Fame inductees are selected by an approximately 100 member group, officially known as the Judges Panel. The Judges Panel is drawn from extraordinary members the media, fighters, trainers, regulators, promoters, matchmakers, managers, officials, and fans. All appointments run for three-year terms, and can be reinstated.

Approximately 100 members is sufficient to ensure that no single person, or pair, or small group can have an overwhelming effect on the vote.

Some Hall of Fames, like baseball, boxing, and the NFL, use only media representatives as voting members. This would not be feasible given the historically nascent state of MMA media. Thus, like for example Hockey, the MMAHallofFame.com uses representatives from a variety of roles, including media.

II. Nomination Process

Nominations are open to fighters, trainers, officials, promoters, managers, media, and others for extraordinary contributions to mixed martial arts worldwide.

Honoring contributors to the sport in addition to athletes is the standard convention for Halls of Fame, followed in for example Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, and Hockey. Only the Pro Football Hall of Fame doesn't allow officials.

Nomination is limited to fighters beginning ten years after their debut. Likewise, officials, trainers, and all others are not eligible until a decade after their first professional appearance.

In most major sports, eligibility to that sport’s Hall of Fame is limited to those who are some fixed period of time past retirement. This requirement is incompatible with Mixed Martial Arts, given its relatively recent birth. Royce Gracie, for example, has yet to officially retire, and thus would be ineligible, which is an absurdity.

Further, most Hall of Fames also honor non athletes (coaches, officials, etc) without the retirement plus mandate. Were this convention followed, the MMA Hall of Fame would consist solely of judges, trainers, etc. which, again, is a non starter.

Non fighters are limited to a maximum of two per year.

Like the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, MMAHallofFame.com has no provision to waive its waiting period in the event of a death.

There are three categories for voting:
Pioneer
Historical
Present Year

Pioneer:

Initial Pioneer nominees include Gene LeBell, Carlson Gracie, Mitsuyo Maeda, and Helio Gracie, who made their mark well before the advent of modern MMA. There will be periodic additions to the Pioneer category.

Historical:

Nominees become eligible for ten years from the date of their professional debut, in whatever field, fighting, promoting, etc. Winners are listed as close as possible to the ten year date, ordered by the number of votes they receive.

There is retroactive voting for each year from 2002 onwards.
Pre 1993 (voting limited to figures immediately prior to UFC 1)
2003 (1993+ eligibility requirement)
2004 (1994+ eligibility requirement)
2005 (1995+ eligibility requirement)
2006 (1996+ eligibility requirement)
2007 (1997+ eligibility requirement)
2008 (1998+ eligibility requirement)
2009 (1999+ eligibility requirement)
2010 (2000+ eligibility requirement)
2011 (2001+ eligibility requirement)

Present Year:

Actual year voting will begin with 2012. It includes those meeting the 2002+ eligibility requirement that did not receive sufficient numbers for induction in previous ballots, as well as any worthy figures nominated during the previous year.

The pool of nominees for each year is relatively open-ended, and is generated by the Judge’s Panel (max three nominations each per year) as well as input from members of the MMA community

Interested parties may nominate any fighter, official, etc by simply logging into the MMAHallofFame.com with their Facebook or Twitter account.

A Selection Committee narrows the potential nominees to a final pool, with a maximum of 30.

III. Induction Process

Each member of the Judges Panel is allowed four votes per year. Judges are eligible to vote in the period or periods (Pioneer, Historical, Present) where their expertise lies.

Some Judges have restrictions on the number of votes. Judge's panel members cannot vote for themselves, for example, and active regulators cannot vote on figures that could potentially be subject to their regulation, to avoid even the apearance of favortism.

Induction requires 66% of received ballots, with a min of four and a max of seven. If less than four nominees for a given year received 66%, then the four top vote getters are in. If more than seven reach 66%, then the seven top vote getters are in.

The decision to limit inductees to between four and seven is in keeping with the traditions of other major sports:
Basketball: 310 inductees in 52 years, an average of six per year.
Baseball: 297 inductees in 73, an average of four per year.
Football: 267 inductees in 50 years, an average of five per year.

Nominees who fail to get in on the first ballot can be nominated further times, without restriction.

Voting takes place online. Results are private. The decision to keep ballots private is the practice by some Halls of Fame, like Basketball, but not all.