Late Monday evening, UFC president Dana White Tweeted that former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr., the late co-founder of TapouT Clothing, will be the latest members inducted into their Hall of Fame.
“Hey guys chuck liddell and charles “mask” lewis will be inducted into the ufc hall of fame at the ufc fan expo this friday at 630pm,” White Tweeted at approximately 10PM ET/7PM PT.
“The Iceman” and Lewis will be joining an exclusive club which currently houses the likes of Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Randy Couture and Mark Coleman.
Lewis will be the only inductee to never have fought for the company, however his influence on the sport of mixed martial arts rained down harder than any Anderson Silva Muay Thai knee to the grill ever could.
The mixed martial arts pioneer starred as the main character for the most popular MMA clothing brand in the world. Tapout has become synonymous with the sport, specifically the UFC, and that is directly correlated to Mask’s drive and charisma.
Lewis was killed in an automobile accident in Newport Beach, California earlier this year. His Ferrari split completely in half when it hit a pole after being sideswiped by a recklessly driven Porsche.
Newport Beach paramedics pronounced Lewis dead at the scene, while the driver of the Porsche, Jeffrey David Kirby, turned out to be a multi-DUI offender, including that fateful March morning.
Liddell’s induction into the Hall at this point in his career is a little precocious. White has been chastised for prematurely pouring dirt on Liddell’s illustrious career before the former champ could say any different, while Liddell would like to leave on his own terms.
As reported earlier, “The Iceman” stated earlier today that he wasn’t positive that he was done fighting, however he would take much of this year off and leave the door slightly cracked for a possible return in 2010. Liddell is currently 39 years old.
He made his professional debut in 1998, and won his first UFC light heavyweight crown just seven years later. He then rolled off four consecutive title defenses before losing his strap to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in 2007.
Liddell has lost four out of his last five, and has been knocked out in three of them.
The UFC Hall of Fame inductions take place this Friday, July 10th , at 6:30 PM PT during the first day of the UFC Fan Expo inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.