Not even an earthquake could prevent the UFC from inducting former champions Michael Bisping, Rashad Evans, and Rich Franklin into the promotion’s Hall of Fame on Friday as part of the 2019 class.
Tremors from a 6.9 magnitude quake originating in California shook the stage at The Pearl at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas as Evans delivered a speech, prompting “Suga” to“That’s me bringing that heat.”
Evans and Bisping join the Modern Wing, while Franklin was enshrined in the Pioneer Wing. The all-time war between Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida in 2009, which the former won by split decision, was also the fifth bout to go into the Hall of Fame’s Fight Wing.
Bisping, a former 185-pound king, stunned the UFC world by knocking out Luke Rockhold during the first round of their June 2016 bout to earn the middleweight title.
The veteran fighter, who was known for his biting trash talk, spent 12 years in the UFC before finally earning gold. Bisping retired in 2018 while tied for the promotion’s all-time lead in fights (29) and wins (20), and he remains the only English fighter to capture a UFC belt.
Evans, meanwhile, exploded onto the MMA scene by winning the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter” as a heavyweight in 2005.
The American fought at light heavyweight afterward, winning six of his next seven bouts (one draw) – including victories over Bisping and Chuck Liddell – before beating Forrest Griffin via third-round TKO to earn the 205-pound belt. Evans was beaten by Lyoto Machida in his first title defense, and he retired in 2018 after losing five straight.
Finally, Franklin won the middleweight crown in 2005 at UFC 53 and defended his belt twice before losing to the legendary Anderson Silva the following year. He’s currently the vice president of ONE Championship.
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