Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and Charles Lewis Jr., the late co-founder of the popular TapouT company, will be the newest inductees into the UFC Hall of Fame.
UFC President Dana White today posted the news on his personal Twitter account.
The UFC Hall of Fame inductions take place this Friday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m. PT (local time) during the UFC Fan Expo at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Liddell and Lewis will join a list of UFC hall-of-famers that currently includes Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Randy Couture and Mark Coleman. Lewis will be the UFC Hall of Fame's first non-fighter inductee.
The 39-year-old Liddell was essentially a no-brainer as a choice for the hall. The MMA superstar is perhaps the most popular fighter in UFC history with a career 21-7 record, which includes a 16-6 mark in the UFC. His 16 wins in the organizations remain a UFC record.
"The Iceman," who turned pro in 1998, made his MMA and UFC debut at UFC 17. He won the UFC's light-heavyweight title in 2005 and made four consecutive title defenses before losing the belt to Quinton Jackson in 2007.
Although UFC President Dana White announced Liddell's retirement following the fighter's knockout loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua back in April, Liddell hasn't ruled out a return to the organization sometime in 2010.
Lewis, meanwhile, enters the hall posthumously. The longtime MMA enthusiast and UFC sponsor died in an automobile accident in California on March 11 when his vehicle was struck by another car.
Two days after the accident, the driver of the second car was charged with multiple felonies, including vehicular manslaughter and his third DUI offense.
Lewis, 45, founded TapouT Clothing Inc. in 1997 with a trunk full of T-shirts and a few thousand dollars of start-up money. Over the past decade, he and his partners have made the company the biggest apparel success story in MMA history.
Tapout, which grossed just $30,000 in sales in 1999, pushed that number to more than $100 million in 2008 alone. The company now has licensed retailers (including the likes of Dillard's and Champs) around the world and is one of the UFC's most prominent sponsors.
Lewis was a fixture at MMA events around the world, and his company sponsored numerous fighters. He also appeared in a TapouT TV show that airs on Versus.