International Fight Week is filled with exciting attractions for MMA fans, and one of those events is the annual UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This year's festivities will take place on Thursday, July 5, and the 2018 Hall of Fame class is headlined by one of the biggest names the sport of mixed martial arts has ever had the privilege to call its own.
#BeThere as legends make history.— UFC (@ufc) July 4, 2018
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Women's MMA pioneer Ronda Rousey will serve as the headliner for this year's class as a member of the Modern Wing, and deservedly so. Building a name for herself in Strikeforce, Rousey made her UFC debut as the women's bantamweight champion -- formerly the Strikeforce women's bantamweight championship -- in February 2013 and wasted no time in announcing herself to the UFC world with a quick submission victory over Liz Carmouche.
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She would defend the women's bantamweight championship six consecutive times, with five of those victories coming via stoppage in the first round. As Rousey continued to experience dominant success, she only grew as a pop culture sensation, all the while drawing more and more eyes to mixed martial arts, the UFC, and most importantly, women's MMA.
Rousey would lose her title to Holly Holm in stunning fashion via knockout at UFC 193, and that was followed up with a quick TKO loss to reigning women's bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. Rousey has since walked away from the UFC, currently competing for WWE as she chases a longtime dream of being a professional wrestler. While Rousey may in fact never return to the UFC, her contributions to the promotion and the sport as a whole will never be forgotten.
Joining Rousey as a member of the UFC 2018 Hall of Fame class is Matt Serra, who will be inducted into the Pioneer Wing. Serra spent nine years fighting under the UFC banner, and retired in 2013 with an overall record of 11-7. When MMA fans recall the career of Serra, though, one fight and one fight only comes to mind. Serra is most-well known for shocking the entire world at UFC 69 in 2007 when he stopped the legendary Georges St-Pierre via knockout in the first round to claim the welterweight championship. He would drop the title back to GSP one year later at UFC 83, but no one will ever forget the sheer shock of watching Serra quickly lay waste to one of the best to ever step into the Octagon.
The 2018 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony begins at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 5, and can be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass. Fellow inductees include Bruce Connal and Art Davie who will be entered into the Contributors Wing, and the UFC 139 battle between Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will be inducted into the Fight Wing.