The UFC hall of fame just got a new addition.
The promotion has announced that Art Davie will be inducted into its “Contributor Wing” on July 5 as part of the UFC’s annual International Fight Week, which will be headlined by UFC 226.
“Art’s contributions to UFC helped lay the foundation for the sport that fans around the world see today,” UFC President Dana White said. “It’s an honor to induct Art into the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2018 and we look forward to celebrating his career at our ceremony in July.”
Without Art Davie there might not be an Ultimate Fighting Championship. After being inspired by the famed “Gracie in Action” videos of the late 1980s, Davie approached Rorion Gracie with the idea to air a style vs. style tournament on pay-per-view. After finding a PPV company willing to air their show, Davie and Gracie put together UFC 1, which would be won by Rorion Gracie’s younger brother, Royce.
“Being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame is the greatest honor that can be bestowed to anyone involved with the sport of mixed martial arts,” Davie said. “Watching UFC become mainstream and break all these records over the years has been like watching my child go out and conquer the world. I’m so proud of what UFC has become and I’m thrilled my part in its creation is being celebrated during its 25th anniversary.”
Davie and Gracie would sell their ownership to SEG, but Davie would remain a pivotal part of the organization until 1997 when he left the company. Davie can be credited largely for his deeply important role in the early development of mixed martial arts, but it wasn’t until he left the UFC, the era of stricter regulation and the eventual Zuffa ownership that the UFC would become a mainstream success story.
Davie joins Charles Lewis Jr., Joe Silva, Jeff Blatnick, Bob Meyrowitz in the Contributor Wing of the hall of fame alongside fellow 2018 inductee, former UFC producer Bruce Connal, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
‼MORE‼— UFC (@ufc) April 27, 2018
April 27, 1993: 25 years ago today, UFC co-founder @ArtDavie received this agreement - via fax - from Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG) to produce UFC 1! #UFC25Years pic.twitter.com/HrFiQloGOQ