In 2023, the world’s premier MMA promotion will reach another milestone. As it continues to develop and enhance the sport in the global mainstream, the UFC will celebrate 30 years in November.
While the date every year sees fans, fighters, and pundits reminisce about their favorite moments inside the Octagon, there’s been a number of more notable numbers, most recently when the promotion reached 25 years on the combat sports scene.
In 2018, the UFC celebrated that anniversary in a number of ways, including the creation of a special logo and mosaics that put together images of fans’ favorite fighters or moments to recreate some iconic pictures from the organization’s history.
Still, the occasions have been seen as somewhat low-key in the past, including by Helwani, who’s called on the UFC to pull out all the stops to celebrate its history come November 2023.
Helwani Tells UFC: “Let’s Do It Up”
During a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani gave his thoughts on how the UFC should celebrate its upcoming 30th anniversary.
Previously, the Canadian journalist has been critical of how the promotion and the sport in general treats its legends, even expressing a desire to open up a hall of fame to give MMA greats the respect they deserve.
Along the same lines, Helwani is hoping to see the UFC invite some of its veterans and all-time best fighters back for the occasion next year.
“I hope the UFC makes a big deal out of their 30th anniversary,” Helwani said. “You know what would be cool? Bring back, I don’t know, the winners of the first 10 UFCs, or bring back— imagine they bring back every living UFC champion! It probably isn’t that many. How many do you think it is? 40? 50?
“Bring them all back, have a huge ceremony for them. Do something big. Honor your history. Honor your past,” Helwani added. “20th anniversary, 25th anniversary was like (shrugs). Let’s do it up”
In the past, Helwani has suggested that the UFC follow the blueprint laid out by the National Basketball Association, which ranked its 75 best players last year in honor of its 75th anniversary.
Sharing that proposal again, Helwani urged the UFC to bring all the “big dogs” back.
“One idea that I brought up last year, UFC 30, whatever you wanna call it — name the 30 greatest fighters in UFC history, like the NBA did with their 75th anniversary. Wouldn’t that be fun? Then you bring those guys out, or gals, together. I would love that…. Bring in all the big dogs, rank them, let’s have some fun.”
What do you make of Ariel Helwani’s idea for the UFC’s 30th anniversary?
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