Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo were among the UFC Hall of Fame inductees of the class of 2023. The induction ceremony, which went down at the T-Mobile Arena on July 6 turned out to be an emotional affair.
This year's inductees included former UFC middleweight legend Anderson Silva and inaugural UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver in the pioneer wing. Meanwhile, recently retired Jose Aldo and Donald Cerrone were inducted into the modern wing of the UFC Hall of Fame.
The legendary UFC 189 clash between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald was inducted into the fight wing. Former UFC fighters, the Nogueira brothers of Brazil were the recipient of this year's Forrest Griffin Community Service award.
Asked about his Hall of Fame induction, 'Cowboy' told Megan Olivi:
"When I said I'd fight anyone, anywhere, anytime; and I told everybody that I wanna be the guy that if I'm on the card, they pull the RV over. They figure out how they can stream it and watch. And tonight allows me to concrete that."
Meanwhile one of the greatest featherweights of all time, Aldo, broke down inconsolably before making a fighter walk to the stage.
Jens Pulver shared an important message on mental health during his time on the podium. The 48-year-old said:
"Battled with for a long time, anxiety and depression. And I learnt, 'Never close the door on a person you're gonna be in five years'. Because time will be different, those problems, those memories will change. If you're busy growing your world, those problems will get smaller. Never close the door and do something drastic."
Anderson Silva's son talks about the pressure of filling in his father's shoes
Anderson Silva reigned supreme atop the UFC's middleweight division from 2006 to 2012, leaving behind the likes of Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen in his wake. To choose to follow in the footsteps of an absolute legend like Silva must not have been easy for his son Kalyl.
The 24-year-old who made his pro boxing debut last December, attended the UFC Hall of Fame 2023 induction ceremony on behalf of his father. Speaking about the pressure of being Anderson Silva's son, Kalyl told reporters:
"The pressure is always there. The nervousness. You know, there's a certain expectation of me. Performance expectations, many many expectations. But I feel like people would talk regardless, whether it be good things, whether it be bad things. Whatever it is, I just focus on me, focus on what I have to do and what makes me happy you know."