Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July, entering the “Pioneer” wing.

His induction was announced at UFC 236 to wild cheers in Atlanta on Saturday night.

Franklin retired with a 29-7-1(NC) record, compiling wins over names such as Wanderlei Silva (x2), Chuck Liddell, Ken Shamrock, Nate Quarry and more.

The Ohio native also defended his middleweight championship twice before losing it to Anderson Silva.

He is currently serving as Vice President of ONE Championship.

“Rich Franklin is one of the original, big stars of UFC, from when we first bought the company,” UFC President Dana White said. [H/T Sherdog]

“Rich helped us take the sport of mixed martial arts to another level and put UFC on the map during the early days.

“Rich has always been a class act. He’s a guy who would fight anyone and do whatever it took to help grow the sport of MMA.

“He is a true legend and I’m honored to call him my friend.”

The pioneer wing of the UFC Hall of Fame is reserved for fighters who turned professional before November 17th, 2000, and be a minimum age of 35.

“This induction is less of my doing and more of the culmination of the many hours each coach, training partner and my manager spent with me,” said Franklin.

“So often people talk about the sacrifices an athlete has to make to succeed, but my friends and family sacrificed far more for my career.

“Few people in this world live out a childhood dream and turn a hobby into a career, let alone end with Hall of Fame recognition, and God has blessed me with both.

“I am humbled by the support of my fans over the years and those particularly persistent on this induction.”