Last month, a man who was truly instrumental in the success of the UFC, Bruce Connal, passed away at the age of 61.
Connal had done such things for the promotion as producing over 300 live events, starting with UFC 17 in 1998. Connal also worked side by side with a large portion of the on air talent for UFC programming, including Joe Rogan, Jon Anik, Brian Stann, Bruce Buffer, Megan Olivi and so many more that it would be impossible to list them all.
One way the UFC has decided to do in order to honor the late Bruce Connal is by making him the first member of the 2018 UFC Hall Of Fame Class, as he is going to be a part of the Contributor Wing.
The following press release was sent out by the UFC:
BRUCE CONNAL NAMED TO 2018 UFC ® HALL OF FAME CLASS
UFC® today announced that pioneering television producer Bruce Connal has been named to the UFC Hall of Fame class for 2018 as a Contributor. With his selection, Connal becomes the fifth inductee of the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Contributor Wing’ and third welcomed posthumously. The 2018 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 5 in Las Vegas. The event will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®.
“Bruce was a close friend to all of us here at UFC and he was also one of the most talented television producers I’ve ever seen,” UFC President Dana White said. “Bruce did an amazing job producing the most successful events in UFC history and he will be sorely missed. I’m thrilled that his family is here with us tonight at UFC 223, and we’re looking forward to having them join us in Las Vegas to celebrate Bruce’s life and career when we induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2018.”
A native of Nyack, New York, Bruce was raised in Old Greenwich, Connecticut and attending Ithaca (NY) College.
Following his graduation in 1979, Bruce briefly worked at NBC Sports before joining ESPN as one of the network’s first associate producers. During his tenure at ESPN, Connal led a team of producers who played a critical role in launching numerous shows that covered a wide range of sports that included the College World Series, Sunday Night Baseball and the NHL, to name a few.
After an impressive run with ESPN, Bruce played a pivotal role with the television production company, Concom, which began directing UFC Pay-Per-View events at UFC®17: REDEMPTION, which took place on Friday, May 15, 1998 at the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama. Over the next 19 years (1998 – 2018), Bruce led the production of more than 300 UFC televised events, including the largest and most successful in UFC history.
“Bruce was an amazing friend, husband, father and member of the Zuffa family whose presence will be greatly missed,” UFC Executive Vice President of Operations and Production Craig Borsari said. “Bruce’s influence on our live event production over the past two decades has played a vital role in shaping how millions of fans watch UFC events. We’re honored to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2018.”
Connal is survived by his mother, Mathilde, wife Karen and children, Tyler, Carly and Trevor. Bruce was 61 years old.
The remaining inductees of the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2018 will be announced in the coming weeks leading to the 7thAnnual UFC International Fight Week™, which takes place from Tuesday, July 3 through Saturday, July 7 in Las Vegas.
To view the UFC Hall of Fame fight library, please visit UFCHOF. To see a complete list of UFC athletes and fights currently enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame, as well as details regarding the UFC Hall of Fame format, please visit UFCHOFFAQ. For additional information, please visit UFC.com and follow UFC Fight Week on Twitter @UFCFightWeek.
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UFC® is a premium global sports brand and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. Celebrating its 25thAnniversary in 2018, UFC boasts more than 278 million fans worldwide and has produced over 400 events in 21 countries since its inception in 1993. Acquired in 2016 by global sports, entertainment and fashion leader Endeavor (formerly WME IMG), together with strategic partners Silver Lake Partners and KKR, UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas with a network of employees around the world. UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe, while programming is broadcast in over 165 countries and territories to more than 1.1 billion TV households worldwide in 35 different languages. UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the world. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram: @UFC.
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The 2018 UFC Hall Of Fame Ceremony takes place on Thursday, July 5 from a location to be announced in Las Vegas, Nevada. The entire ceremony will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.