We asked you who you felt deserving of recognition in MMA this year and some of you replied… heres the results.
Fighter of the Year
Mighty Mouse earned the nod by being the most active of the UFC’s champions and adding finishing ability to his already formidable skill set, with his submission of John Moraga and first round knockout of Joseph Benavidez making it look a lot like he’s cleared out the 125lb weight class in less than 18 months.
The winner of John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov awaits in the new year but for now, few can argue that Johnson is one of the most complete, technical and dominant fighters in the game.
2nd = Chris Weidman (15%)
2nd = Renan Barao (15%)
Also nominated – Anderson Silva, Cain Velasquez, Georges St Pierre, Jon Jones, Urijah Faber (45%)
Breakthrough Fighter of the Year
1st Chris Weidman (31%)
Back to back second round stoppages of the universally acknowledged greatest fighter of all time will do a hell of a lot for your profile…
The signs were there last year as Weidman laid Mark Munoz out like none before him and the idea that here we had a wrestler with the striking nous and composure to challenge Anderson Silva has come to bear fruit in the most high profile way imaginable.
Now the figurehead of the Middleweight division, Weidman has a fearsome challenge in the shape of the souped-up Vitor Belfort to contend with in 2014.
2nd = Anthony Pettis (23%)
2nd = Cub Swanson (23%)
Also nominated – Alexander Gustafsson, Joanne Calderwood, Julianna Pena, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rustam Khabilov (23%)
Fight of the Year
1st Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson (33%)
Every single fight that was nominated is worthy of the award, but I get the feeling that Jones-Gustafsson narrowly gets the nod because of it’s level of competitiveness and technical ability combined with the fact that we were a bit surprised how it ended up going down, compared to the predictable slobber knockers of the other lead contenders.
Here’s hoping we get the rematch in 2014
2nd Antonio Silva vs. Mark Hunt (26%)
3rd Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez (12%)
Also nominated – Brian Stann vs. Wanderlei Silva, Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller, Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks (29%)
Knockout of the Year
1st Chris Weidman (vs. Anderson Silva, UFC 162) (30%)
They said it couldn’t be done. Some of the best had tried to plant a meaningful blow on Anderson’s chin and been made to look downright silly. Chris Weidman changed all that and the import of that blow has outweighed more concussive or spectacular looking knockouts…
2nd Antonio Silva (vs. Alistair Overeem) (23%)
3rd = Mark Hunt (vs. Stefan Struve) (15%)
3rd = Paul Daley (vs. Romaria da Silva) (15%)
Also nominated – Paul Daley, Vitor Belfort, Junior dos Santos (27%)
Submission of the Year
1st Anthony Pettis (vs. Benson Henderson) (30%)
Im a bit astonished to see zero votes for Rose Namajuna’s flying arm bar here, but I voted for Pettis on account of the fact that he subbed Ben Henderson (really difficult) from guard (even harder) when Pettis’s road to victory was supposed to be via his striking skills.
2nd = Josh Burkman (vs. Jon Fitch) (20%)
2nd = Urijah Faber (vs. Ivan Menjivar) (20%)
Also nominated – Kenny Robertson, Ian Entwhistle, Chael Sonnen (30%)
Performance of the Year
1st Travis Browne (vs. Alistair Overeem) (25%)
A very competitive category has been taken by a fighter who’s performance in demolishing Alistair Overeem marked his coming out as a truly top level competitor. With an impressive win over Josh Barnett since, Browne should get a title shot in 2014, although he may have to go through Fabricio Werdum first.
2nd Gilbert Melendez (vs. Diego Sanchez) (17%)
3rd Cub Swanson (vs. Dennis Siver) (12%)
Also nominated – Robbie Lawler, Urijah Faber, Cain Velasquez, Edson Barboza, Tom Watson, Mark hunt, Diego Sanchez (46%)
European Fighter of the Year
1st Alexander Gustafsson (70%)
So very nearly unseating the polarising and dominant Jon Jones earned Gus the love of Europeans and the grudging respect of the Americans, who finally acknowledge him as an elite fighter and the fact that Europeans can match Americans in a grappling battle.
2nd Conor McGregor (16%)
3rd Joanne Calderwood (6%)
Also nominated – Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tom Niinimaki (8%)
Scottish Fighter of the Year
1st Joanne Calderwood (70%)
Despite Robert Whiteford becoming the first Scot in the UFC, Steven Ray winning the Cage Warriors title and Graham turner maintaining his winning streak to earn a shot at the CWFC Featherweight belt, this category was dominated by Joanne.
Extending her unbeaten record, scoring memorable knockouts on home turf and finally earning the call up to the UFC has made her stand out from her Dinky Ninja brothers. more of the same next year please!
2nd Steven Ray (24%)
3rd Ricky Burns (6%)
Promotion of the Year
1st Ultimate Fighting Championship (40%)
Well, it just is, isn’t it? nice to see Cage Warriors and Invicta getting a good few votes though.
2nd Cage Warriors Fighting Championship (36%)
3rd Invicta Fighting Championship (16%)
Also nominated – First Fighting Championship, BAMMA (8%)
Promoter of the Year
1st Dana White (64%)
It’s almost a default category, as with the UFC’s resources, Dana can afford to piss people off left and right and still be THE MAN. That said, I love the guy because he’s one of the few business figureheads who really seems to talk about their sports franchise with genuine affection.
2nd Shannon Knapp (36%)
Booker of the Year
1st Joe Silva (UFC 155 lbs and over) (46%)
I wish I had Joe Silva’s problems. ‘Which pair of elite level fighters, under exclusive contract to us will I pair up for this card or that card?’ must make for such a shitty work day.
Still, it’s acknowledged that Silva does a great job, often dragging surprisingly competitive matches from seemingly mismatched opponents and fun bouts from dull fighters.
2nd = Sean Shelby (UFC 145lbs and under) 23%
2nd = Ian Dean (CWFC) 23%
Also nominated – James Green (FFC), Scott Cutbirth (RFA) – 8%
Media Source of the Year
1st MMA Fighting (35%)
I’m a little amazed that anyone nominated BJPenn.com or the like, but MMA Fighting is a worthy victor here, combining timely, accurate news and insightful, informed opinion with some of the best added value in MMA journalism via the MMA Hour.
2nd MMA Junkie (23%)
3rd Your MMA (15%)
Also nominated – Inside MMA, BJPenn.com, Bleacher report, Bloody Elbow (27%)
Media Personality of the Year
1st= Ariel Helwani & Chael Sonnen (23% each)
This result amused me, as if Ariel and Chael are a double act (casting Ariel as the Jimmy Hart to Chael’s Ric Flair) but in their respective roles as reporter/interviewer and studio analyst they add a potent mix of personality and insight to whichever broadcast they appear on.
2nd= Tommy Toe Hold (15%)
2nd= Bas Rutten (15%)
Also nominated – Josh Palmer, Karen Bryant & Kenny Florian (24%)
Hero of the Year
1st Georges St-Pierre (42%)
Defends his title twice in two of the biggest and most anticipated bouts of the year, then chooses to step away from the sport while at the top. Classy.
Throw in the fact that he backs a charity to help bullied schoolchildren and has always been the very picture of the modern professional mixed martial artist and a class act to the very end under incredible pressure and GSP more than deserves this award.
2nd= Mark Hunt (16%)
2nd= Joanne Calderwood (16%)
Also nominated – Joe Lauzon, Junior dos Santos & Urijah faber (26%)
Villain of the Year
1st Chael Sonnen (17%)
In the finest tradition of Ric Flair, Chris Jericho and pantomime villains since the dawn of time, Chael Sonnen is the guy we love to hate.
He tells lies, while also telling hard truths. He calls people names and makes ludicrous demands and threats. He presses the buttons of folks who are minded to be offended and makes himself and anyone associated with him a bigger star than they were before he started talking.
Keep up the good work, Sir.
Also nominated – Ronda Rousey, Conor MacGregor, Miesha Tate, Jon Jones, Frank Mir, Michael Bisping, Alistair Overeem, Vitor Belfort, Johny Hendricks, Kim Winslow
Warrior of the Year
1st= Diego Sanchez & Mark Hunt (25% each)
For services to blood donation, for willingly putting your bodies on the line in the name of our entertainment, for continuing to throw down despite broken bones, for refusing to sink to your knees and let the end come…we salute you.
2nd Joe Lauzon (16%)
Also nominated – Travis Browne, Rosi Sexton, Nate Diaz & Cain Velasquez (34%)
Social Media Personality of the Year
1st Conor McGregor (33%)
How to stay relevant when injured for a year? Easy, call out your entire weight class, well known fighters from other weight classes and if necessary, their entire camp, country and extended family.
Demean their skills, talk trash that no-one could reasonable ever back up and generally get user everybody’s skin so they can’ wait for you to come back, whether it is to see you succeed or fail.
Also nominated – Miesha Tate, Tim Kennedy, Pat Barry, Dan Hardy, Cat Zingano, War Machine, Roy Nelson, Chael Sonnen
Talker of the Year
1st Chael Sonnen (75%)
As covered earlier, Chael excels when he speaks (you’d almost forget he’s a fighter really) whether it’s breaking down a fight as an analyst or selling his upcoming fight/book/TV appearance. Nobody comes close.
Also nominated – Conor MacGregor, War Machine & Nate Diaz
Card of the Year
1st – UFC 166 (Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos III) (30%)
In a year of insanely stacked cards, the trilogy fight between the two best heavyweights in the world was always going to stand out. Backed up by great matches (Melendez-Sanchez, Eye-Kaufmann) and a bucketload of knockouts and it was always going to be one remembered at the end of the year.
2nd = UFC 168 (Chris weidman vs. Anderson Silva II, Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate 2) (20%)
2nd = UFC 162 (Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman) (20%)
Also nominated – UFC Fight Night Sonnen vs. Shogun, UFC 165, Jones vs. Gustafsson, UFC 167 St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks, UFC Fight Night Stann vs. Silva (30%)
Official of the Year
1st Herb Dean (66%)
When it’s time for the big matches, you always breathe a sigh of relief to see Herb, Marc or John in the middle of the cage.
2nd Marc Goddard (25%)
3rd Big John McCarthy (9%)
Now, go and tune into Cage Warriors 63 to see Steven Ray retain his Lightweight belt and Graham Turner win the Featherweight title. It’s 2014 and the Scots are coming!