It was a weak year in the UFC as some of their biggest names either retired, got busted for doping (again) or failed to win a match. That aside, it did have plenty of highlights including the comeback to a championship for GSP. Here below are Eli Mooneyham and my self’s awards. Mine will be on page one, and Eli’s on page two.
Fight of the year – GSP vs Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight Title (UFC 217)
Technically there may have been “better” fights, but this was by far the most important as it cemented his legacy as the greatest fighter in MMA history. No one can deny that GSP is now the best of all time!
Male Fighter of the year – Max Holloway
Despite only fighting twice, he won both in dominant fashion over Jose Aldo. He is a true champion that will have no need to jump around weight classes, or ask for super fights, this guy straight up represents the sport of MMA the way it should be. A class act and truly great for the sport.
Female Fighter of the year – Cyborg
She too looked dominant in both of her fights this year, and quite honestly provides substance to a division that sorely needed it.
Upset of the year – Rose Namajunas defeats Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Not only did she win, but she destroyed the best pound for pound female athlete in the world and made it look easy. It was clear from the start that Namajunas was in the head of the champ, and it took its toll early and often as she rolled right through her like a hot knife through butter.
Submission of the year – Demetrius Johnson over Ray Borg at UFC 216
DJ making it look easy, but what else would you expect from one of the best fighters in the world?
Card of the year – UFC 217
Stacked from top to bottom, the first card in UFC history to feature 3 title changes, all upsets and the MSG crowd was roaring all night for good reason. Perhaps the greatest night in UFC History.
Knockout of the year – Ngannou knocks out Overeem
I’ve been watching this sport 25 years, that was the biggest knockout of all time. It was also the first time I thought a fighter died in the cage. Beyond scary, and I was only a few feet away outside of the cage.
Biggest let down of the year – Jon Jones fails another drug test.
This is beyond frustrating. All that hype for the return, and then that! I feel bad for DC. Ban this guy for life already and let’s move on.
Biggest shock – Anthony Rumble Johnson retires after UFC 210
Yep,,,,, didn’t see that coming.
Comeback of the year -GSP
Solidified his place in the MMA world as the GOAT!
Most improved Fighter – Thug Rose!
Stunned the champ, and looked incredible doing it.
Most Valuable to the UFC Fighter of the year (who does the most for the organization in and out of the cage) – Conor McGregor. You may think I’m crazy, but this guy did more in a boxing ring to help MMA, then most have ever done in the cage. He proved, that MMA fighters are the baddest men on the planet by going as deep with Money Mayweather as he did. DC was also a runner up here because of his incredible work on the microphone.
Breakout Star of the Year – Kamaru Usman
Big things lie ahead for the Nigerian Nightmare in 2018.
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