Well, 2019 is officially a thing of the past. I’m really looking forward to what 2020 is going to offer. We have so many fights scheduled that I personally am dying to see. Now, lets get into my awards: Prospect of the Year, Most Improved Fighter of the Year, Most Exciting Fighter of the Year, Most Likely to be a Future Champion, Submission of the Year, Fight of the Year, Upset of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Female Fighter of the Year, Male Fighter of the Year, and Knockout of the Year (with a twist).
Prospect Of The Year
Edmen “Goldenboy” Shahbazyan
Edmen Shahbazyan burst on the scene in 2018, scoring a stoppage victory in front of Dana White on the Contender Series. Since joining the UFC he has defeated everyone who’s stepped in front of him, all in an impressive fashion. He’s only 22 years old and still improving. His last fight out, he won via head kick against the durable and tough UFC veteran, Brad Tavares. I’m excited to see what Edmen does this year!
Most Improved Fighter of the Year
Jared “Killa Gorilla” Cannonier
Jared Cannonier is the definition of most improved; he has bounced around so many divisions and has finally found his calling at middleweight. He started his resurgence in 2018, finishing David Branch and followed that win up in 2019 with finishes over the great Anderson Silva and a very impressive Jack Hermansson, in his native country.
Most Exciting Fighter of the Year
Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal
Most exciting fighter of the Year isn’t that tough of a choice. I decided to go with Jorge Masvidal. He is one of the biggest stars, with the one of best knockouts of the year and maybe ever. He also beat the brakes off of Nate Diaz and knocked out Darren Till in front of all his family and friends in London.
Most Likely to be a Future Champion
Geoff “Handzofsteel” Neal
Geoff Neal is the BEST Contender Series alumni out there. Geoff is 5-0 and is coming off a very impressive finish over one of the most durable fighters in all of MMA. In 2019 alone, he’s beat Belal Muhammad by unanimous decision, Niko Price by TKO, and Mike Perry by TKO. Personally, I don’t see anyone beating him outside the top 5. I really hope the UFC can book him with Robbie Lawler or Stephen Thompson next.
Submission of the Year
Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell
This was a no brainer, Bryce Mitchell pulled off the second ever “Twister” when he faced Matt Sayles at UFCDC. Get the man some GODDAMN CAMO SHORTS!!!
Fight of the Year
Kelvin Gastelum Vs Israel Adesanya
Another obvious choice. We had a lot of great fights this year, but these two put it all on the line. I remember it being around 2 am and being on the edge of my seat every strike that was thrown. Kelvin had a chance to get him out of there in the early rounds and went for the clinch against the fence. Israel was looking like he was out of it and then the last round, he came out ready to kill. Personally, I thought the ref could have stopped it the last two minutes but I’m glad he didn’t.
Biggest Upset of the Year
Khama Worthy Def Devonte Smith
Leading up to this fight, I didn’t think Khama Worthy even stood a chance and neither did the bookies; he was a +500 underdog night of the fight. What’s funny is Worthy and Smith were friends and trained together. I’m really curious to see how Khama Worthy looks his next fight. Another thing about this fight was Khama took it on very short notice.
Best Comeback of the Year
Stipe Miocic Def Daniel Cormier
When I was watching this fucking beautiful fight go down I was literally thinking to myself ” Why doesn’t Stipe go to the body more?” As soon as round four began he started attacking the body until Cormier couldn’t take it anymore. That middle of the fight adjustment and him getting his revenge against Daniel Cormier is why it’s my comeback of the year. I thought Stipe was dead to rights.
Female Fighter of the Year
Weili “Magnum” Zhang
First of all, let me start off by saying Amanda Nunes is a very close second. That being said, Weili Zhang is my Female Fighter of the Year. She wasn’t really known even 8 months ago, everyone was saying “Who is Weili Zhang, she hasn’t beaten anyone”. I knew when she came to the UFC in her debut fight that she was going to be a champion. I don’t see anyone beating her if Joanna can’t get it done. She’s too powerful, people think she isn’t a technical fighter and that isn’t the case at all. I can’t wait for that fight!
Male Fighter of the Year
Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya
I know guys you all think it should be Jorge Masvidal, and it’s close, but Israel is the real champion. Israel beat Anderson Silva, one of the greatest to ever do it, Kelvin Gastelum in a five round war, and knocked out Robert Whitaker in front all of Australia.
Knockout of the Year (Punch)
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis
Knockout of the Year (Kick)
Kevin “Phenom” Lee
Headkick from hell
Knockout of the Year
Niko “The Hybrid” Price
I know what you’re thinking, how can you not have Jorge Masvidal’s flying knee as knockout of the year? It was a great knockout but I have seen it so many times, that I think the magic has worn off. Niko Price knocking someone out off his back is just crazy to me and super underrated. I like being different. What can I say ? 🙂