PHOTO CREDITS: (Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com)
As 2015 is coming to a close in not only the real world, but in the fight world as well, it is time for Maximizing MMA’s awards for 2015.
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: Conor McGregor. This may seem that everyone single writer across the MMA landscape is putting Conor McGregor as the fighter of the year, but come on, it’s Conor McGregor. With four UFC victories entering 2015, Conor McGregor started off by finishing Dennis Siver by KO. Then, he made his image. McGregor began picking his shots mentally, and sometimes physically, at Jose Aldo. At media conferences, at world tours, anytime, anywhere. It built up the biggest featherweight fight of all time. Then, injuries happened. Jose Aldo injured his ribs and was forced out of the fight. In comes Chad Mendes. On only a few weeks notice, Chad Mendes took the opportunity for the Interim Championship. Conor finished Chad in round 2, in a good fight. Finally, in about a year’s wait, Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo would be locked in the Octagon on December 12th. In 13 seconds, Conor McGregor knocked out Aldo. I chose McGregor for fighter of the year because he made a name for himself and became champion in such a small amount of time.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: Robbie Lawler vs Rory MacDonald 2 – UFC 189. This was the hardest choice for me due to the fact that there were so many good fights in 2015. Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald went into UFC 189 confident and intact. Just about 25 minutes later, both fighters were cut, bloodied, bruised, and no doubt, damaged both physically and mentally. MacDonald hit Lawler with 87 strikes, 86 of them significant. Lawler otherwise, hit MacDonald with 76 strikes, 70 significant. Lawler would defend the belt with one final strike to finish Rory. The fight was phenomenal and is my fight of 2015.
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: Holly Holm def Ronda Rousey – UFC 193. The head kick heard around the world. Holly Holm dominated the entire fight. She was faster, stronger, and more calm inside the Octagon. Rousey seemed unsure of herself, she seemed tired and after only a few minutes, she looked like she had lost all of her so-called “confidence”. After moving out of the way of a Ronda takedown, Holm hit Rousey with a few punches, just to get her back and land a beautiful left leg head kick to drop Ronda like a tree. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. I still can’t believe it to this day.
SUBMISSION OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: Fabricio Werdum def Cain Velasquez – UFC 188. Possibly the most dominate UFC heavyweight of all time, Cain Velasquez, was simply out fought at UFC 188 in Mexico City, Mexico. He lost the first two rounds on the feet. When you lose the first two rounds of a fight standing up, you want to bring the fight to the ground. Cain hit 4 takedowns on Werdum, the last one he gave up his neck and the Brazilian JiuJitsu technician Fabricio Werdum locked on like an anaconda. Velasquez tapped in front of his home country. We now see the rematch of these two early in 2016.
*All fight stats are courtesy of FightMetric LLC.
Follow me on Twitter @maximizingmma, subscribe for email notifications, like me on FaceBook at Maximizing MMA, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and leave your thoughts in a comment down below.