Dorian Wright's End of the Year MMA Awards

Dorian Wright's End of the Year MMA Awards


Dorian Wright's End of the Year MMA Awards


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It’s officially the end of the year, and time for the year end awards to be given out. Some of my picks may need explanations, others may not. I will explain all of the winners below and why I chose them but if you would like to discuss my picks further, reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram @ DoeWright_. 

Fighter of the year

Kamaru Usman – Three fights this year, three title defenses, three victories. The first fight he fights the man he was supposed to fight in Abu Dhabi in his former teammate Gilbert Burns, the brutal knockout with a job, don’t see too many of those. The next fight is a rematch with Jorge Masvidal after claiming he could beat him with a full camp… vicious one-punch KO. Last fight against the man who they say gave him his toughest outing, wins by unanimous decision inside of Madison Square Garden. What a year for him, after clearing out the division, he’s now on his way back to do it again. 

Charles Oliveira 

Female fighter of the year

Valentina Shevchenko – running through the flyweight division appears Valentina Shevchenko. She has defended her belt twice now against Jessica Andrade and Lauren Murphy in which both of the fights were stopped due to Shevchenko‘s dominant ground and pound elbows. What a year for the pound for pound best in the sport now.

Rose Namajunas 

Card of the year

UFC 261 Usman-Masvidal 2 – Great fight after great fight, title fight after title fight, finish after finish. You had the star power, you had the championship fights and you had the entertainment (six straight finishes to end the night) and finishes to make this the card of the year.

UFC 266 Alexander Volkanovski-Brian Ortega 

Fight Night: Rob Font-Jose Aldo 

Comeback of the year

Charles Oliveira over Michael Chandler – The fight started off with Oliveira grappling Chandler and we could see that his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu would not be the way to victory here for him. He had Chandler’s back early and wasn’t able to do much. Once they returned to their feet Chandler then hit Oliveira with big shots that eventually dropped him and had him close to being finished. Oliveira was saved by the bell and then came out in round two and starched Chandler to win the undisputed lightweight championship of the world.

Rose Namajunas over Weili Zhang 2 

Sergio Pettis over Kyoji Horiguchi

Clay Guida over Leonardo Santos

Performance of the year

Ciryl Gane over Derrick Lewis – It takes a lot for a man to beat another man. It takes even more for a man to beat another man with a championship belt on the line. It takes even more than that for a man to beat another man for a title in their hometown. It takes even more than that for a man to become champion in another man’s hometown while having a flawless performance, and that’s exactly what Ciryl Gane did. He came in and shut out one of the most dangerous fighters in UFC history and made it look easy. From the walk out, to the fight, to the post-fight interview, it was all flawless.

Khamzat Chimaev over Li Jingliang – The hype is real I can confirm. Not only did he dominate The Leech, but he didn’t get touched AGAIN. This is now his fourth fight in the UFC and all four of them have been absolute dominations and shut-outs, to say the least. He saw Dana White on his phone and decided to bring his work over to the boss. After he picked up Jingliang and walked him over to Dana he proceeded to go to work and finish the fight, while making sure Dana got off his phone to see what was up. 

Max Holloway over Calvin Kattar

Sean O’Malley over Kris Moutinho

Bobby Green over Al Iaquinta 

Round of the year

Justin Gaethje over Michael Chandler round 1– The first round of this fight might have been the only time we got exactly what we expected from two fighters. Since we know who both of these guys are, it did not disappoint.

Kennedy Nzechukwu over Carlos Ulberg round 2

Vicente Luque over Michael Chiesa round 1

Merab Dvalishvili over Marlon Moraes

Chris Curtis over Phil Hawes round 1

KO of the year

Jiri Prochazka over Dominick Reyes – The way the fight was being dominated by Prochazka was astonishing. The finish was even better. A brutal, rare technique, & body stiffening KO. 

Sergio Pettis over Kyoji Horiguchi -. Missing a head kick, only to land a spinning back fist was something he trained and it landed flush and flatlined Horiguchi. 

Derrick Lewis over Curtis Blaydes – Raw power on the uppercut that put Blaydes stiff. Shooting in for a takedown without setting it up against the hardest-hitting heavyweight ever, is a recipe for disaster. 

Cory Sandhagen over Frankie Edgar – A flying knee from hell, no other way to put it. 

Ngannou over Stipe – knocking out the greatest fighter in your weight class is one thing but completely stiffening their body is another. Miocic came crashing in after he thought he hurt Ngannou, and that’s the last we’ve seen from him.

HM: Rountree Jr over Bukauskas – simply one of the most unique KOs you’ll ever see. A side kick to the thigh usually is a point fighting technique, Rountree Jr had enough power on it to actually disable his opponent.

Submission of the year candidates:

Muniz over Souza – Nobody taps out Jacare simply put. Muniz not only tapped out Jacare, but he also snapped his arm in and it ended his UFC career.

Leavitt over Sayles – A last-minute addition on the submission of the year list. An inverted triangle choke is something you rarely see in today’s MMA simply because it’s hard to pull off, Leavitt made it look easy.

Mckee over Friere – started off with a head kick and led to one of the tightest standing guillotines you’ll see to win a championship.

Nunes over Anderson

Fight of the year

Vettori over Costa – given all the fight week antics and seeing how they performed given all of that, 25 minutes of pure animosity and hatred towards one another was displayed

Dillashaw over Sandhagen 

Jones over Onama 

Burgos over Quarantillo


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