Fighter Of The Year
Duan: Anderson Silva
If this guy retired now, he would go down as the greatest MMA fighter of all time and probably never be surpassed.
Alan: Anderson Silva
I can only begrudge the man for so long. He looked on another planet in his fights this year, and I also have to concede he was the best flag-bearer for UFC this year too.
Big D: Cain Velasquez
Left two of the biggest and most bad ass heavyweights in a pool of blood. This man owns the division now. I would’ve hated to see what he would’ve done to Fedor.
Heidi: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey
She’s a media darling wih brutal force who’s strung together 9 dominant wins and made history as the first woman champion in the UFC. She’s graced the cover of the ESPN Body Issue, been on Conan O’Brien, and rode out to Sons of Anarchy premiere this calendar year. Ronda’s breaking boundaries that no one else can in MMA right now. In 2012 she went 2-0, earning the title over Miesha Tate and defending it against Sarah Kaufman.
Stevie J: Johny Hendericks
I may be pushing this one slightly since I’m including December 30th of 2011, but since he had three big wins in the span of a year and one was only 2 calendar days away from being in 2012 I think he deserves the nod. Having knocked out 2 of the top 3 welterweights in the world, Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann, both in UNDER A MINUTE, nobody’s star has risen faster or burned brighter than that of Mr. Hendricks. He had already cleaned out the lower ranks of the division, now he’s cleaning out the upper ranks too. Sporting an impressive 14-1 record with a five fight win streak it’s pretty clear he’ll be challenging GSP for the title before long. (Maybe even March if Nick Diaz flakes out yet again.)
JP: Anderson Silva
There were more prolific fighters in the year 2012, but Anderson used the year to cement his status as the best fighter alive. In a year where GSP was mostly on the shelf and Jon Jones’ reputation came crumbling down, Anderson shined. The Spider took his revenge on Chael Sonnen in hysterical fashion (worst spinning elbow attempt in combat history) and then stepped up to 205 to dominate Stephan Bonnar. At an age when full time athletic prowess is difficult to maintain, Anderson at 37 had his best year yet.
Cactus Jim: Bigg Rigg Johny Hendricks
I’m straying away from the obvious picks and calling Hendricks on this one. He’s on a great winning streak and established himself as a title contender in 2013.
GG: Anderson Silva
I looked at Ronda Rousey here. And had I not thought Ben Henderson lost his second fight to Frankie Edgar, I’d have taken him. But it has to be Silva. He won the biggest fight of the year in serious fashion and when the UFC needed a main event badly, he stepped in at heavyweight and put on another show. The man is just excellent. He’s the Willie Mays of MMA.