So, I see TheLastEmpress has been rocking out her awards for this year, and I thought "You know what HeadKick (yes I call myself HeadKick in my head) you could hand out some awards that none of the people in question would give two shits about and give you another excuse to throw up another fanpost." So without further ado, here are the first annual Doomie awards (creative ain't it)
Upset of the Year (also known as the Sokoudjou Memorial Trophy)
Winner: Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva
Coming into his opening round fight with recently defeated former number 1 HW Fedor Emelianenko, few fans and pundits alike gave Bigfoot Silva a chance. Here was the kind of fighter that Fedor used to wreck, a lumbering monster of a man with a head large enough that it was hard to miss it when you tried to hit it. The difference being he had a tighter BJJ game than most men his size, and Fedor was coming off a submission loss to Fabricio Werdum a few months prior. Regardless, most assumed that this was simply a tune up fight before we fans were treated to the often teased Fedor vs Overeem fight in the second round of the Grand Prix. What we didn't expect was for Bigfoot to come out and take it too the former Pride champion. After a close first round, Bigfoot took the fight to the ground in the second, where he landed a number of ham sized fists onto Emelianenko's head. Between rounds, as the fighters were heading to their corners, fans of the Pride legend cringed when they saw Fedor's face
The fight was stopped, and Bigfoot moved onto the second round. Pride fanboys (myself included) were left speechless, as we had officially seen the end of an era in MMA.
Biggest Comeback (also known as the Scott Smith Trophy)
Was there ever really any doubt about this one? Not once, but twice he came back after receiving a unholy shit kicking in the 1st round to battle back, almost winning their second fight in January, then finally finishing Maynard when they rematched in October. Edgar has silenced any critics he may have had coming into this year (including the Penn fans who can't seem to understand that he lost to Edgar twice) and is looking at solidifying his status as the best LW on the planet going into 2012.
Runner Up: Cheick Kongo
Biggest Leap In the SB Nation Rankings
Winner: Daniel Cormier
At the beginning of 2011, very few fight fans were aware of who Daniel Cormier was. Entering the year with an undefeated record of 6 - 0, the AKA product and highly decorated freestyle wrestler would not fly under the radar for very long. Beginning with a win over former IFL veteran Devin Cole on a Challengers card, Cormier then moved onto a main card when he met former UFC title challenger Jeff Monson in June. With that victory, he would crack the top 25, coming in at number 22.
When September rolled around, Cormier was presented with the greatest opportunity of his young career, being asked to step in for Alistair Overeem in Strikeforce's HW GP to face Bigfoot Silva. Cormier would make good on this chance, crushing the man who had just defeated Fedor earlier in the year with punches, leaping from number 22 to number 9 in the world. Along with that came the opportunity to face UFC and Pride veteran Josh Barnett in early 2012.
Biggest Drop In the SB Nation Rankings
"Winner?" - George Sotiropoulos
Sigh, oh Sotiropoulos, where did it all go wrong. Coming into 2011, Sotiropoulos' name was being tossed around as a potential title challenger. This wouldn't last very long, as he was bested by Dennis Siver at UFC 127 in his homeland of Australia. With it being his first loss in 4 years, most only saw it as a minor setback. Unfortunately, no one told Rafael dos Anjos this, as he KOed the Aussie in just under a minute at UFC 132. At the beginning of 2011, SB Nation had Sotiropoulos at number 8 in the world. Now he isn't even in the top 25.
Worst Year (also known as the Kenneth Allen Trophy)
Winner: Fedor Emelianenko
Well, winner is a loose term. Fedor had the worst year in his MMA career this year. Coming into the year after getting caught in a sub by Fabricio Werdum the year before, both Fedor and his fans expected a rebirth in 2011 with the beginning of the Strikeforce HW GP. Unfortunately for both his fans, and the fighter, he got crushed underneath the 265lbs frame of Bigfoot Silva. Now on a two fight losing streak, Fedor took a fight with Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Dan Henderson in a "special attractions" fight. This would also end poorly for the former #1 P4P fighter in the world.
He almost had Hendo finished tho.......right.......RIGHT!!!!
Fedor would end up getting cut from SF after 3 straight losses. He would salvage his year slightly by defeating veteran Jeff Monson at a M-1 event in Russia, it was perhaps the darkest year in Emelianenko's fighting career.
Fighter of the Year (The Mauricio "Shogun" Rua Award)
Winner: Jon Jones
I mean, come on, really? Who else could this have been? Jones defeated 4 top 10 LHW in a single year, won the LHW title, defended it twice. What more could you ask? He not only defeated Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida, he finished all 4 and literally eviscerated them all. At 24 years old, Jones is already the present, as well as the future of not just the LHW division, but maybe of the sport itself.
Runner up: Dan Henderson
Knockout of the Year (The Tank Abbott Award)
Winner: Anderson Silva
Seriously, like look at that shit. It was literally a movie like finish that you would never expect to see in such a high level fight. Vitor was told to sweep the leg, but it didn't do any good.
Runner up: Cheick Kongo
Submission of the Year (The Royce Gracie Award)
Won't let me post the full gif :( Go here to see the sub.
Winner: Vinny Magalhaes
The former TUF competitor and current M-1 Global employee hit a beautiful mounted gogoplata on Viktor Nemkov to win the promotions LHW strap. Sure, probably only 19 people saw it live, but man, what a sub.
Runner up: Chan-Sung Jung
Fight of the Year:
Winner: Dan Henderson vs Shogun Rua
Better writers than I have covered this fight in all it's glory. Easily fight of the year, possibly best fight ever. I feel privileged to have watched this fight live on PPV .
Runner up: Eddie Alvarez vs Michael Chandler