Welcome fearless readers to the 2nd Annual Doomie Awards. I am your host, HeadKickOfDoom and we have a great night of handing out meaningless awards for you tonight. We plan on covering all the aspects of MMA for 2012 and hope that you find yourself entertained whilst we hand out some hardware. So without further ado, lets get this thing started.
The Scott Smith Award (For Biggest Comeback of the Year.)
Winner: Tim Boetsch
UFC 144 was Zuffa's first foray into Japan, and the first time that the promotion had been in the Land of The Rising Sun since UFC 29. Yushin Okami was expected to give a big win for his hometown fans. For the first 10 minutes of the fight he looked like he was going to do exactly that, as he dominated "The Barbarian" in every aspect of the fight. Going into the 3rd round, Okami was up on all scorecards and looked to be cruising to victory. Boetsch knew his only chance for victory would be via a finish, and he didn't disappoint. Catching the Japanese fighter with a headkick that backed him into the cage, Boetsch locked up and delivered some devastating uppercuts to end the fight in just under a minute of the 3rd round.
Largest Drop in the SB Nation Rankings
"Winner" - Miguel Torres
Once in the discussion as one of the best pound of pound fighters on the planet, (and the 2nd grossest mullet in MMA behind Roy Nelson) Miguel Torres has had quite a fall from grace the last 2 years. Coming into the year, Torres was ranked as the #8 bantamweight in the world after going 2 -1 in 2011. He had begun training at Tri Star gym in Montreal, there was talk that he may work his way back into the elite with a couple of quality wins (and keeping to himself on Twitter). Unfortunately for Miguel, he ran into the buzzsaw that is Michael McDonald at UFC 145. He would go on to get starched in the 1st round by the uber prospect, which essentially signaled the end of Torres' UFC career. After his release, Torres signed with the start up World Series Of Fighting, and was matched against relative unknown Marlon Moraes in their inaugural event. To the surprise of everyone, Moraes went 3 rounds with the former WEC champion and eventually took home a close split decision. With that loss, Torres currently finds himself at #21 in the SB Nation poll and looking for answers that may never be there.
Largest Leap In SB Nation Rankings
Winner: Chris Weidman
Coming into 2012, there was not a lot of people talking about Chris Weidman being the most serious threat to Anderson Silva's throne atop the middleweight division. While posting a solid 2011 with wins over crafty veterans like Alessio Sakara and Tom Lawlor, he was viewed as a up and coming prospect who had some potential. By the fall of 2012, everyone and their creepy drunk uncle was saying that Anderson was ducking Chris Weidman. He started his 2012 by stepping in on short notice to fight BJJ blackbelt Damian Maia at UFC on Fox 2, taking a unanimous decision in a sloppy kickboxing match. Regardless of the sheer donkey like ugliness of the fight, the UFC was impressed enough by the kid, that they gave him a headlining fight against top 5 ranked Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel in July. Weidman would show that the top brass' faith was well placed, as he absolutely eviscerated Munoz for 6 mins before landing a crushing elbow and approximately 700 unanswered follow up punches before the ref mercifully called an end to the fight. These two wins were enough to move Weidman from the 21st ranked Middleweight in the world all the way to #2.
The Sokoudjou Award (for Biggest Upset of the Year)
Winner: Jaime Varner defeats Edson Barboza
Coming into this fight, Barboza was riding high in the wake of his Power Ranger kick KO of Terry Etim at UFC 142 and a lot of people were talking about him being the future of the lightweight division. Jaime Varner had been plying his trade in the minor leagues after getting released just before the UFC merged the WEC into the fold back in 2011. Barboza had been scheduled to fight Evan Dunham, but he (like pretty much every fighter in 2012) was forced to pull out due to injury. Varner was signed and thought to be a sacrificial lamb for the exciting young Brazilian. Apparently no one made The Worm aware of this, as he came out looking to land a big right hand throughout the 1st round. After a Varner takedown, Barboza kicked him off and started to get back up. Varner pounced, landing a flurry of punches which left Barboza scrambling to get out of the way. Unfortunately for him, they were fighting in a cage, and Varner landed a crisp right hand which was the end of the road for Edson and the hype train.
The Cheick Kongo Dick Kick Trophy (for Foul of the Year)
Winner: Eric Prindle
Seems like these guys can't get locked into a giant steel cage together without wanting to kick one another in the ol dick n nuts. Last year Thiago Santos (the unfortunate recipient of that sack shattering kick above) kick Prindle square in the balls while Prindle was on his back. Not wanting to be one upped, when they rematched this year (11 months after the initial dick kick) Prindle decided he wanted to ensure that Santos never is able to reproduce ever again. Needless to say this fight didn't go much further than what you see above, with Santos getting the win via DQ, but I am thinking he would have much rather had his cock and balls not look like smashed Play-Doh.
The Mazzagatti Award (Worst Referee)
Winner: Kim Winslow
I know it is like MMA fan rule number 1 to hate Kim Winslow, but it doesn't go unwarranted. She has been known to let fights go on well after they should have been stopped (seriously, watch Cyborg vs Jan Finney. You would think Winslow thought we were playing by Bloodsport rules). Her two biggest offenses this year on the big stage was her allowing King Mo to basically murder Lorenzo Larkin with 15 unanswered punches, and completely botching the armbar Erik Perez "submitted" John Albert with at the TUF Live finale. While I am not bashing her outright, if you are a fighter and you see Kim Winslow is the one responsible for your safety, I would think that you were going to update your life insurance policy juuuuuuust in case.
Runner Up: Jerry Poe (also known as the guy who wanted to see if Marius Zaromskis could be killed on national TV at Bellator 78) and Yuji Shimada (also known as the One FC ref who decided that Roger Huerta had lived a long enough life when he green lit Zorobabel Moreira to deliver a soccer kick when it was apparent that Huerta was pretty much defenseless.)
The Junior Dos Santos Award (Best UFC debut of the year)
Winner: Ryan Jimmo
Ryan Jimmo's debut wasn't making a ton of waves with fans outside of the hardcores going into the most cursed card in the history of the UFC at UFC 149 , but it only took him 7 seconds to change that.
The Igor Zinoviev Award (for Worst UFC Debut of the Year)
Winner: Hector Lombard
Later in the same card that gave us Ryan Jimmo's 7 second KO of Anthony Perosh, uber hyped former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard would make his debut against Tim Boetsch. Fans around the world were wondering what might happen when Lombard would face off against a true top 10 MW. The answer we all got was 15 mins of Lombard refusing to throw hands and dropping a disappointing split decision. Considering how much money the UFC was paying Lombard to come over from Bellator (an estimated $300,000 a fight) they definitely did not get the most bang for their buck. Thankfully for Lombard fans he followed up this shitshow of a fight with a 1st round KO of Rousimar Palhares in December at UFC on FX 6.
The Royce Gracie Award (Best Submission)
Winner: Ronda Rousey
Few submissions were as grotesque or as memorable this year as Rousey's armbar over her arch nemesis Miesha Tate. There was more hype heading into this fight than any other in WMMA history aside from Gina Carano vs Cyborg, with legitimate heat behind it. Ronda was getting under Miesha's skin so much that Tate's boyfriend, former TUF contestant Bryan Caraway, took to Twitter to say how badly he could beat up Rousey (cause nothing says tough guy quite like threatening a 135 lbs female via social media). When the fight finally happened, Rousey wasted little time getting the fight to the ground, where she almost immediately locked onto an armbar that looked vicious. Somehow Tate survived and even briefly took Rousey's back in a scramble. Rousey was able to shake off Tate after a minute or so, and after a brief exchange on the feet, she was able to land a nice Judo toss on Tate. This basically was the beginning of the end, as Ronda ended up on Tate's back, and took her arm. After cranking it to a disgusting angle, the ref stopped the fight, awarding Rousey the win tha the Strikfeforce Women's Bantamweight title.
The Tank Abbott Award (Best Knockout)
Winner: Edson Barboza
Who knew that the very first card of the year would give us the best knockout of the year (and maybe ever). Edson Barboza apparently spent his training camp studying old Power Rangers and Walker: Texas Ranger episodes on Netflix, because he pulled some crazy TV shit on Terry Etim at UFC 142. The wheel kick is not something that is suppose to land in a MMA fight, but goddamn it is awesome when it does. Let's be honest, there is not a single on of us here that couldn't watch this gif on repeat from here til the end of eternity. This card would also feature our runner up for the award when Jose Aldo kneed Chad Mendes' so hard he forgot Urijah Faber's phone number. This award maybe renamed next year for Barboza, because I dunno who could ever top this KO.
Runners Up: Jose Aldo UFC 142, Anthony Pettis UFC 144
The Kenneth Allen Trophy (Worst Year by a Fighter)
Winner: Dave Herman
Dave Herman entered the UFC in 2011 and had a really fun brawl with former ADCC champion Jon Olav Einemo and looked like he could be a fun addition to the Heavyweight division. Funny how different things are after a year. Herman was thrown into the deep end this year, fighting 3 really tough HWs. Unfortunately for Herman, all three of them straight up trucked him. He started the year fighting The Skyscraper Stefan Sturve.
Ouch. Ok, no problem tho, we can get past that right? Totally. Hey, look, now he gets to fight Roy Nelson. He is big and fat and can't be that fast, so no problem right!
OH SHIT! He folded like a lawn chair. Damn, ok well no more fighting strikers for you Dave, that obviously isn't going to work for you. So, why not match you up with the corpse of Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira. He is like the oldest 36 year old man since Benjamin Buttons right? Plus, as you are fond of saying, jiu jitsu doesn't work on you. Easy money Big D, it is in the bag.
Well, guess we will be seeing you in the Supa Fite League Mr. Herman. I hope for your sake they give you Bob Sapp first, get yourself a nice little win there, start 2013 right.
The Mauricio "Shogun" Rua Trophy (Fighter Of the Year)
Winner: Johny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks
Bigg Rigg definitely has left a big impression over the last twelve months. Coming into 2012, he was considered a bright prospect who was about to be thrown to the wolves in a fight with perennial contender Jon Fitch at UFC 141. Twelve seconds later, everyone was talking about how this kid had a bright future when he absolutely devastated Fitch with a bomb of a left hand. He became the first man to finish Fitch in his entire 16 fight UFC career and put everyone on notice. He followed that victory up with a split decision victory over Fitch's former teammate Josh Koscheck in May, vaulting himself into the top 5. He ended his 2012 the same way he started it, by landing a crushing left to the chin of Danish kickboxer Martin Kampmann to solidify himself as the number 1 contender at welterweight (well, you know, after GSP gets his hand picked fight with Nick Diaz of course).
The Shogun/Hendo Trophy (Fight of The Year)
You always hear about "This is the fight you show your friends who aren't into MMA". Well, this legitimately is that kind of fight. It had everything you could ever ask for out of a mixed martial arts fight, crisp striking, back and forth momentum, slick grappling. MMA fans all know that when The Korean Zombie is entering the cage, that you are in for a treat and this fight was no different. For 3 and a half rounds both these men left everything in the cage and engaged in an all out war to the delight of everyone watching. They traded strikes, sweeps and Poirier showed excellent submission defense until finally getting caught in a D'Arce choke in the 4th round. As a side note, I couldn't help but notice while watching my top 5 favorite fights from this year to decide a winner of this award, 4 of the 5 fights ended up airing on free TV. Guess the FOX deal has been paying dividends for us fans afterall!