Over the next few days, Bloody Elbow is going to ask for your opinion on some of the best things that have happened in the MMA world over the first half of 2012. There will be a total of eight different categories you'll be asked to vote on. For simplicity's sake we're going to stick with high-level and relevant MMA stuff in these posts. While I'm sure there was a ludicrous knockout in an unscheduled MMA event at The Lumberyard strip club in Des Moines, or an insane pancreas lock submission on an obscure ZST! card in Japan, let's just stick to stuff a lot of us have seen, okay? (If that spiel looked familiar, it's because I just lifted it from last year's awards post.)
It's pretty simple. I'll post five or ten options in a category, you vote for what you think was the best. If you think I left something really important off my list, post it in the comments and we can add it to the poll if it's deemed worthy. I can almost guarantee you won't like all my suggestions, but narrowing down these lists is tough.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get onto the sixth poll - the best fighter of the first half of 2012.
Check out the options and make your pick after the jump.
Rick Hawn - After narrowly dropping Bellator's season five welterweight tourney, the judo fighter dropped to 155 and tore through the season six lightweight tourney. He'll take on Michael Chandler for the Bellator lightweight title later this year.
Matt Brown - How many guys have won three UFC bouts over the first half of 2012? One. Matt Brown.
Ronda Rousey - She only won one fight, but it was a huge one for herself and women's MMA in general. She took the bantamweight title from Meisha Tate in her 135 debut and now has a date with Sarah Kaufman in August.
Daniel Straus - He lost in the featherweight tournament finals in 2011, but he wouldn't be denied this year. Straus defeated top-10 fighter Marlon Sandro to claim the Bellator season six featherweight tourney.
Stipe Miocic -Lots of heavyweights here. Stipe knocked out Phil De Fries and worked over talented striker Shane Del Rosario to grab two wins early in 2012.
Martin Kampmann - After losing two in a row last year, Kampmann rebounded in style with two come-from-behind victories over Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger to earn himself a probable number one contender's bout.