Bermundez vs. Grice, Stann vs. Wandy, and now Hendricks vs. Condit all have had fans saying that they are potential FOTY candidates. Sometimes Fight of the year candidate is thrown around a little loosely after a very good fight, but recently we have seen some great ones that warrant it. The problem is that by the time we get to the end of 2013 these great fights from February and March will struggle to get the credit they deserve. It is more of an informal award and everyone has their own opinion, but it is also an area where I think UFC is missing out on an opportunity. Their new relationship with FOXSports 1 might give them the chance to capitalize on the debate while showcasing some of the great fights from the year.
What I would propose is that:
UFC offers a $100K bonus for the fight of the year as voted on by the fans.
In an UFC special on FS1, they show the top 5 fights of the year, and then opens up the polls on FoxSports.com, and UFC.com for the fans to vote with all the fights fresh in their minds.
Present the award during the year end PPV show.
I think could be a big time winner for UFC. Hardcore fans could have a night where they can guarantee to their casual fan friends that the fights will be great, and potentially draw in some new fans. UFC gets some great interaction with the fans, and the fighters in the best fights of the year get a financial reward. Another bonus for UFC is that from a production stand point it is pretty cheap to put on what would be a very good TV event.
If it was a success they could easily add SOTY, and KOTY as well.