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 course of 2013. 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've used the same one for three years in a row. Originality? What originality?)
It's pretty simple. I'll post 5-10 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 first poll - the best MMA fighter of 2013.
Jon Jones - He stopped Chael Sonnen even though his toe was broken, then defeated Alexander Gustafsson in one of the best fights of the year to pick up his sixth straight UFC light heavyweight title defense.
Vitor Belfort -He stopped three top-tier fighters in a row in Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, and Dan Henderson. Two of them had never been knocked out before. Whether you want to let TRT cloud your judgement or not, Vitor had an amazing 2013.
Robbie Lawler -The Phoenix rises from the ashes. Lawler went 3-0 in 2013, stopping Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker and taking a decision over the highly-touted Rory MacDonald. He will now challenge for the UFC welterweight title.
Demetrious Johnson - He defended his title three times in 2013, and finished two of the challengers. He also picked up three performance bonuses, each for different things. He also did all that on national TV. To say it was a breakout year for the flyweight champ would be an understatement.
Urijah Faber -The only UFC fighter to pick up four wins this year, and he beat some tough competition along the way. Faber has cemented himself as the best bantamweight without a title in the world, and it's only a matter of time before he gets another shot at the belt.
Ronda Rousey - Her two wins over Liz Carmouche and Miesha Tate were just part of her story this year, since she is the face of women's MMA and all that now. But even if you just look at what she did in the cage, it's pretty impressive.
Travis Browne - Three knockout wins in a total of six minutes and nineteen seconds. And over the likes of Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett. Three knockout of the night bonuses to boot. Hard to argue with that kind of success.
Anthony Pettis - He picked up a stoppage win over Donald Cerrone early in the year, then pulled off a submission win over Ben Henderson to claim the UFC lightweight title. Injuries derailed a third 2013 fight but it was still a pretty good year for Showtime.