After a few weeks of voting, and some furious social networking from fighters, the results are finally here. Bloody Elbow, these are your 2013 WMMA Award winners:
Fight of the Year
Apologies to the viewers that cannot view this video. Here's some highlights that can be viewed around the 1:15 mark in super slow motion
A few nights shy of the new year, Rousey and Tate fresh off their stint on TUF rematched on the biggest PPV the UFC put on since Silva vs. Sonnen 2. There was a clear shift of fan favoritism compared to their first bout with loud cheers for Miesha and powerful, spiteful jeers and boo's when the lights went dark to signal the champion was entering. However, the moment Joan Jett's 'Bad Reputation' played throughout the arena, you could feel the change of atmosphere throught your television. Ronda Rousey with her trademark "game face" was out to prove that she really does not give a damn bout' her reputation.
Miesha showed her trademark grittiness, biting down on her mouth piece and throwing everything she could at Ronda. Surprisingly, Ronda obliged on a few exchanges, where Miesha actually got in a few clean shots while also eating a few shots. Defaulting back to her wrestling roots, Miesha would be countered time after time with gorgeous, textbook, and pretty much flawless Judo. Fast forward to round 3 and Ronda was able to secure yet another armbar victory. There was no arm break this time. Despite, chants of "Miesha, Miesha, Miesha", and a smile on Miesha's face entering the third, she knew it was over when the armbar was sunk. She did not fight the inevitable like in their first encounter, instead tapping quickly, putting a somewhat anti-climatic end to this highly entertaining fight.
Perhaps overshadowing this great bout was their handshake after... or lack thereof as Miesha extended her hand, almost knowing in her mind that Ronda would refuse. Ronda not even thinking twice, looking back as if to say "no way in hell" and standing by her decision in her post-fight interview, despite a porous of powerful distaste from the crowd. Ronda Rousey is WMMA's golden child. The biggest attraction. Without her there would be no "women in the UFC"... and she might just be MMA's biggest star at the moment, and she ain't going anywhere.
Other nominees: Michelle Waterson vs. Jessica Penne (14%), Bec Hyatt vs. Mizuki Inoue (10%), Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano (9%), Cassie Rodish vs. Stephanie Frausto (9%), Tecia Torres vs. Rose Namajunas (8%), Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche (7%), Larissa Pacheco vs. Irene Aldana (6%), Kaiyana Rain vs. Kailin Curran (5%), Leslie Smith vs. Sarah Kaufman (4%), Leslie Smith vs. Jennifer Maia (1%), Fallon Fox vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (1%)
My pick: You gotta know based on what I wrote above. Yeah. Ronda vs. Miesha was the fight of the year for me. The votes were very spread out in this with many fans probably using the train of thought that the fight was "too one sided", but I'm glad enough people voted for it. Just a little boost from fighters social networking got them some extra votes, I think. I know Rodish and Hyatt (now Rawlings) self-campaigned a little.
2nd place was a very tight race and in a Rousey/Tate-less year, I'd have to give the nod to Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano, but there were many, many great fights this year. All highly recommended. If you can find the original "fight of the year nominations" page, I have links to most of the fights. The Zingano/Tate fight is on youtube.
Full Results and fight links