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 2015. There will be a total of eight different categories you'll be asked to vote on. For the sake of simplicity 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 five 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.
The next category is pretty simple - best fighter of 2015. This year saw many combatants break through into the elite of the sport, and we're here to celebrate them. Here are your nominees.
Luke Rockhold - Stopping former LHW champ Lyoto Machida was one thing. But when he put a beatdown on Chris Weidman and took his title, he moved to a whole different level. With a staph infection, no less.
Conor McGregor - Started the yea by putting the boots to Dennis Siver. Then after Jose Aldo was forced out of UFC 189, he defeated Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title. To top all that, after an incredible amount of hype, he stopped Aldo in just 13 seconds to become the king of 145. And probably the UFC's biggest star.
Holly Holm - Three fights, three wins. She started off with a lackluster split-decision win over Raquel Pennington, then shut down Marion Reneau. But by far the biggest win was over the face of women's MMA, Ronda Rousey. After dominating the seemingly-immortal Rousey in the first, she knocked her out with a head kick in the second and changed the UFC forever in the process.
Thomas Almeida - Three wins. Three KO stoppages. Three fight bonuses. Doesn't get much better than that - and he's only 24.
Rafael dos Anjos - He shocked nearly everyone when he completely dominated Anthony Pettis to claim the lightweight title. Then against Donald Cerrone, he proved it was no fluke by stopping him in 66 seconds.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk - She won the title in March, destroying Carla Esparza in the process. She then defended it twice, beating the tar out of Jessica Penne and going to a decision with Valerie Letourneau. She also developed quite the fan following in the process.