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 six 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 second category is worst decision of 2016, better known as the biggest robbery. MMA judging was as bad as ever this year (particularly at two events, as you will see), and here are five of the worst calls.
If you don't like my choices, I still don't think you guys can be as salty as Al Iaquinta was when he "won" this award last year.
By the way, you can still vote on the first category, Best Submission.
Kyle Bochniak defeated Enrique Barzola, UFC on Fox 21 - The first round was close. The last two were not. This was clearly not Bochniak's fight. I watched it live and had it 29-28 Barzola, and I'm not alone - every major media outlet (and all the minor ones too) gave the fight to Barzola.
Alex Morono defeated Kyle Noke, UFC 195 - Giving Morono the third round is reasonable. Giving him the first or second was not the right call. Somehow two judges gave Morono the second round, despite being on his back for a large portion of it and even mounted briefly. It just made no sense at all.
Jim Miller defeated Joe Lauzon, UFC on Fox 21 - This is another one where you could give the first to either man, but the second and third were blatantly obvious rounds for Lauzon. The one judge that gave Miller the third needs to have his vision checked. I'm a huge Jim Miller fan and even I know he lost that round. Badly.
Rafael Carvalho defeated Melvin Manhoef, Bellator 155 - Let's not mince words here. This fight was absolutely horrible. But how did Carvalho do enough to win three rounds on two cards? He didn't. Yet he did.
Robbie Lawler defeated Carlos Condit, UFC 195 - Look, I understand some could see this is a close decision. Maybe it doesn't fit in the "robbery" category. But I firmly believe Condit won three rounds, and a lot of people agree with me. Plus, it's by far the highest-profile fight on this list. So it belongs here. I may have written something about it on Christmas Day too.