It was a crazy year. Mixed martial arts expanded into the global market like no year before it with mixed results, poor judging and regulatory apathy marred fights and became the talking point on every fan’s tongue, Breakthrough mainstays like Frankie Edgar, Cain Velasquez and Chael Sonnen finally delivered on their promise and tomorrows champions made their voices heard as the like of Jon Jones and Stefan Struve made their marks.
Best Fighter: Cain Velaquez
Best Breakthrough Fighter: Frankie Edgar
Rookie of the year: Jon Jones
Best Fight: Anthony Pettis vs Ben Henderson
Best KO: Cain Velaquez vs Brock Lesnar
Best submission: Fabricio Werdum vs Fedor Emelianenko
Best promotion: WEC
Best Card: WEC 53 Henderson vs Pettis
Story of the year: Global expansion of Zuffa into the middle east, Australia, Brazil, China, Ontario among others
The ‘other’ awards:
Loser of the year: Fedor Emelianenko
Hype gone bust: Todd Duffee
Anti Climax: Strikeforce on CBS
Robbery of the year: Hermes Franca vs Kheder
Where did it all go wrong?: Keith Jardine
What to watch out for 2011:
- Keep a close on on George Sotiropolous and Jon Jones. One if not both of these men will be a contender by years close.
- Strikeforce will likely be restructured this coming year in terms of how they do business. CBS and Showtime haven’t so far delivered the promised goods and their one national card lacked all their ’star’ competitors. Either Strikeforce dies this year or they make some breakthroughs, get cards on television and Showtime, get their HW’s to agree to fight or cut them all together. Scott Coker is surrounded by dead wood and obstacles, it’s time to remove a few of them.
- The Career of Fedor Emelianenko dies: This year saw the Russian King fight once and lose for the first time in his career, yet his management have refused to see sense and are yet again making life hell for anyone who wants to write him a cheque. With years of inactivity, a new breed of Heavyweights who actually compete and fight each-other stealing the spotlight, a chink finally showing in the ‘King of MMA’s’ armour: it seems likely that Emelianenko will fade into obscurity in 2011 unless he finally signs with the UFC where his chances are no longer favourable.
- Dream and Bellator will thrive or die.
Final notes for 2010:
- Allister Overeem wins the Dream interim title, great! Another belt he won’t defend.
- Antonio McKee is finally in the UFC. If you don’t like it you’re a racist.
- Chuck Finally retires, good, now if only he’d talk some sense into Baroni, Franca, Hughes, Sakuraba, etc.