Welcome to part one of the 2018 MMA Squared Awards! First up, Fighter of the Year is Daniel Cormier. Coming off the worst loss of his career, DC Embraced his love of Popeye’s chicken, won the heavyweight title and defended both it and the LHW belt.
Honorable mention: Kyoji Horiguchi, for leaving the UFC and establishing himself as the linchpin of RIZIN and defeating Bellator’s Darrion Caldwell via submission.
Knockout of the Year: Yair Rodriguez’s reverse elbow KO of the Korean Zombie. One of the best things about MMA is that we sometimes witness moments that verge on cinematic. Flatlining your opponent in fight you were losing at 4:59 of the 5th round is one of them.
Honorable mention: Jessica Andrade laying out Karolina Kowalkiewicz just like Wanderlei Silva vs Kazushi Sakuraba 3.
Submission of the year: It’s a shared award because of the uncanny occurrence of two Suloev Stretches on the same card by Zabit Nurmagomedov.
…and Aljamain Sterling.
Round of the year: Round 2 of Tony Ferguson vs Anthony Pettis. Not much to say here except thank you for the bloodbath.
And finally, Comeback of the Year: My Balls Was Hot. Yes, the knockout punch with sixteen seconds left would have won Derrick Lewis this award anyway but to disrobe in the cage and go viral with his signature deadpan delivery trumps any and all competitors.
If you missed Fight of the year, here it is.
Sponsor of the year goes to, of course, Combat Wombat! An expression of marsupial violence known… somewhere. Hey all, next Thursday I’m gonna bang out some more awards for lesser known categories like Beatdown, Breakout Fighter, “There’s Level’s to This,” and Revenge of the year. Talk to you tomorrow with the Friday Caption Contest.