UFC Handed out their official "Of the Year" Awards this week:
Newcomer Of The Year:
For years, fight fans heard of Glover Teixeira. But for just as long, it was almost like he was Sasquatch, a mythical creature that people thought they saw, but really didn’t. The 17-2 record and wins over the likes of Sokoudjou, Marcio Cruz, Marvin Eastman, Ricco Rodriguez, and Matt Horwich didn’t lie though, so after he straightened out some visa issues, he finally got his chance to compete in the UFC in 2012, and in less than two minutes in May he dismantled Kyle Kingsbury and announced his arrival with a resounding roar. So how good is he? His next fight was scheduled against former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 153 before Jackson pulled out due to injury. In stepped Fabio Maldonado, who took a one-sided thrashing from Teixeira in October before the fight was stopped after the second round. Next up for the 2012 UFC Newcomer of the Year? A rescheduled January 26 date with Rampage.
Upset Of The Year:
Tim Boetsch W3 Hector Lombard - UFC 149
You might think it’s an indictment of Tim Boetsch to include him, not once, but twice on this list, but it’s not. It’s just that with only two UFC middleweight wins under his belt, beating one of the division’s longest standing contenders (Yushin Okami) and an international star with a 24-0-1 unbeaten streak heading into their bout (Hector Lombard) seemed to be a bit much for “The Barbarian” to chew. It wasn’t, and after his come from behind win over Okami in February, Boetsch made it two for two with an upset split decision victory over Lombard that may not have been as spectacular as the Okami knockout, but it was a win, and Boetsch will take it, as well as the 2012 Upset of the Year award.
Submission Of The Year:
Chan Sung Jung-Dustin Poirier – UFC on FUEL TV 3
In 2011, we were celebrating Chan Sung Jung for his Twister submission win against Leonard Garcia. This year, “The Korean Zombie” didn’t finish off an opponent in historic fashion, but the excitement level was just as high, if not higher, as he and Dustin Poirier waged war for over three rounds in their May bout. But just when it looked like Poirier had turned the tables on the fast-starting Jung, the South Korean roared back, and caught the Louisiana native in a fight ending D’arce choke 1:07 into the fourth round. It was a spectacular ending to a spectacular fight.
Knockout Of The Year:
Edson Barboza-Terry Etim – UFC 142
The ESPYs may have gotten it wrong in not awarding this its Play of the Year award, but the finalist there is a winner here, and in a year with some spectacular knockouts, Edson Barboza’s wheel kick finish of Terry Etim at UFC 142 in January was far and away the best. It had it all – speed, power, technique, accuracy, and pure ‘wow’ effect. Etim was out the second he got caught by Barboza, and the scary part is that when asked about the finisher, the Brazilian Muay Thai expert said, “To be honest, no, I don't train that kick much. I like to train the basic things like body kicks or low kicks. But I’ve known how to do that kick since I was eight years old, when I started training Muay Thai. I think I have been keeping it inside of my mind, and when I need it I throw it out.” Wow.
Fight Of The Year:
Jim Miller W3 Joe Lauzon - UFC 155
By the end of the first round on December 29th, it looked like Jim Miller was going to possibly wrap up a Knockout of the Night award against Joe Lauzon. Showing off some of the best standup of his career, Miller opened up Lauzon’s face, and as crimson stained the canvas, most believed there was no way the bonus king from Massachusetts could possibly continue. But continue he did, and over the next two rounds, he and Miller engaged in a back and forth battle that didn’t just display top-notch technical skills but the things you can’t quantify on paper – heart, guts, desire, determination. Miller’s hand was rightfully raised at the end, but Lauzon was no loser here, and with his submission attempts and ability to fight through cuts that would have finished off lesser men, he may have gained even more fans.
and your 2012 UFC Fighter of the Year:
Three championship fights. Three wins. 15 rounds of action. Doing that alone earns UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson the top spot as Fighter of the Year for 2012, but in a year when injuries were a constant and crippling issue in the sport, Henderson also gets kudos for being one of MMA’s true iron men. Winning the title in February with a Fight of the Night win over Frankie Edgar, Henderson repeated the feat at UFC 150 in August, with both bouts being razor-thin nail biters. “Smooth” made sure that wasn’t the case in his 2012 finale against Nate Diaz on December 8th, as he dominated against the talented Stocktonite from start to finish. Henderson’s goal right now is to clean out the division and make a run at Anderson Silva’s all-time title defense record. Well, right now, Henderson looks like he just may have a shot at it.
still can't believe that actually happened on saturday night... someone pinch me or smack me upside the head, please.
now the way i see it, cain is pretty much a made legend in MMA. as a two-time HW champion and someone who absolutely destroyed the two men who held the belt at the time, he stands alone from couture in the HW division and probably even most of the other divisional champions in history. of course modern MMA is a young sport and there's no point in going overboard with this stuff, but it's still hard to imagine what he did being repeated very often in MMA history.
i feel sorry for JDS' next opponent, because whoever that person is, they're probably going to be annihilated. like, wiped off the map. overeem better pray that it's not him, because junior is still an absolute beast who few other fighters are going to be able to pressure like cain can do.
- a legend?...he is a great fighter with amazing Wrestling/cardio......not sure if legend status yet.
- he has to hold the belt for awhile....he better pray Overeem loses....Overeem will merk Cain.