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Showing results for tags 'Rookie of the Year'.
The nominees are... Misha Cirkunov (XTREME COUTURE TORONTO) W-SUB2 (NECK CRANK) ALEX NICHOLSON (UFC Fight Night 82: Hendricks vs. Thompson, February 6, 2016) W-SUB3 (ARM TRIANGLE CHOKE) ION CUTELABA (UFC Fight Night 89: MacDonald vs. Thompson, June 18, 2016) W-SUB1 (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) NIKITA KRYLOV (UFC 206: Holloway vs. Pettis, December 10, 2016) Francis Ngannou (MMA FACTORY/BLACKZILIANS) W-TKO2 (DOCTOR STOPPAGE) CURTIS BLAYDES (UFC Fight Night 86: Rothwell vs. Dos Santos, April 10, 2016) W-TKO1 (PUNCHES) BOJAN MIHAJLOVIC (UFC on Fox 20: Holm vs. Shevchenko, July 23, 2016) W-SUB1 (KIMURA) ANTHONY HAMILTON (UFC Fight Night 102: Lewis vs. Abudurakhimov, December 9, 2016) Vicente Luque (BLACKZILIANS) W-SUB2 (BRABO CHOKE) ALVARO HERRERA (UFC Fight Night 90: Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez, July 7, 2016) W-KO1 (PUNCH) HECTOR URBINA (UFC Fight Night 95: Cyborg vs. Lansberg, September 24, 2016) W-KO1 (PUNCHES) BELAL MUHAMMAD (UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor, November 12, 20160 Jared Cannonier (GRACIE BARRA ALASKA) W-KO1 (PUNCHES AND ELBOWS) CYRIL ASKER (UFC Fight Night 86: Rothwell vs. Dos Santos, April 10, 2016) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) ION CUTELABA (The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale: Tournament of Champions, December 3, 2016) Jason Knight (ALAN BELCHER MMA CLUB) W-DEC3 (SPLIT) JIM ALERS (UFC on Fox 20: Holm vs. Shevchenko, July 23, 2016) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) DAN HOOKER (UFC Fight Night 101: Whittaker vs. Brunson, November 26, 2016) Megan Anderson (GLORY MMA) W-TKO3 (KNEES AND PUNCHES) AMBER LEIBROCK (Invicta FC 15: Cyborg vs. Ibragimova, January 16, 2016) W-TKO1 (HEAD KICK AND PUNCHES) AMANDA BELL (Invicta FC 17: Evinger vs. Schneider, May 7, 2016) W-KO (PUNCHES) PEGGY MORGAN (Invicta FC 18: Grasso vs. Esquibel, July 29, 2016) 2013 Winner: Rustam Khabilov - JACKSON'S MMA 2014 Winner: Aljamain Sterling - SERRA-LONGO FIGHT TEAM 2015 Winner: Joanna Jędrzejczyk - BERKUT ARRACHION OLSZTYN Award voting will close 1/13 at 12:30 p.m. CST.
The nominees are.... Thomas Almeida (CHUTE BOXE/MACACO GOLD TEAM) W-TKO1 (PUNCHES) YVES JABOUIN (UFC 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi, April 25, 2015) W-KO2 (FLYING KNEE) BRAD PICKETT (UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor, July 11, 2015) W-KO1 (PUNCHES) ANTHONY BIRCHAK (UFC Fight Night 77: Belfort vs. Henderson III, November 7, 2015) Joanna Jędrzejczyk (BERKUT ARRACHION OLSZTYN) W-TKO2 (PUNCHES) CARLA ESPARZA (UFC 185: Pettis vs. Dos Anjos, March 14, 2015) W-TKO3 (PUNCHES AND KNEE) JESSICA PENNE (UFC Fight Night 69: Jędrzejczyk vs. Penne, June 20, 2015) W-DEC5 (UNANIMOUS) VALÉRIE LÉTOURNEAU (UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm, November 14, 2015) Henry Cejudo (FIGHT READY) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) CHRIS CARIASO (UFC 185: Pettis vs. Dos Anjos, March 14, 2015) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) CHICO CAMUS (UFC 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum, June 13, 2015) W-DEC3 (SPLIT) JUSSIER FORMIGA (UFC Fight Night 78: Magny vs. Gastelum, November 21, 2015) Albert Tumenov (K-DOJO WARRIOR TRIBE) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) NICHOLAS MUSOKE (UFC on Fox 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson, January 24, 2015) W-TKO1 (HEAD KICK AND PUNCHES) ALAN JOUBAN (UFC 192: Cormier vs. Gustafsson, October 3, 2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg5fRNEoDVw Holly Holm (JACKSONWINK MMA) W-DEC3 (SPLIT) RAQUEL PENNINGTON (UFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano, February 28, 2015) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) MARION RENEAU (UFC Fight Night 71: Mir vs. Duffee, July 15, 2015) W-KO2 (HEAD KICK AND PUNCHES) RONDA ROUSEY (UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm, November 14, 2015) Yair Rodríguez (VALLE FLOW STRIKING/IZZY STYLE) W-DEC3 (SPLIT) CHARLES ROSA (UFC 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum, June 13, 2015) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) DANIEL HOOKER (UFC 192: Cormier vs. Gustafsson, October 3, 2015) 2013 Winner: Rustam Khabilov - JACKSON'S MMA 2014 Winner: Aljamain Sterling - SERRA-LONGO FIGHT TEAM Award voting will close 1/10 at 7:00 p.m. CST
JAKE MATTHEWS W-SUB3 (TRIANGLE CHOKE) VS. DASHON JOHNSON (UFC Fight Night 43: Te Huna vs. Marquardt, June 28, 2014) W-SUB2 (REAR NAKED CHOKE) VS. VAGNER ROCHA (UFC Fight Night 55: Rockhold vs. Bisping, November 8, 2014) While TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia premiered to very little fanfare, there was hope that the show could provide some life to two markets that had been the hottest for the UFC. Since the sudden retirement of former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre, only Rory MacDonald has come close to even challenging as Canada's top MMA draw. In that respect, Australia had only glimmers of a star with the brief run of George Sotiropoulos in the lightweight division. Since then, there have been more pretenders than winners. Team Australia, coached by journeyman Kyle Noke, failed to produce a finalist. Touted prospect Tyler Manawaroa ended up having his career with the organization cut short amidst an ugly social media controversy. With UFC's plans of making headway in Oceania, the growing pains of establishing homegrown talent became evident. Jake Matthews, a 20-year old contestant on TUF Nations, made his official UFC debut on June 28 on the UFC's first event ever in New Zealand. Matthews, who was eliminated by eventual finalist Olivier Aubin-Mercier, entered the UFC more quietly compared to his opponent Dashon Johnson. Johnson was the subject of a few scathing MMA articles looking into the unethical nature of California MMA promotion, Xplode Fight Series. Although the claims of building up records were warranted, Johnson was headed towards tougher ground with a fight in unofficial UFC feeder league RFA. With Johnson signing with the UFC instead, he was booked against the now TUF alum Matthews. Johnson showed his toughness by surviving an early scare of being cut wide open by ground-and-pound. The youngster Matthews used short range elbows to hammer Johnson in the first round. The second round proved to be a more calculated one as Matthews began to wear on Johnson against the fence and drop down for takedowns constantly. By the third round, Johnson was clearly gassed and Matthew took advantage by getting him to the ground. Matthews eventually snatched a triangle and elicited the tap. Matthews' UFC debut showed that not only could he finish a fight, but that he could also put together a saavy strategy against an opponent who proved shrewder than what most people expected. In his sophomore effort, Matthews was much closer to home on the Rockhold vs. Bisping card in Sydney and was booked against multiple time UFC vet Vagner Rocha. "Ceara" in his second go-around with the organization was originally booked to fight Joe Ellenberger on UFC 172 in his return before being injured. With Matthews still being very young, the fight could have been a considered a lateral move for the BJJ black belt. However, this was not the case as the undefeated fighter used various techniques early on to keep Rocha off balance. After ending the first round with a quick takedown, Matthew kept the momentum going by landing more powerful strikes in the next frame. One superman punch by "The Celtic Kid" and the Brazilian found himself in a no hooks rear naked choke by the Aussie. Mere seconds later, Rocha was unconscious and Matthews was graced by the cheers of close to 10,000 adoring local fans. With two UFC wins under his belt, Matthews might be primed for an even bigger 2015 and crowned as the UFC's true star in the land down under. KYOJI HORIGUCHI W-TKO2 (PUNCHES) VS. DUSTIN PAGUE (UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III, October 19, 2013) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) VS. DARRELL MONTAGUE (UFC Fight Night 40: Brown vs. Silva, May 10, 2014) W-TKO3 (PUNCHES) VS. JON DELOS REYES (UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson, September 20, 2014) The first three minutes of Kyoji Horiguchi's UFC debut seemed like a very bad omen for his UFC career. Within the very first thirty seconds of his bout with former TUF 14 combatant Dustin Pague, the Krazy Bee fighter found himself in a body triangle and his back taken. Unquestionably, Japanese fighters have traditionally had a tough time adjusting to the bright octagon lights. However, the one time Shooto bantamweight endured that as well as ground-and-pound after a hip throw. Horiguchi gave up eight inches in reach, but he refused to give up on trying to knock Pague's block off. In an exchange of hooks, the karate black belt got the H-town fans on their feet when he dropped Pague with a nasty left hook on the point of the chin. Horiguchi jumped on Pague, but was swept in Pague's transition to getting the fight back standing. Horiguchi used a nifty trip to get Pague back down and pounded his American opponent with shots reminiscent of mentor "KID" Yamamoto in his prime. Referee Herb Dean called the bout off in the second round and spared Pague from taken more of a beating. Horiguchi was booked for a return at UFC 169 against Chris Cariaso, but had to postpone his flyweight debut due to injury. He finally dropped down on May 10 against ex Tachi ace and ranked flyweight Darrell Montague on the Brown vs. Silva card. The Millennia MMA fighter proved to be no match for Horiguchi and was soundly defeated over the course of fifteen minutes. Montague was on the verge of being finished twice in the second round. Even though Horiguchi had to settle for getting the win on all three judges' scorecards, he ultimately proved that he belongs with the best at 125. Although he lost out on another opportunity to fight Cariaso again, Horiguchi got a chance to prove his merit in from of a hometown crowd. Unlike many of his Japanese MMA cohorts and boxers like the Kameda brothers, Takashi Uchiyama, and Kazuto Ioka, Horiguchi found himself in the position of being chosen by U.S. promoters to be showcased as a premier talent in the lower weight divisions. Hence, it was vital for Horiguchi to demolish Guam representative Jon Delos Reyes. Reyes was already at an added disadvantage of no fighter from Guam even making a dent at flyweight since Jesse Taitano, who eventually left the Shooto scene and MMA all together with a record below .500. Opening up the UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson main card in Saitama Super Arena, Horiguchi turned Reyes away and away quickly. The fighter from the Gunma prefecture folded Reyes with a vicious kick to the abdomen only twenty-eight seconds in. Reyes engaged Horiguchi with scrambles and butterfly guard play to get back to his feet, but Horiguchi would not be deterred. Horiguchi went back to the weapon from his first UFC fight and briefly dropped Reyes with a left hook. From there, it was all Horiguchi and ref Steve Perceval jumped in at 3:48 in the first to give Horiguchi three straight UFC victories. In the upcoming new year, Horiguchi plans to continue his march towards a shot at flyweight supremacy. ALJAMAIN STERLING W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) VS. CODY GIBSON (UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann, February 22, 2014) W-TKO3 (PUNCHES) VS. HUGO VIANA (UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller, July 16, 2014) Very few UFC fighters truly have as much pressure put on them as they put on themselves. Uniondale, New York native Aljamain Sterling put himself in that category right out of the gate prior to his UFC debut in February of this year. Sterling notoriously bugged UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby on social media with his Youtube clips and highlight reels for several months. It seemed that Sterling was carving himself out a niche by being a hybrid of a creative striker and flashy showman like UK prospect Michael Page. In reality, the CFFC Bantamweight champion was more ready than his non-UFC fights advertised. Coming out of the same camp that produced UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and lightweight upstart Al Iaquinta, Sterling needed an opportunity to show that. "The Funk Master" began his UFC campaign with a bout against Visalia fighter Cody Gibson on the UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann prelims. Gibson, who trained with his own middleweight stalwart in former WEC champ Doug "The Rhino" Marshall, was coming in with a bit of hype as well. He had already collected valuable experience against UFC vets Walel Watson and Ulysses Gomez and WEC vet Chad George. In the fight itself, the two young fighters seemingly split rounds one and two. Sterling took a close first round with some quick strikes while Gibson wrestled Sterling down enough to win the next stanza. In the final frame, Sterling came out all guns ablazing with a big slam from a double leg. As a result, he used positional dominance to wear Gibson down and snatch his first UFC win with 29-28 on all three scorecards. Sterling would return to the scene of the crime with a UFC fight in Atlantic City, the place he first got his name on the Northeast scene in regional organization Ring of Combat. This one would come as part of the UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller card in July. Matched with Brazilian slugger Hugo "Wolverine" Viana, Sterling wanted to give his fans a treat and indeed he did. Compared to the fight with Gibson, Sterling made it look like he had somehow fought dozens of fights in MMA's biggest organization overnight. More relaxed and calm in his demeanor, Sterling chipped away at the Bahia striker with a variety of dazzling techniques. He was able to dispatch a fighter much tougher than Gibson by staying one step ahead and not being predictable, which was his modus operandi before being a UFC roster member. Sterling flattened Viana out and went to work in the third. Unable to defend himself, "Wolverine" succumbed to the better fighter that night at 3:50 of that very round. The TKO stoppage moved Sterling's mark to 10 wins and no losses. Despite Sterling not being able to fight again the remainder of the year, MMA fans have something to look forward to in the next bout for him. The first two might just be appetizers for a greater feast. THE REST OF THE NOMINEES: LANCE PALMER L-SUB3 (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) VS. GEORGI KARAKHANYAN (WSOF 7: Karakhanyan vs. Palmer, December 7, 2013) W-SUB1 (REAR NAKED CHOKE) VS. NICK LOBOSCO (WSOF 10: Branch vs. Taylor, June 21, 2014) W-SUB3 (REAR NAKED CHOKE) VS. RICK GLENN (WSOF 16: Palhares vs. Fitch, December 13, 2014) BRANDON HALSEY W-TKO1 (PUNCHES) VS. HECTOR RAMIREZ (Bellator 106: Chandler vs. Alvarez, November 2, 2013) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) VS. JOE PACHECO (Bellator 116: Johnson vs. Ivanov, April 11, 2014) W-SUB1 (ARMBAR) VS. BRETT COOPER (Bellator 122: McDonough vs. Koreshkov, July 25, 2014) W-SUB1 (REAR NAKED CHOKE) VS. ALEXANDER SHLEMENKO (Bellator 126: Shlemenko vs. Halsey, September 26, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqaOCbwRjM0 RASHID MAGOMEDOV W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) VS. TONY MARTIN (UFC 169: Barão vs. Faber II, February 1, 2014) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) VS. RODRIGO DAMM (The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale: Miocic vs. Maldonado, May 31, 2014) W-TKO3 (PUNCHES) VS. ELIAS SILVERIO (UFC Fight Night 58: Machida vs. Dollaway, December 20, 2014) 2013 Winner: Rustam Khabilov - JACKSON'S MMA Credit: @ZProphet_MMA for the GIFs Award voting will close 12/28 at 12:00 a.m. CST
RUSTAM KHABILOV W-KO1 (SUPLEX AND PUNCHES) vs. VINC PICHEL (The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Finale, December 15, 2012) W-TKO1 (INJURY) vs. YANCY MEDEIROS (UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen, April 27, 2013) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) vs. JORGE MASVIDAL (UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3, November 6, 2013) After Jackson's MMA teammate and fellow Dagestani compatriot Khabib Nurmagomedov began turning heads in summer 2012, Rustam Khabilov blazed his own trail in the lightweight division by impressively stopping TUF alum Vinc Pichel. Pichel found himself in a precarious position time-after-time when Khabilov began suplexing him on his head and neck. While Khabilov didn't get a chance to show off his vast array of offense in his sophomore peformance against Strikeforce vet Yancy Medeiros, he did grab another victory in the octagon when Medeiros suffered a thumb injury in the first round. In his third UFC bout, Khabilov went tit-for-tat with the much more experienced Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal at UFC Fight for the Troops 3. Khabilov was able to answer questions about his cardio, endurance, and heart against the former South Florida street fighter after his first two fights didn't see a second frame. The three round netted Khabilov a share of the Fight of the Night bonus as well as his third straight UFC win. HYUN GYU LIM W-KO2 (KNEE AND PUNCHES) vs. MARCELO GUIMARÃES (UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann, March 3, 2013) W-KO1 (KNEE AND PUNCHES) vs. PASCAL KRAUSS (UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II, August 31, 2013) Over the last five years, Korea has been a mixed bag for producing UFC talent. Former PRIDE 183 lbs. standout Denis Kang was ultimately a disappointment during his UFC tenure. Yoshihiro Akiyama has yet to collect a second win in the UFC's octagon. Dongi Yang was proven to be a non-factor in the middleweight division over his four fight run, which only yielded one win. Only Dong Hyun Kim had made multiple trips to the winner's circle while under Zuffa employ. That was before the arrival of Korean Top Team's Hyun Gyu Lim. Lim posted his first UFC win in March of 2013 with a sudden and violent knockout of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Marcelo Guimarães. Having spent much cage time in Guam prior to signing with the UFC, Lim's UFC debut in Japan was a little closer to home. However, Lim took a trip to Milwaukee in his second UFC bout to face German Pascal Krauss. While both men were several miles away from their birthplace, it was Krauss who had been training locally at the Roufusport gym. Once again, Lim was able to dispatch of his opponent with knee strikes inside the distance after some back-and-forth. The southpaw from Korea moved up the welterweight ladder and grabbed a $50k Fight of the Night bonus to go with his second UFC victory. CONOR MCGREGOR W-TKO1 (PUNCHES) vs. MARCUS BRIMAGE (UFC on Fuel TV: Mousasi vs. Latifi, April 6, 2013) W-DEC3 (UNANIMOUS) vs. MAX HOLLOWAY (UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen, August 17, 2013) Loud. Brash. Outspoken. And that's just in 140 characters or less on Twitter. Ireland's Conor McGregor has managed to issue more grandstand challenges during his UFC run than he has actual fights in his five and half years in the sport. While combat sports hasn't made a sizeable dent into the Irish market recently, the UFC seems to have all the right star making ingredients with McGregor that promoters failed to capitalize on with the likes of John Duddy, Andy Lee, and Matthew Macklin. Although sidelined with injury, McGregor has kept buzz surrounding his name by creating his own brand of trash talk. As a two division Cage Warriors champ, McGregor had earned status as one of Europe's top prospects at 155 pounds and below. It didn't hurt that a good number of his destructive performances were on YouTube and showcased his fast hands and fast reflexes. Thus, a demand for the youngster from Dublin to get a UFC shot became very real. His sub ninety second handling of American Top Team product Marcus Brimage in Stockholm got people talking. What started as a war of words at the weigh-ins turned into the derailment of Brimage's hype train by McGregor's own hype locomotive. Going into the UFC's first foray on the Fox Sports 1 platform, McGregor was in prime position to make a name for himself with a main card spot. Because the show was in Boston, McGregor made his entrance into the TD Garden with great fanfare to the strains of the Dropkick Murphys' "Shipping Up to Boston". His opponent, Max Holloway, brought his own striking arsenal with him. McGregor was just always one step of ahead of the Hawaiian slugger and used his underutilized grappling to stifle his foe. The injury to his ACL did not stop him from grabbing all three judges' scorecards for the unanimous decision win. THE REST OF THE NOMINEES: KELVIN GASTELUM W-DEC3 (SPLIT) vs. URIAH HALL (The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, April 13, 2013) W-SUB1 (REAR NAKED CHOKE) vs. BRIAN MELANCON (UFC Fight Night 27: Condit vs. Kampmann II, August 28, 2013) YOEL ROMERO W-KO1 (FLYING KNEE AND PUNCHES) vs. CLIFFORD STARKS (UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez, April 20, 2013) W-KO3 (PUNCHES) vs. RONNY MARKES (UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3, November 6, 2013) BRANDON THATCH W-TKO1 (STRIKES) vs. JUSTIN EDWARDS (UFC Fight Night 27: Condit vs. Kampmann II, August 28, 2013) W-SUB1 (KNEE TO THE BODY) vs. PAULO THIAGO (UFC Fight Night 32: Belfort vs. Henderson II, November 9, 2013)