Another year in mixed martial arts has come and gone, and while the Ultimate Fighting Championship was again at the forefront the sport, Bellator MMA, the Professional Fighters League and One Championship all made significant headway in the market.
What began with UFC Fight Night 124 on Jan. 14 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis concluded with UFC 232 on Dec. 29 in Inglewood, California. In between, the MMA world was witness to fights that stretched the bounds of what was thought possible, historic knockouts, slick submissions, judging controversies, athletic commissions run amok and the rise of new superstars that will carry the combat sports torch for the foreseeable future.
Daniel Cormier, Jon Jones, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Henry Cejudo, Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko ascended to the top of various weight classes. Stipe Miocic, Demetrious Johnson and Cristiane Justino all took a step back. The UFC-ESPN deal, airborne dollies and the debate over weight cutting made waves, stirred the pot and ruffled feathers across an eventful 12 months.
A complete rundown of Sherdog.com’s 2018 Year-End Awards:
• All-Violence Team by Jordan Breen
• Fighter of the Year by Brian Knapp
• Fight of the Year by Anthony Walker
• Knockout of the Year by Ben Duffy
• Submission of the Year by Anthony Walker
• Story of the Year by Tristen Critchfield
• Beatdown of the Year by Brian Knapp
• Event of the Year by Adam Martin
• Breakthrough Fighter of the Year by Ben Duffy
• Robbery of the Year by Anthony Walker
• Round of the Year by Ben Duffy
• Comeback Fighter of the Year by Adam Martin
• Upset of the Year by Brian Knapp
• Walkout Song of the Year by Jay Pettry