Jose Aldo 16-1 Jose Aldo was the easy choice for the top spot on our "Breakthroughs of the Year" list. His four fights in 2009 all ended by stoppage, and were never in doubt. Aldo’s combination of speed and power make him a dangerous opponent, regardless of match up. He easily defeated Rolando Perez and Chris Mickle earlier this year in WEC, setting up his meeting with Cub Swanson in June. It took just eight seconds, and one highlight reel flying knee, to defeat Swanson. With that win he earned himself a shot at the WEC featherweight championship against Mike Brown. Brown, who had been a dominate champion, looked like the contender in the bout as Aldo controlled nearly every second of the match, until finally finishing Brown early in the second. Aldo started the year as an almost unknown commodity in WEC, and finished as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Gegard Mousasi 27-2-1 Mousasi’s breakthrough did not actually occur overnight, and he was already well on his way to stardom prior to 2009. But, unless you are the type that stays up all night watching Japanese MMA, you may have missed his rise to the top of the rankings. He established himself as the Dream middleweight champion with victories over Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, and "Jacare" Souza, but raised eyebrows when he vacated the title to move up in weight. Mousasi stated that he wanted to fight at light heavyweight and eventually heavyweight. In 2009, he submitted heavyweight Mark Hunt, and eventually signed with Strikeforce. He made an immediate impact in America when he captured the light heavyweight title from top ten ranked Renato "Babalu" Sobral by knockout. He later made his CBS debut against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, winning by knockout again. Mousasi’s 2009 answered any questions about his ability to perform against the best competition, earning a spot in the pound-for-pound debates and now a worldwide fan base.
For the rest of the top 10: MMA Spot
Overall a solid list. There have been alot of fighters make names for themselves this year.