2012 may not have been a peak year for mixed martial arts (MMA), however it was a groundbreaking one. The UFC signed a historic deal with FOX, Strikeforce fizzled and Bellator MMA started to pick up some traction as a viable MMA organization.
Marquee fighters went down with injuries, championship belts switched hands and memorable bouts occurred seemingly every weekend. For all its triumphs and faults - 2012 was still a pretty good year for the sport.
Last night (Jan. 11, 2013), the MMA community came together at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Casino in Las Vegas to celebrate and recognize the very best of 2012 with the annual year-end World MMA Awards.
The event, which was hosted by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight No. 1 contender Chael Sonnen did not air live, but will be re-broadcasted Jan. 20, 2013, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Fox Sports Net (FSN).
UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones was named ‘Fighter of the Year,' edging out the likes of Daniel Cormier, Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson and Ronda Rousey.
Jones (17-1) was recognized as the top fighter in the MMA for the second consecutive year, as he also received the 'Charles "Mask Lewis Award.' in 2011. The 25-year-old fought three times over the course of the award eligibility timeframe, defeating Lyoto Machida by submission at UFC 140 in December 2011, outpointing bitter rival Rashad Evans en route to a decision at UFC 145 in April 2012 and submitting Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 in September 2012. "Bones" is next scheduled to compete against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 on April 29, 2013.
Other notable award winners was one of SBNation's own, Ariel Helwani of MMAfighting.com, who honored as "MMA Journalist of the Year" for the third year in a row,
Below is a list of winners and full results from the 2012 World MMA Awards :
"BEST TECHNICAL CLOTHING"
Nominees: Bad Boy, Clinch Gear, Hayabusa, Jaco, Venum
Winner: Clinch Gear
"PROMOTION OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Bellator, Invicta FC, ONE FC, Strikeforce, UFC
"GYM OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: American Kickboxing Academy, Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA, Kings MMA, Nova Uniao
Winner: Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
"COMEBACK OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Alan Belcher (career), Mike Swick (career), Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (UFC 140), Tim Boetsch vs. Yushin Okami (UFC 144), J.P. Joubert vs. Norman Wessels (EFC Africa 15)
Winner: Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (UFC 140)
"BEST LIFESTYLE CLOTHING"
Nominees: Dethrone, Headrush, Punishment, Bad Boy, TapouT
Winner: Bad Boy
"INTERNATIONAL FIGHTER OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Michael Bisping, Alexander Gustafsson, Chan Sung Jung, Martin Kampmann, Stefan Struve
Winner: Michael Bisping
"REFEREE OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Marc Goddard, John McCarthy, Herb Dean, Josh Rosenthal, Mario Yamasaki
Winner: Herb Dean
"SHAWN TOMPKINS COACH OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Cesar Gracie, Rafael Cordeiro, Greg Jackson, Javier Mendez, Andre Pederneiras
Winner: Rafael Cordeiro
Winner: Leon Tabbs
"MMA JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Karyn Bryant (MMA HEAT/FUEL TV), Ben Fowlkes (MMAjunkie.com/USA TODAY), Gareth A. Davies (The Telegraph), Ariel Helwani (MMAFighting.com/FUEL TV), John Morgan (MMAjunkie.com/USA TODAY)
Winner: Ariel Helwani (MMAFighting.com/FUEL TV)
"SUBMISSION OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (UFC 140), Charles Oliveira vs. Eric Wisely (UFC on FOX 2), Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Massenzio (UFC 142), Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate (Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey), Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier (UFC on FUEL TV 3)
Winner: Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (UFC 140)
"FEMALE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Jessica Aguilar, Sarah Kaufman, Sara McMann, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate
Winner: Ronda Rousey
"MMA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Jon Anik, Bruce Buffer, Mauro Ranallo, Joe Rogan, Bas Rutten
Winner: Joe Rogan
"KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Adam Khaliev vs. Alexei Belyaev (League S-70), Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim (UFC 142), Stephen Thompson vs. Dan Stittgen (UFC 143), Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon (UFC 144), Brian Rogers vs. Vitor Vianna (Bellator 61)
Winner: Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim (UFC 142)
"MEDIA SOURCE OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: ESPN, "Inside MMA" on AXS TV, MMAFighting.com, MMAjunkie.com, Sherdog.com
"BREAKTHROUGH FIGHTER OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Renan Barao, Michael Chandler, Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold, Ronda Rousey
Winner: Chris Weidman
"FIGHT OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (UFC 139), Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez (Belltator 58), Jake Ellenberger vs. Diego Sanchez (UFC on FUEL TV 1), Dustin Poirier vs. Chan Sung Jung (UFC on FUEL TV 3), Jamie Varner vs. Joe Lauzon (UFC on FOX 4)
Winner: Jamie Varner vs. Joe Lauzon (UFC on FOX 4)
"LEADING MAN OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Victor Cui, Lorenzo Fertitta, Shannon Knapp, Bjorn Rebney, Dana White
Winner: Dana White
"RING GIRL OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Jade Bryce, Arianny Celeste, Kelli Hutcherson, Brittney Palmer, Mercedes Terrell
Winner: Brittney Palmer
"BEST TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT"
Nominees: Everlast, Fairtex, Hayabusa, Pretorian, Venum
"CHARLES 'MASK' LEWIS FIGHTER OF THE YEAR"
Nominees: Daniel Cormier, Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey
Winner: Jon Jones
So how do you Maniacs feel about the results? Did anyone get robbed of an award? Who was most and least deserving of their award?
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