2019 will usher in a new era for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization will start its partnership with ESPN on Jan. 19 with UFC on ESPN+ 1 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
And it’s going to be a busy year, as the partnership will see events splashed all over “The Worldwide Leader In Sports” and its many channels and streaming services pretty much every weekend.
Before then, however, the promotion unveiled its official awards for 2018, highlighting the best performances this past year. Without further ado, let’s see who UFC felt went above and beyond over the last 12 months.
“Fighter of the Year” went to Daniel Cormier, who became the promotion’s second champ-champ after winning the Heavyweight title by knocking out Stipe Miocic (see it). Earlier in the year, “DC” defend his Light Heavyweight belt against Volkan Oezdemir.
And the award goes to...— UFC (@ufc) January 9, 2019
We are unveiliing the 'Best of 2018'
Starting with the 'Fighter of the Year', @DC_MMA! pic.twitter.com/7ek6C6p0Y6
Up next is “Fight of the Year,” which went to Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis after they put on a bloody show at UFC 229, resulting in multiple knockdowns for both men (highlights). And though it ended in rather anti-climactic fashion, it was truly fun while it lasted.
Also, “Submission of the Year” went to Zabit Magomedsharipov after twisting Brandon Davis into a pretzel at UFC 228.
Your 2018 'Submission of the Year'— UFC (@ufc) January 9, 2019
@ZaBeast_MMA takes home the award! pic.twitter.com/PkvLyMaSv4
Next up is Israel Adesanya, who was the “Breakthrough Fighter of the Year” after winning his first four bouts inside the eight-sided cage. A great honer for the young stud as he gears up to face former Middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 234.
Also, “Knockout of the Year” was no surprise, as Yair Rodriguez’s last-second knockout over Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night 130 in November was something special.
The KO that SHOCKED the !@PanteraUFC earns the 'KO of the Year' pic.twitter.com/PP8TkM8kpW— UFC (@ufc) January 9, 2019
There you have it!
Can you think of anything that was left out or should’ve prevailed over any of the chosen winners?