PunchDrunkGamer’s Best of 2013 – Mixed Martial Arts Awards Part II

PunchDrunkGamer’s Best of 2013 – Mixed Martial Arts Awards Part II

By Christopher Jester and Dave Carpinello

 

 
PDG-MMA-AWARDS-2013-part-2
 

 

Welcome back for the second part of PunchDrunkGamer’s Best of 2013 – Mixed Martial Arts Awards. In this segment we announce our Submission of the Year, Women’s Fighters of the Year, Fight of the Year, The Ring Girl of the Year, The Highlight Video of the Year and more, enjoy!

 

 

 

Female MMA Fighter of the Year

 

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Joanne-Calderwood-1

 

Joanne Calderwood

2013 Record: 4-0 (3 decisions, 1 TKO)

2013 Victims: Livia von Plettenberg, Sally Krumdiack, Norma Rueda Center, Katja Kankaanpaa

Achievement: Chosen to participate on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2014

 

JoJo had an impressive year in 2014. Not only did she go 4-0, but she completely dismantled every opponent she faced. She started this year with her debut on the main card of an Invicta FC event and put on a technical kickboxing clinic against Livia von Plettenberg. This highlight reel performance was only the beginning of what soon became a trend for the rest of the year.

 

Regardless of going to decisions in most of her bouts, Calderwood became a fan favorite because her ability to relentlessly push forward. She outclasses her opponents unlike any other female in mixed martial arts right now. She has become such a dangerous threat at strawweight that she has garnered the attention of the UFC. She will now get the chance to fight for the UFC’s inaugural strawweight title, and she has a good shot at becoming their first champion.

 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Ronda Rousey

2013 Record: 2-0

2013 Victims: Liz Carmouche, Miesha Tate

Accomplishments: Debuted in the UFC, Defended UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship (2x), won Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night Honors (vs. Miesha Tate)

 

Holly Holm

2013 Record: 4-0

2013 Victims: Katie Merrill, Allanna Jones, Nikki Knudsen, Angela Hayes

 

Alexis Davis

2013 Record: 3-0

2013 Victims: Shayna Baszler, Rosi Sexton, Liz Carmouche

Accomplishments: Fight of the Night (vs. Shayna Baszler)

 

 

 

2013 Submission of the Year

 

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Faber-submits-Menjivar

 

Urijah Faber def. Ivan Menjivar via standing rear-naked choke – UFC 157 (February 23)

 

Why worry about looking for the knockout when you can find a submission that cans the fight. Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar had fought before, albeit ending a bit controversially. There was no controversy in how this fight ended though. Faber found himself with a clinch from behind and sunk in a beautiful rear-naked choke. But there was nothing beautiful about how sick Menjivar looked when he realized that there was no escaping from this choke. The RNC finish from Faber became one of the most picture-perfect submission images of the year, and it became the first victory for Faber’s trek back to title contention.

 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Anthony Pettis def. Benson Henderson via armbar – UFC 164 (August 31)

Jim Miller vs. Fabricio Camoes via armbar – UFC 168 (December 28)

Josh Burkman def. Jon Fitch via Guillotine choke – World Series of Fighting 3 (June 14)

Chael Sonnen def. Mauricio Rua via guillotine choke – UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen (August 17)

 

 

 

2013 Fight of the Year

 

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Mark-Hunt-vs-Antonio-Silva

 

Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva – UFC Fight Night: Hunt Vs. Bigfoot (December 7)

 

Wow what a fight. This was one entertaining bout between two giant behemoths. Coming into the fight, we knew that both heavyweight fighters could end the fight at any moment but what we were gifted with instead was a five round war that stole our attention and hearts.

 

Whether you were on Twitter, Facebook, or on the couch, this was a bout that you talked about for days. What made this fight so thrilling was that neither fighter wanted to quit. Even when both fighters were dropped throughout the match-up, they continued to show heart and determination to win the fight. Mark Hunt would drop Big Foot Silva. Silva would slam his oversized fists into Hunt and he would scramble to survive. It was a back-and-forth battle that became an instant epic. Not only is it our 2013 Fight of the Year, but this became one of the best heavyweight fights of all time (Despite Silva’s failed drug test)!

 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson – UFC 165 (September 21)

Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez – UFC 168 (October 19)

Jessica Penne vs. Michelle Waterson – Invicta FC 5 (April 5)

Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann – UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann (March 3)

 

 

 

Women’s Bantamweight – Fighter of the Year

 

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Ronda-Rousey-2

 

Ronda Rousey

2013 Record: 2-0

2013 Victims: Liz Carmouche, Miesha Tate

Accomplishments: Debuted in the UFC, Defended UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship (2x), won Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night Honors (vs. Miesha Tate)

 

Before 2013 things always seemed to be so easy for Ronda Rousey. She stepped into the UFC and was anointed as the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She had earned every victory in her brief fight career by first round armbar. But that same could not be said about 2013 for the Women’s Bantamweight champion. Rousey faced Liz Carmouche in the women’s UFC debut, and it was the toughest bout she had to date. She found herself in trouble from a neck crank by Carmouche, but she survived the near fatal submission to come back to score the victory with her go-to armbar.

 

Rousey may have faced her toughest opponent on the reality television show The Ultimate Fighter. The behind the scenes look at potential UFC prospects showed a different side of Rousey: one that was ultra-competitive but one that many people deemed bratty and spoiled. Her image had seemed to take a hit, but none so much as what took place when she participated in the three round war she had with Miesha Tate. After submitting Tate via armbar (again), Rousey refused to shake Tate’s hand. The boos from the crowd only crowned her as the biggest heel in mixed martial arts. Love it or hate it, Ronda Rousey is still the best bantamweight in the world.

 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Holly Holm

2013 Record: 4-0

2013 Victims: Katie Merrill, Allanna Jones, Nikki Knudsen, Angela Hayes

 

Alexis Davis

2013 Record: 3-0

2013 Victims: Shayna Baszler, Rosi Sexton, Liz Carmouche

Accomplishments: Fight of the Night (vs. Shayna Baszler)

 

Lauren Murphy

2013 Record: 4-0

2013 Victims: Jennifer Scott, Kaitlin Young, Sarah D’Alelio, Miriam Nakamoto

 

 

 

Women’s Strawweight – Fighter of the Year

 

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Joanne-Calderwood-2

 

Joanne Calderwood

2013 Record: 4-0 (3 decisions, 1 TKO)

2013 Victims: Livia von Plettenberg, Sally Krumdiack, Norma Rueda Center, Katja Kankaanpaa

Accomplishments: Chosen to participate on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2014

 

This Muay Thai expert has put her striking on display each and every time she participated at an event for Invicta FC. It is one of the things that make her one of the most exciting females on the Invicta FC roster. While she may have been a relative unknown at the beginning of 2013 that cannot be said after her recent four fights. The type of striking she utilizes makes her the feared fighter in the strawweight division. Just ask von Plettenberg, or any of the rest of the women she dueled in 2013.

 

Although the fight against Sally Krumdiack took place within the Cage Warriors organization, it only helped to raise Calderwood’s stock as she was able score a TKO victory. Even though she was expecting to fight Claudia Gadelha and Sarah Schneider before facing Rueda Center, Calderwood was still able to display her prowess in the cage. The Kankaanpaa fight was just another demo of what she could due. It was obviously enough to gain the UFC’s attention as she is now a participate on the 20th season of TUF that features all strawweight women to crown the first UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.

 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Tecia Torres

2013 Record: 3-0

2013 Victims: Paige VanZant, Rose Namajunas, Felice Herrig

Accomplishments: Chosen to participate on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2014

 

Mizuki inoue

2013 Record: 3-0

2013 Victims: Seo Ye Jung, Bec Hyatt, Emi Fujino

 

Stephanie Eggink

2013 Record: 2-0

2013 Victims: Brianna Van Buren, Angela Magana

Accomplishments: Won the XFC Women’s Strawweight Championship

 

 

 

2013 Breakout Fighter of the Year

 

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Khabib-Nurmagomedov

 

Khabib Nurmagomedov

2013 Record: 3-0

2013 Victims: Thiago Tavares, Abel Trujillo, Pat Healy

 

The Eagle is one of those fighters that looks unbecoming but has a style that is so bewildering that it can stifle any kind of fighter. It makes him unpredictable and just a tough task for anyone. In every fight he had this year, he faced an opponent that is known for having volatile styles of their own. Yet, Khabib Nurmagomedov demonstrated why his Sambo background is not one to be overlooked.

 

The Combat Sambo and Judo black belt is no joke once he gets in the Octagon. His clinch work is second to none and once he wraps his arms around you, you’re in his world. He will toss you around like you were a training dummy, and he confirmed that in all of his bouts. He became such an intimidating threat in the lightweight division that no one is willing to sign the dotted line to fight this guy. If his 2013 was this remarkable, you have to be excited about seeing what he may be capable of in 2014.

 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Emanuel Newton

2013 Record: 4-0

2013 Victims: Atanas Djambazov, Muhammed Lawal (twice), Mikhail Zayats

Accomplishments: Won Bellator’s Interim Light-Heavyweight Championship

 

TJ Grant

2013 Record: 2-0

2013 Victims: Matt Wiman, Gray Maynard

Accomplishments: Became UFC Lightweight #1 Contender, Won Knockout of the Night (vs. Maynard)

 

Dennis Bermudez

2013 Record: 3-0

2013 Victims: Matt Grice, Max Holloway, Steven Siler

Accomplishments: Earned Fight of the Night Honors (vs. Grice)

 

Bobby Green

2013 Record: 3-0

2013 Victims: Jacob Volkmann, James Krause, Pat Healy

Accomplishments: Earned Submission of the Night Honors (vs. Volkmann)

 

 

 

2013 Ring Card Girl of the Year

 

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Shannon-Ihrke

 

Shannon Ihrke

Invicta FC Ring Girl

 

As we have pointed out in the past, it is really hard to pick one girl from such a large pool of hotness and you really can’t go wrong with any ring girl.  I mean, these women are for the most part are all smoking hot.  So with that being said, here is professional model, former Marine, PDG Ring Card Girl of the Year and Invicta FC Cage Girl Shannon Ihrke!

 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Jade Bryce (Bellator MMA)

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Jade-Bryce

 

 

Brittney Palmer (UFC)

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Brittney-Palmer

 

 

Arianny Celeste (UFC)

PDG-mma-awards-2013-Arianny-Celeste

 

 

 

MMA Highlight Video of the Year

 

PDG-mma-awards-2013-PRIDE-FC

 

PRIDE FC ‘Broken’ – A Highlight Video By Machinemen

 

When Anderson Silva was knocked out by Chris Weidman at UFC 162, it marked the first time since the fall of the legendary PRIDE FC that a fighter associated with organization did not hold one of the championship belts in the UFC. Over that time, mystic fighters and hardcore fan favorites from the Japanese organization held title belts in the UFC including Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. Now check out this kickass highlight video showcasing the fall of many of the PRIDE champions and warriors!

 


 

Honorable Mention:

 

Jose ‘Scarface’ Aldo – Highlight Reel By FlyWin Evolutions

 

The Man of Steel Returns – A Mark Hunt Highlight Video By Machinemen

 

MMA – This Beautiful Sport by FlyWin Evolutions

 

 

 

Additional Thoughts and Notes of 2013:

 

* Some long-time UFC fighters were either released by the organization or their contracts were not renewed including Jon Fitch, Jacob Volkmann, Vladimir Matyushenko, Cheick Kongo, Rampage Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Yushin Okami and Josh Grispi.

 

* FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 launched on most cable and satellite providers. The keynote signing of the new channels was a blockbuster deal with the UFC including The Ultimate Fighter reality series. In turn Spike TV signed Bellator MMA and started airing not only live events but Bellator’s new reality show Fight Master.

 

* Women fighters made their long awaited debut in the UFC at UFC 157 and then on the 18th season of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter.

 

* Matt Hughes, the legendary UFC Hall of Famer and former two-time welterweight champion, officially announced his retirement from UFC competition. He accepted a new role and joined the organization’s front office, taking the newly created position of Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations. To coincide with this appointment, the UFC also created a clear set of athlete guidelines, or Conduct Policy, memorializing the values long held by the organization.

 

* Eddie Alvarez and Bellator MMA battled over his future in court with a UFC title shot on the line for Alvarez if he signed with the organization. Alvarez eventually succumbed to Bellator, returned to Bjorn Rebney, fights Michael Chandler again and regains the Bellator lightweight title with a split decision victory.

 

* The END of STRIKEFORCE. On January 12, 2013, the final Strikeforce event – Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine was held before the new parent company, Zuffa, closed the doors on the organization.

 

* At the UFC 160 post-fight press conference, former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin announced his retirement from MMA. Griffin ended his career with a 19-7 record, including victories over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

 

* Women’s mixed martial arts pioneer Megumi Fujii retired following a loss to Jessica Aguilar at Vale Tudo 3rd. Fujii amassed a 26-3 record over a career that spanned nearly 10 years.

 

* Fallon Fox, the first known transgender MMA fighter fought against real woman. Fox, who was born as Boyd Burton had undergone sex reassignment surgery back in 2006, which also included supplemental hormonal therapy.

 

* UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture signed a multi-year deal with Spike TV, turning his back on Dana White and the UFC. In addition to appearing on the new Bellator reality show Fight Master, Couture was also set up to appear in multiple projects for the cable channel, as well as other possible ventures within the media conglomerate’s family of networks.

 

* The UFC announced FIGHT PASS. Deemed the “Netflix for the fight fan”, Fight Pass is the new digital service from the UFC. It is a streaming service similar to Netflix and Hulu but chocked full of fights from the current era and from past organizations (swallowed up by Zuffa) such as PRIDE, WEC, and Strikeforce. At only $9.99 a month who wouldn’t complain about giving the UFC more cash!

 

 

 

* If you missed them click HERE for PunchDrunkGamer’s Best of 2013 – Mixed Martial Arts Awards Part I

 

 

Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka

 

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