A Guide to the 2010 World MMA Awards
The fan-based 2010 World MMA Awards were hosted at The Pearl at The Palms Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday, December 1st by Fighters Only magazine. The highest honors of the night went to Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos for Female Fighter of the Year, Randy Couture for Outstanding Contribution to MMA, and Jose Aldo for the Charles “Mask” Lewis Fighter of the Year.
And the Winner Is . . .
Referee of the Year went to Herb Dean, who is frequently commended by UFC President Dana White as the best referee in the MMA business; “When Herb Dean does [expletive], I don’t even question it anymore. I wait for the replay. This guy sees [expletive] that I can’t see sitting there watching the monitor… Best referee in the business, bar none.”
Dean compares being a referee to “being a bass player in a band,” providing a steady and consistent environment for fighters the way a bass player provides a rhythm; “The bass player provides a consistent rhythm and sets the groove so that the other instruments can shine. In MMA, I provide a steady and consistent environment in the ring for the fighters to showcase their talents.”
Greg Jackson’s legendary training garnered him the award for Coach of the Year, adding to his already extensive awards collection including 2009 World MMA Awards for Coach of the Year and Best Gym.
With a reported win percentage of 81% by fighters trained at his Albuquerque-based training camp, Jackson’s Submission fighting, and a client roster that includes Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Keith Jardine, Andrei Arlovski, Rashad Evans, Shane Carwin, Nate Marquardt, and Carlos Condit, Jackson’s training prowess is evident.
Jackson has even pioneered his own martial art, which essentially combines wrestling with basic judo locks, call Gaidojutsu, which he has detailed in his two instructional books, Jackson’s MMA- The Stand Up Game and Jackson’s MMA- The Ground Game.
Arianny Celeste, who was recently featured as SteroidsLive’s 5th hottest woman of MMA, was a somewhat obvious choice for Ring Girl of the Year. Since her 2006 debut at the Hard Rock Hotel, Celeste has achieved celebrity status as a ring girl, actively pursued charity work and fundraising, and has been featured in every magazine from FHM to Sport’s Illustrated, voted #23 in Maxim’s 2010 Hot 100 list, the veritable authority on “who’s hot.”
The award for Leading Man of the Year was equally obvious, going to UFC President, Dana White, who is famously controversial for his expletive-filled tirades and “telling it like it is” style. Love him or hate him, there was no contest in this category.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller’s theatrical and antics-filled ring entrances earned him Most Memorable Ring Entrance. Miller holds an MMA record of 24-7 fighting for UFC, DREAM, and Strikeforce with wins against Egan Inoue, Kala Hose, Falaniko Vitale, Toby Imada, Ronald Jhun, Denis Kang, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Robbie Lawler.
Outside of fighting, Miller has established himself as a versatile MMA celebrity, announcing for King of the Cage and hosting MTV’s reality TV show, Bully Beatdown, and often co-hosting Sirius Radio’s “Mayhem Mondays” on The Jason Ellis Show.
While he holds a formidable record and an array of credentials, he is better known for his entrances featuring Japanese school girls, go-go dancers, wild dancing, and outrageous costumes, some of which can be viewed at http://mma-ph.blogspot.com/2010/12/jason-mayhem-miller-most-memorable-ring.html. Miller’s entrances are… pure mayhem.
Fabricio Werdum’s submission of Fedor Emelianenko on June 26th shocked MMA fans around the world, as the widely acknowledged “Best Heavyweight in the World” was submitted into an arm bar and triangle choke just 1:09 into the first round, earning them Submission of the Year.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s Knockout of the Year came at UFC 113 in Montreal in his rematch against Lyoto Machida. Rua landed a right hook to Machida’s temple, which he quickly followed with a rapid succession of punches, rendering Machida unconscious.
Alistair Overeem’s 33-11 record and status as the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion earned the Dutch-born fighter International Fighter of the Year. Sherdog currently ranks “The Demoliton Man” as the #8 Heavyweight Fighter in the World.
Jon Jones, whose MMA record now stands at 11-1 garnered a lot of attention for himself this year, earning him Breakthrough Fighter of the Year. Following his defeat of former IFL Light Heavyweight Champion Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC Live: Jones vs Matyushenko, Jones was catapulted into MMA stardom and into the favor of Dana White. His impressive display in the fight left him victorious after 1:52 by TKO.
Of Jones’ stunning victory, Dana White offered many words of commendation; “Tonight solidified it. To go in and do what he did to Vladimir Matyushenko, and make it look as easy as he did tonight, it cements it for me. This kid is one of the top eight in the world in that weight division… this kid is going to do very well.”
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen’s fight at UFC 117 has been called “one of the most spectacular main events in the history of MMA” and is now Fight of the Year.Sonnen nearly staged a major coup, threatening the title Silva has held since 2006 for the majority of the fight, when Silva made a last-minute comeback, solidifying his place in MMA history and keeping his title by submitting Sonnen in a triangle choke in the fifth round.
The selection for Outstanding Contribution to MMA was an evident, as MMA’s biggest household name, Randy Couture, took the award. Randy Couture holds many records for his contributions, with both the most title fights (15) and most UFC fights (23), is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame, and has 18 film and television credits, ranging from The Unit to The Expendables.
He has held the title for UFC Heavyweight Champion three times, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion twice, Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, and, at 43, is the oldest fighter to win a UFC title. Couture is also well-known for Xtreme Couture, his MMA training gym, and clothing line.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, Female Fighter of the Year, holds an MMA record of 10-1 for Strikeforce, Storm Samurai, and Elite XC. Santos holds the title for Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight Champion, which she earned when she defeated former title-holder Gina Carano in 2009 in the first ever main event between women held by a major MMA promotion.
Both the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings and MMARising.com rank Santos as the #1 145-pound female fighter, and she continues to garner a great deal of attention and respect for herself and the sport of women’s MMA.
Jose Aldo’s stunning 18-1 MMA record garnered him the most coveted award of the night, the Charles “Mask” Lewis Fighter of the Year. Aldo has a decorated history with WEC as the Featherweight Champion, three-time winner of Knockout of the Night, and Most Consecutive Wins, after an eight-win streak . He is currently the UFC Featherweight Champion and was voted Sherdog’s 2009 Fighter of the Year, and Sherdog’s #1 featherweight in the world and #3 pound-for-pound fighter.
Referee of the Year: Herb Dean
Best Technical Clothing Brand: Bad Boy
Best Technical Equipment Brand: Everlast
Best Lifestyle Clothing Brand: Tapout
Media Source of the Year: MMAjunkie.com
Best Promotion: UFC
Gym of the Year: Wand Fight Team
MMA Journalist of the Year: Ariel Helwani
Coach of the Year: Greg Jackson
Ring Girl of the Year: Arianny Celeste
Leading Man of the Year: Dana White
Most Memorable Ring Entrance: Jason “Mayhem” Miller
Submission of the Year: Fabricio Werdum vs. Fedor Emelianenko
Knockout of the Year: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Lyoto Machida
International Fighter of the Year: Alistair Overeem
Breakthrough Fighter of the Year: Jon Jones
Fight of the Year: Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen; UFC 117
Outstanding Contribution to MMA: Randy Couture
Female Fighter of the Year: Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos
Charles “Mask” Lewis Fighter of the Year: Jose Aldo
While many of the choices were obvious, the awards are still true honors in the MMA community, giving the fighters, ring girls, referees, media, and promotions the recognition that they deserve. If you missed the awards, the 2010 World MMA Awards will be re-aired on the VERSUS network at 10 p.m. ET/PT on December 9th.