A ribbon is nearly tied around 2015, and it’s been a banner year for the UFC to say the least. We’ve seen the promotion rise from the proverbial muck of a down-trodden 2014 that was ruined by injury to put on some of the most iconic and historic events in MMA history this year, and that was obviously due to a host of high-profile fighters who boosted the action to another level this year.
It was also a year where nearly every UFC title belt changed hands, as only flyweight champ and pound-for-pound leader Demetrious Johnson and welterweight champion Robbie Lawler retained their championships going into 2016. That’s made for some incredible and unpredictable performances throughout the year, and also a long list of potential candidates for 2015’s “Fighter of the Year.”
Obviously at the top of the list stands Conor McGregor, who skyrocketed to the position of featherweight champion with knockouts over Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, and Dennis Siver. Then there’s Ronda Rousey, who absolutely propelled the popularity of women’s MMA to new heights in the wake of her knockout of Bethe Correia at UFC 190. On the flip side, we can’t forget Holly Holm, who emphatically knocked out Rousey with a game-changing head kick at UFC 193.
But then there are also candidates like Rafael dos Anjos, who surprisingly won the lightweight title belt with a five-round domination of formerly touted champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 and followed it up with a shocking domination of Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17. Light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier also can’t be counted out, because while he did lose to Jon Jones at UFC 182, he followed it up with a title-sealing win over Anthony Johnson and an insane defense against Alexander Gustafsson.
All in all, it’s been a packed year full of amazing performances from several fighters. Who is your pick for “Fighter of the Year?”