The 2016 SevereMMA Irish and International Awards

What an insane year it has been.

Takeovers, shocks, falls, rises and everything in between has made 2016 a year MMA people will never forget.

For the third year in a row the crew here at SevereMMA has gotten together to vote on the best and worst of what happened in the last 365 days.

The awards were voted on by Sean Sheehan, Graeme McDonnell, Petesy Carroll and Niall McGrath.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Fighter of the Year:

Michael Bisping

As many as 3 or 4 people could easily have won this award but a short notice UFC middleweight championship win over Luke Rockhold and two victories over MMA legends Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson seal it for “The Count.”


Fight of the Year:

Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 195

The fact that this fight happened just two days into 2016 and still came out on top shows, in a year of great fights, just what a fantastic scrap it was.


Knockout of the Year:

Michael Page vs. Evangelista Santos at Bellator 158

As one of the most entertaining fighters in the world, it takes something extra special for MVP to shock people. A skull-cracking flying knee did just that and wins our KO of the year.

Submission of the Year:

Nathan Diaz vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 196

In arguably the most talked about fight of the year it was, along with unending heart and determination, the slick jiu-jitsu of Nate Diaz which got his hand raised.


Female Fighter of the Year:

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

This one could really have been shared between Jedrzejcyk and Amanda Nunes after unbelivable years but at a push Joanna just shaded it for us.


Irish Pro Fighter Of The Year:

Conor McGregor

It was a good year for Irish pros but after becoming the only ever cuncurrent two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor is the worthy winner again this year.

Irish Amateur Fighter Of The Year:

“Yogurty” Dave Fogarty

Despite a curtailed schedule, like the pros, it was another great year for Irish ammys. After medaling in the world and European championships, as well as winning at BAMMA, Owen Roddy student Dave Fogarty takes the award this year.


Irish Female Fighter Of The Year:

Sinead Kavanagh

With two BAMMA wins and a victory in her Bellator debut, Sinead Kavanagh looks a huge prospect and is the clear winner of this award.

Emerging Irish Prospect Of The Year:

Rhys McKee

Now 5-0 with four finishes in 2016, Northern Ireland’s Rhys McKee had an outstanding year and leads what looks like a brilliant crop of new pros on the Island.


Emerging Worldwide Prospect Of The Year:

Tom Duquesnoy

After winning seemingly every belt BAMMA has in 2016, “The Fire Kid” secured his place as the best MMA prospect in the world.


Underdog of the Year:

Michael Bisping

If someone told you this time last year that Michael Bisping would beat Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson and Luke Rochold on short notice for the UFC middleweight title, you would have probably told them to take their medication.


Coach of the Year:

Jason Parillo

Maybe not a household name to most, Parillo’s work with Cris Justino, Tito Ortiz and, especially, Michael Bisping has been top-level this year.


Upset of the Year:

Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold at UFC 199

Bisping, a man not known for his heavy punching, came in on short notice and turned the lights out on a man who made light work of him just a few months before. Not even his son expected him to do it!


Comeback Of The Year:

Miesha Tate vs. Holly Holm at UFC 196

With three of the opening four rounds going against her on the scorecards, Miesha Tate came out in the fifth round like a woman possessed and ripped the UFC title away from Holly Holm.

Underperformer Of The Year:

Rafael Dos Anjos

In 2015 Rafael Dos Anjos won the UFC lightweight title and defended it in seconds. In 2016 he missed out on the biggest payday of his life, lost his title and was comprehensively beaten in his comeback.


Worst decision Of The Year:

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabio Maldonado at EFN 50

Thanks to a little help from the judges in his home country of Russia, MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko managed to get a win in a fight which probably should have been stopped and definitely should have had a 10-8 to his opponent.


Worst Fight of the Year:

Dada 5000 vs. Kimbo Slice at Bellator 149

There really isn’t a close second here. From the very start this was a slopfest of the highest order and was appropriately ended by John McCarthy knocking out Dada when trying to separate the pair.


Non-UFC Fighter of the Year:

Tom Duquesnoy

Bellator and WSOF produced some great options for this award but with three big finishes BAMMA’s French star Tom Duquesnoy takes the award.

Event of the Year:

UFC 205

2016 produced 3-4 of the greatest events in MMA history but UFC 205 stood above all the others. With three titles on the line and a plethora of former champions on the return card to the state of New York, this really was the perfect storm.


Shocking Moment Of The Year:

Nate Diaz chokes out Conor McGregor at UFC 196

The UFC was sold, Bisping won a world title, Jon Jones did what Jon Jones does, Brock Lesnar and Bjorn Rebney came back but, by far, the biggest shock of the year was Nate Diaz coming in on short notice to defeat Conor McGregor.


Walkout of the Year:

Conor McGregor UFC 205

UFC 205 was always going to be a special night but having the biggest draw in the history of the sport coming out for the final fight made it extraordinary.


Quote Of The Year:

“I’m not surprised motherfuckers.” – Nathan Diaz


Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.