If I picked the winners of the 2018 World MMA Awards

If I picked the winners of the 2018 World MMA Awards

The yearly awards show will take place in Las Vegas on July 3rd

The 2018 World MMA Award nominations were released yesterday along with the news that the yearly gala will take place July 3rd at the Pearl Theater in the Palms in Las Vegas, NV. After taking a look at the long list of nominees (and some obvious omissions) I decided to fill out my ballot online and let you know who I believe should take home the hardware come July 3rd.

Make your voice heard and cast your vote, by clicking here.

The 2018 World MMA Awards nominees are below.

Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis Fighter of the Year

Ryan Bader
Rafael dos Anjos
Robert Whittaker – Bested Yoel and Jacare, two scariest men in the division. 
Demetrious Johnson
Max Holloway

Female Fighter of the Year

Julia Budd
Angela Lee
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane
Cris Cyborg
Rose Namajunas – Beat Michelle Waterson and then Joanna Champion, who was thought to be unbeatable.

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year

Martin Nguyen
Volkan Oezdemir
Brian Ortega
Darren Till – He put himself on the map with his win over Cowboy Cerrone.
Francis NGannou

International Fighter of the Year

Volkan Oezdemir
Martin Nguyen
Darren Till
Robert Whittaker – My fighter of the year, stands to reason he’s also International FOY.
Kamaru Usman

Fight of the Year

Dustin Poirier vs. Eddie Alvarez
Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker
Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson – This is an unbelievable battle! 
Aung La N Sang vs. Vitaly Bigdash
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje

Knockout of the Year

Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
Edson Barboza vs. Beneil Dariush
Vitor Belfort vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Paul Daley vs. Brennan Ward
Francis NGannou vs. Alistair Overeem – Overeem’s head was nearly launched into orbit. 
Aaron Pico vs. Justin Linn

Submission of the Year

Diego Brandao vs. Murad Machaev
Brett Johns .vs Joe Soto
Ali Bagov vs. Bubba Jenkins
Brian Ortega vs. Cub Swanson
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – Slickest sub far and away! Long live the mouse-trap!

Comeback of the Year

Justin Gaethje (vs. Michael Johnson)
Uriah Hall (vs. Krzysztof Jotko)
Nathaniel Wood (vs. Josh Reed)
Darren Elkins (vs. Mirsad Bektic) – Stole victory from the jaws of defeat. Bananas.
Derrick Lewis (vs. Travis Browne)

Upset of the Year

Martin Nguyen (against Marat Gufurov)
Darren Elkins (against Mirsad Bektic)
Brent Primus (against Michael Chandler)
Rose Namajunas (against Joanna Jedrzejczyk) – I picked her to win but was still shocking to see it done.
Zach Freeman (against Aaron Pico)

Shawn Thompkins Coach of the Year

Duke Rufus
Trevor Wittman – Amazing trainer, amazing human being. How do you not go with Wittman?
Firas Zahibi
Matt Hume
Duane Ludwig

Trainer of the Year

Sam Calavitta
Nick Curson
Phil Daru – Best S & C coach in the game in my humble opinion.
Tyler Minton
Michelle Ingels

Gym of the Year

Gracie Technics
Kings MMA – Best of those nominated. Clearly, they missed the AKA memo. 
American Top Team

Referee of the Year

Jason Herzog – Most underrated referee in the game. Never involved in any shenanigans. 
Mike Beltran
Herb Dean
Marc Goddard
John McCarthy

Ringcard Girl of the Year

Angelica Anderson
Carly Baker
Jhenny Andrade
Arianny Celeste
Mercedes Terrell – Not sure what separates one from another. They all rock the ring cards like champs. 

Leading Man

Martin Lewandowski
Chatri Sityodtong
Ed Soares
Dana White – Come on, it’s Dana White’s world and we’re all just living in it. 
Scott Coker

Best Promotion

ONE Championship
UFC – Would love to go with Bellator, but that would be disingenuine. UFC is king.
Bellator MMA

Personality of the Year

Daniel Cormier
Michael Schiavello
Chael Sonnen
Jon Anik
Joe Rogan – Not a fan of his commentary, but a big fan of his podcast, and elk steaks. 

Analyst of the Year

Paul Felder
Jimmy Smith – I love how understated and professional this man is. He’s the best. Stann a close 2nd.
Dominick Cruz
Pat Miletich
Brian Stann

Best MMA Programming

MMA Junkie Radio
The Ultimate Fighter – Still dig the show after all these years. 
Sherdog Roundtable
The MMA Hour
UFC Embedded

MMA Media Source of the Year

Bloody Elbow
MMA Junkie
MMA Fighting – I like the folks at MMA Fighting, but dammit, MikeSwick.com is the clear winner here 🙂

MMA Journalist of the Year

Karim Zidan
Brett Okamoto
Chuck Mindenhall
John Morgan
Ariel Helwani – Say what you want about him, he has the deepest Rolodex in the game. Unparalleled reach. 

MMA Clothing and Equipment Brand of the Year

RVCA – The only company nominated that I actually own clothing from. This category feels silly.
Bad Boy