Originally posted at MMATorch.com on 10/28/2016
Who are your top three or four candidates for Fighter of the Year so far this year, and why them above other top considerations?
MICHAEL GROCKE, MMATorch contributor
1. Stipe Miocic: The year started off with a bang for Miocic. Just two days into the year he knocked out Andrei Arlovski in 54 seconds at UFC 195 to become the #1 contender for Fabricio Werdum’s Heavyweight Championship. Four months later, at UFC 198, Miocic stepped into the cage to face then-champion Fabricio Werdum. Not only was Miocic a heavy underdog, he was fighting Werdum in front of over 45,000 fans in Brazil. Miocic wasn’t fazed as he knocked out Werdum in the first round to capture the UFC Heavyweight Title. Stipe completed the trifecta of first round knockouts when he defeated Alistair Overeem in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio at UFC 203.
2. Michael Bisping: Bisping’s incredible year started back in February with a victory over Anderson Silva by UD. After almost getting knocked out by a vicious knee in round three, Bisping survived and went on to win rounds four and five to earn the decision in front of his hometown fans in England. It was at UFC 199 Bisping’s dream was realized. As a heavy underdog, he stepped into the Octagon and in stunning fashion, knocked out Luke Rockhold in the first round to win the Middleweight Championship. He followed that with a less than spectacular unanimous decision over Dan Henderson at UFC 204. It’s because of this performance I put Miocic ahead of Bisping.
3. Eddie Alvarez: On January 17, at UFC Fight Night 81 Alvarez beat favored Anthony Pettis by split decision in a fight I was expecting him to lose. Alvarez followed up with another stunning win as he knocked out Rafael dos Anjos in the first round at UFC Fight Night 90 to capture the Lightweight Title. If he beats Conor McGregor at UFC 205, it will hard for me to keep him out of the top spot.
The Fighting Champion
Blogging about mixed martial arts, sports betting and providing winning sports picks.