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Is UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez the fighter of the year for 2010?

By Zach Arnold | December 22, 2010

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Mike Chiappetta says that you have to pick Mr. Velasquez because Cain was a 2-to-1 underdog to Brock Lesnar for their Anaheim title fight last October. His other contenders for Fighter of the Year include Frankie Edgar, Anthony Pettis, Nick Diaz, and George Sotiropoulos. I think Dominick Cruz deserves mention, but my pick is Jose Aldo. By far the biggest splash this year. He’s got an aura about him amongst the fans that is truly unique.

As for Fight of the Year in MMA in 2010, your guess is as good as mine. Here’s an argument in favor of Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva from Oakland last August. MMA Ratings is your hook-up for all sorts of results and rankings of past fights in 2010 and is a great resource if you’re looking for a tool to pick a fight and defend your pick.

Georges St. Pierre is now #1 on Sherdog’s P4P list. However, don’t tell The Toronto Sun that St. Pierre is Canadian athlete of the year.

The “TBA” slot in the Alistair Overeem fight on the Dynamite show is rumored to be Todd Duffee.

Tito Ortiz says that his fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will happen in Seattle on March 26th on Spike TV. Tito says it won’t be his last fight in the UFC, but…

Gray Maynard said that he didn’t see Anthony Pettis do his Showtime kick initially because he doesn’t have cable. Must be a Roku guy. Check out this interview with Duke Roufus talking about last Thursday’s fight. The last ever WEC show on Versus drew a 0.62 cable rating or 615,000 viewers.

The Australian market for UFC is red hot. The Sydney Morning Herald has an article titled ‘Ultimate fighting: barbaric or new boxing?’ Nothing you haven’t read before 1,000 times, but you can sense the media in the country is trying to come to grips to why UFC’s second show coming up in Australia sold out so fast.

Rich Bergeron argues that UFC’s current bonus system for paying fighters is not fair.

Strikeforce 1/29 San Jose (HP Pavilion) card line-up so far: Nick Diaz vs. Evangelista Cyborg for the Welterweight title, Jacare Souza vs. Robbie Lawler for the Middleweight title, Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson, and Roger Gracie vs. Trevor Prangley.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 34 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

34 Responses to “Is UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez the fighter of the year for 2010?”

  1. Tyler Treese says:

    “He also couldn’t defeat either opponent in the ring and had to take the bouts to the judges’ cards, even though he won those decisions unanimously and handily.”

    How is that a knock on GSP? Shockingly top fighters are difficult to finish. This is like saying Pac-Man can’t win boxer of the year since his two fights went to decisions.

    Pacquiao fought twice in 2010(same amount as GSP) against Margarito and Clottey in fights that went to a decision.

    • I like Pacquiao plenty, but no way in hell is he boxer of the year. Sergio Martinez is. Pacman’s wins are over legit top ten competition, but Martinez beat the middleweight champion and avenged a bad decision against the #1 contender with a mammoth KO. Shame he’s being forced to drop a belt and fight Steward’s mediocre charge by HBO.

      • And not that anyone cares about boxing FOTY, but Fernando Montiel is the only real competition. He had a MONSTER year with the most important combat sport event of the year over in Japan.

        • edub says:

          This. Sergio Martinez is Boxing’s FOTY by a landslide IMO.

          Alan: I’d actually have Juan Ma ahead of Montiel, here would be my list of best of 2010:

          1. “maravilla”
          2. Juan Ma
          3. Montiel
          4. Marquez
          5. Pacquiao

      • Tyler Treese says:

        Yeah should’ve phrased that differently. In no way is Pac-Man my fighter of the year but he is getting that kind of praise from media outlets.

        • mr. roadblock says:

          Pacquiao had a great year. But not Fighter of the Year. That said, his year is more impressive than GSP’s in my opinion. Paqman beat up two guys who were much bigger than him. It is akin to GSP winning at 185 or even 205.

  2. I don’t really like Cruz or Aldo most, but I gotta pick one of them. Aldo was more dominating in his fights and is in a deeper division, so I guess I take him. Watching Cruz I feel like he’s a placeholder until Urijah gets his hands on him (again).

    Sonnen/Silva is easily the fight of the year. There were other good ones, yeah, but nothing that epic at the top level. Sonnen almost pulled out a huge upset and came as close as you can without doing so before Silva dug deep.

    Cyborg/Nick Diaz is kinda a stupid fight but I guess it will be entertaining? Lawler is a good gatekeeper for Souza to beat to further establish himself, and Roger/Prangley is a good fight if it happens. Walker/Carson will be retarded but fun and should bring a lot of eyes to the table.

    I don’t believe for a second Duffee’s people are dumb enough to drop him in on late notice to fight Overeem. He will get merked so bad if that happens.

  3. David M says:

    I think the most fun fight of the year was Leben-Akiyama, but certainly the most memorable bout was Small Testes vs Anderson.

    Fighter of the year IMO is Aldo.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    Dominick Cruz should be Fighter of the Year. 3 impressive title fight victories against top level guys. Nobody really compares to him this year really.

    Overeem vs. Duffee? How many needles do you think they injected into themselves combined throughout 2010?

    Ortiz/Nogueira makes for a great Fight Night main event. I was hoping it wouldn’t be a co-main event on a PPV, because it doesn’t deserve to be. but I like it as a free show.

    Cyborg is really fighting for the title? Man, that is bad. I guess what we are seeing now is win one fight in Strikeforce, and get a title shot. They fact that they can’t put together the fights that anybody wants to see speaks volumes for how disorganized they are. Diaz/Mayhem was the fight to make. But when the fighters make the decisions, everything crumbles.

    • Is it really unfair to say? Duffee we know takes synthetic testosterone for replacement therapy. Sure looks like it works too! LOL

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Exactly! That’s why I had no problem saying it with Duffee in there. We KNOW he shoots up with needles. The NSAC confirmed this.

        And is it really that far reaching to assume Overeem is as well?

        I don’t accuse basically most fighters, even when it is obvious. Even when I could see the pimples all of Sonnen’s back and he looked more ripped.

        But let’s call a spade a spade.

        • fd says:

          Yes, it’s very sensible to accuse Overeem due to his muscular appearance. As seen by ripped roid users such as Josh Barnett and Tim Sylvia.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I didn’t say Overeem was taking steroids.

          The human jaw doesn’t get bigger at his age.

        • edub says:

          Funny that the physique argument always points to guys like that, but you can also bring up names like Randleman, Coleman, Kerr, Shamrock, and others who look like they were carved from stone.

          Big Timmy was also a lot more lean in his pre test flunking fights too.

        • mr. roadblock says:

          Edub are you being serious, bro?

          Randleman and Shamrock got popped for roids.

        • edub says:

          Yea? From your statement we are in agreement, but let me rephrase to make it a little more clear.

          People throw out names of guys who weren’t in crazy muscular shape to make it seem like large muscle gains aren’t the norm for steroid use.

          But For every Josh Barnett that looks kind of pudgy, there is 5 Kevin Randleman who show that large muscle gain is a valid effect of steroid use.

          I for one believe Overeem used PEDs.

          FTR I also have my doubts about other Miletich guys, Wes Sims earlier in his career, Mir when he fought Kongo, and Randy when he fought Gonzaga (I really hate to say that last one).

          The only thing is those last guys were tested for the most part.

  5. klown says:

    Folks should check out this Rich Franklin interview. He talks about his injuries, the physical and mental toll taken on fighters, and fans’ disconnection from the reality of fighters’ lives.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      There is a disconnect between athletes or actors in every walk of life from the people who watch them. Fighting is no different.

      For every one bad thing said about a MMA fighter from the fans, there are 20 things that a New York or Boston sports fan spews out about their “favorite” teams or players.

  6. John says:

    GSP p4p? I guess so. He definitely has the skills and talent, if it wasn´t for his weak heart and fear of losing.

  7. JudgeIto says:

    GSP is my favorite fighter. I saw him beat on Dan Hardy for 3 rounds and was impressed as anyone with his victory over Koscheck. That said, he wasn’t the Canadian athlete of the year. Joey Votto had a monster year, as you can see here:

    GSP had two great performances, but over one great fighter he beat before and one borderline top 10 fighter. Votto proved himself over 162 games. Had GSP had another fight or fought a better opponent that Hardy, I’d be OK with him winning. Votto put up monster numbers and brought his team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

  8. JudgeIto says:

    I meant beat on Hardy for 5

  9. edub says:

    I gotta give it to Frankie Edgar.

    Beating BJ Penn twice in the same year at 155 IMO is one of the best accomplishments in MMA history.

    Aldo and Cruz would also be fair choices.

    KO of the year is Penn-Hughes. Submission of the year IMO is Anderson-Sonnen, but Werdum-Fedor is also a great choice. Fight of the year would have to go to Henderson-Pettis.

  10. EJ says:

    That Rich Bergeron piece is absolutely horrible, I mean seriously we’ve been over this myth about UFC fighters being underpaid. Nobody pays better than the UFC does and when orgs do they go out of business, I mean talk about nonsense this might as well be a piece on BE or Sherdog. With the ammount of ignorance shown complaining about why Liddell gets paid more than Franklin just goes to show how little he knows about anything.

  11. David M says:

    Zach you need to do polls on this site.

    Here are the key poll questions:

    1) Fighter of the year
    2) Fight of the year
    3) Most boring fighter of the year
    4) Which fighter most needs to retire
    5) Which fighter will have a breakout year next year

  12. robthom says:

    “…but my pick is Jose Aldo.”

    I’d say Aldo’s bursting on the scene was more unexpected, visceral and impressive during the same time span this last year + as Cain’s.

    I think Cain will be every bit what he is turning into.

    But he wasn’t terribly impressive for awhile, and his road to the Brock was Cheick, Rothwell, and a recently questionable Big Nog.


    I think Aldo’s coming almost out of no where (Albiet with a pretty fine record), to uterlly destroy Brown who we all thought was the next level at the time, then so cooly strut past Faber and topping it off by clinically ripening and plucking Gamburyan was just a little bit more striking (wink) then Cain’s also impressive accomplishments.

    A close one, but I’d give it to Aldo this time.

    (And also just a bit on GP for the LW’s. The HW’s will always get all the props.)

  13. Chuck says:

    MMA fighter of the year? Gotta be either Cruz or Aldo. Boxer of the year is definitely Sergio Martinez. Fernando Montiel and Andre Ward are great choices too. I love Manny Pacquiao but he is barely top five this year. He is the pound for pound best fighter out there, but for calender year 2010 he might be number five or so along with Martinez, Montiel, Ward, Juan Manuel Lopez, Juan Manuel Marquez, etc. There is your top six, Giovani Segura should be there too.


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