Fans can now vote in Strikeforce’s “Best of 2010″ Awards by going to http://strikeforce.com/bestof2010/.
Here is how I will be voting. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my picks, as well as your on thoughts on who should win each category.
Rising Star of the Year: Absolutely this should go to Ovince St. Preux. Before 2010, most of the main stream MMA fans had no idea who this former University of Tennessee linebacker was and now he’s placed himself within title contention. He fought count ‘em SIX times in 2010 and won every fight, four by first round knockout. Three of those six bouts were in Strikeforce where he scored wins over Chris Hawk, Antwain Britt, and Benji Radach. He also had an 8-second knockout of UFC vet Jason Day this year in Canada’s Evolution Fighting Championships. Without a doubt, he deserves the award for Strikeforce’s “Rising Star of the Year”.
Submission of the Year: It won the World MMA Awards “Submission of the Year” and it should also win Strikeforce’s. I’m talking about Fabricio Werdum‘s first round armbar of “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko.
Upset of the Year: This has to go to Fabricio Werdum‘s first round submission of Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor was seen as the unbeatable legend and virtually no one was giving Werdum a chance, much a less a first round submission from a basic armbar. The whole MMA world went silent.
Fight of the Year: ProMMAnow.com staff writer John Buhl prefers the Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Mike Kyle fight because of how Kyle almost finished it early then Silva came back to win it in spectacular fashion, but I’m going with the Waachiim Spiritwolf vs. Billy Evangelista fight. That fight went all three rounds and it was one of those fights where both guys put their whole body, mind and soul into it. The heart Spiritwolf showed in that fight is something they should teach kids in school. They should show videos of that fight to military men and women about to go into war to show them what the “heart of a warrior” looks like. Very memorable bout which will probably get my pick for the Pro MMA Now 2010 “Fight of the Year” as well as the Strikeforce “Fight of the Year”.
Female Fighter of the Year: She won the World MMA Awards “Female Fighter of the Year” and of course she deserves to win Strikeforce’s. I’m talking about Mrs. Cyborg, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, the Strikeforce women’s 145-pound champion. She is seen as the very best female fighter in the world. She is like the female Fedor and no woman yet has appeared who people think could give her a realistic challenge. She sits atop the throne with not even a close second.
Male Fighter of the Year: And lastly, fans will get to vote on Strikeforce’s “Male Fighter of the Year”. Strikeforce may not have the deepest roster, but they do have some great talent. We just wish we could see them fight a little more often. This category is the hardest for me to pick, but I think it comes down to two people: Nick Diaz and Alistair Overeem.
If we are just looking at what they did in Strikeforce, then you have to give it to Nick Diaz. He is the only nominee to not only fight three times in 2010, but win all three fights. In January, he became the Strikeforce 170-pound champ with his first round stoppage of Marius Zaromskis.
In May, he scored a first round submission over Japanese legend Hayato Sakurai in a non-title bout. And then in October, Diaz had his first title defense winning a five-round unanimous decision over KJ Noons. He seems to be at the peak of his game and it was a very impressive year for the Stockton bawler.
However, if we consider all-around achievements, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem would have to win “Male Fighter of the Year”. He only fought once in Strikeforce this year, but it was a first round massacre of a fighter, Brett Rogers, that was coming off an impressive performance against Fedor Emelianenko, in which he made him look very human.
But it was what Overeem did outside Strikeforce, and in fact outside MMA altogether, that makes him deserving of “Male Fighter of the Year”. Overeem fought five K-1 bouts in 2010, three on the same night, to win the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix and become the first fighter in history to hold a major MMA title and K-1 title at the same time.
So there you have it, Nick Diaz and Alistair Overeem, take your pick. No, literally take your pick. Get over to Strikeforce.com and vote for who you think should win each category. Remember, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about it later. The winners will be announced on Dec. 27–31.