Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time! It has been an extraordinary year of ups and down for all of those involved in the rapidly growing world of mixed martial arts, but all things must come to an end, and it’s time for FiveOuncesofPain.com to dish out our official year end awards for the crazy year that was 2009.
We’ll be diving headfirst into a series of fifteen end of the year awards, with a new award being distributed every single day through December 31 with a special two part New Years Eve year-end award extravaganza.
In this edition we have FiveOuncesofPain’s top five pot stirring, jaw dropping stories of 2009:
1. Fedor Emelianenko signs with Strikeforce – The hype and chitter chatter surrounding Fedor Emelianenko and where “The Last Emperor” might end up following the demise of Affliction as a fight promotion has been nearly unprecedented leading up this year. Fedor’s not signing with the UFC and signing with Strikeforce was undoubtedly the biggest story of 2009.
2. Josh Barnett tests positive for steroids/Affliction MMA folds like a lawn chair – The biggest story of the year would never have been possible if it wasn’t for Barnett dealing the sport a sucker punch by testing dirty for performance enhancing drugs in the days leading up to his highly anticipated showdown with Fedor.
3. Dan Henderson signs with Strikeforce – Hendo takes a page out of Fedor’s book following his highly visible stint as a coach on the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter and embarrassing knockout over Michael Bisping at UFC 100, signing with Strikeforce following a dragged out and highly covered negotiation process with the UFC.
4. Greasegate – Georges St. Pierre’s corner being caught on tape applying Vaseline to the body of the defending welterweight champion on more than one occasion during the pair’s UFC 94 showdown created a shower of accusations to be hurled in the direction of both GSP and his camp following this bout in February of this year.
5. Brock Lesnar sick, return unknown – The news of the biggest draw in the sport falling victim to a nasty intestinal infection and possibly never returning to the cage swept through the MMA community like a wildfire. Luckily, the latest reports concerning Lesnar seep as optimistic as ever about a possible 2010 return for the champ, but as of this writing nothing has been set in stone.
*Honorable Mention for Kimbo’s appearance on The Ultimate Fighter.