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5 Oz. 2009 MMA Awards: Story of the Year

FedorLadies 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 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.

  • Jak says:

    I suppose it is somewhat a shame that most of the top story’s of the year were negative stories, and in the case of Hendo and Fedor going to SF were great stories that were made negative due to all the UFC vs. SF bickering.

  • qat says:

    would have expected the ‘death’-story of kimo at least as honorable mention

  • Makington says:

    I cared more about the Kimo story than most people, and I didn’t really care that much. It was kind of like, ‘oh Kimo died. That sucks pretty hard. Wasn’t he the Jesus body hair guy who got busted on tons of hardcore drugs?’ Then the next day it was like, ‘Oh he’s alive. That’s cool I guess. Wasn’t he the Jesus body hair guy who got busted for tons of hardcore drugs?’

    I thought the list nailed it, with the only possibility being the greasegate being maybe a little higher. That was huge at the time, and BJ Penn has made sure that it’s still been relevant almost a year later.

  • MCM says:

    I would have had the Death of Affliction as my top story of the year easily. I also wouldn’t have put the Fedor and Dan signings as separate stories since they both fall under the 2nd biggest story of 2010…The Rise of Strikeforce.

  • MCM says:


  • KTru says:

    I am taking credit for guessing this one correctly. My exact words were “Fedor shuns the UFC” I take the credit because Cory tries to tell us the worst fight of the year is Canseco v HMC…..
    and we all know it was not.

    Prediction for next years Biggest Story…….
    New York state to host MMA events

  • fraz says:

    KTru: I am taking credit for guessing this one correctly. My exact words were “Fedor shuns the UFC” I take the credit because Cory tries to tell us the worst fight of the year is Canseco v HMC…..and we all know it was not.Prediction for next years Biggest Story…….New York state to host MMA events

    That’s next year’s biggest NON-story. Everybody already knows it’s going to happen.

  • Nick Havok says:

    Those are some of the great stories of 2009 for sure. I love how Strikeforce was included twice for signing top talents. That is awesome!

  • I kind of agree with MCM…The rise of strikeforce would be a cool way to put it, but sadly they werent one big story they were two. I see the UFC vs. SF heating up all year and Damn it, its gonna be so nice to have more quality MMA than we can handle….but we’ll all manage.

    and what happened to December 31 being the extravaganza……….bonanza?

  • Rece Rock says:

    Yes indeed all those stories kept the forums buzzing and the posters in heated debates… think the TUF season 10 could have been added :
    The ratings that TUF 10 got, as well as the Rampage / Rashad fight not happening, Kimbo being on the show, Roy Nelson winning, the lack of quality fights produced by the show… over all the show was a weird combo of success and failure… the final example was Roy winning- he doesn’t look like your sterotypical fighter nor has the attitude of one… and of all things he’s not what the UFC hype machine is used to marketing…even better is where does he go from there? Def. not the #1 story but think it drummed up alot of attention each week with the lack luster fights and the slick commercials Spike Tv would put together to keep the TUF 10 train chugging along and most of us got suckered into wanting more of this guilty pleasure.

  • Nick Havok says:

    Excellent point Rece Rock.

    Kimbo-TUF-UFC was a huge story from 2009!

    And it is one of the few stories that can be proven with cold, hard numbers. I’m talking about TV ratings.

    Because only Kimbo can be in what was chosen as one of the worst fights of the year, yet at the same time pull the 3rd highest ratings in UFC history with it.

    Kimbo has a gift…we don’t know what it is. But the man most definitely has it.

  • brawl appeal Nick…..alot of people will never be true MMA fans like those of us on the boards. They wanna see people duke it out because they still see MMA as a more skilled version of Bumfights. I have a friend that has watched UFC with me since its inception and a solid ground match like Demian Maia vs. Jason Macdonald or Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson bored him to tears while I on the otherhand was absolutely enthralled with them. He also called Shogun Vs. Machida a crappy fight, but Kimbo is the MAN in his eyes because he knocked out a can (Cantrell) a has been (Tank) and got an early stoppage on Thompson….I dont grasp it, I, like everyone on this board, like to watch the best athletes in the world prove themselves in the rawest form of competition, but the general public just wants blood and knockouts….so sad


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