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5 Oz. 2009 MMA Awards: Fighter of the Year

lyotomachidapd3Ladies 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 Day year-end award extravaganza.

In this edition we have FiveOuncesofPain’s top five fighters of 2009. Among the many factors taken into consideration when making this decision were significance of wins and level of competition:

1. Lyoto Machida: “The Dragon” became the number one contender, captured the championship and defended his light heavyweight title against three of the toughest fighters 205 pounds has to offer, all in the span of a single year. Agree with the decision or not, Lyoto most recently captured a victory over a top notch Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, knocked out Rashad Evans for the strap, and started out the year with a brutal knockout over Thiago Silva.

2. Gilbert Melendez: There is virtually no possible way that “El Nino” could have had any better of a year as the Cesar Gracie trained lightweight had in 2009. Melendez started out things with a bang, knocking Rodrigo Damm senseless in a 5 Oz. Knockout of the Year honorable mention before he avenged the only two defeats in his professional career; stopping Mitsuhiro Ishida via TKO before pulling out the decision over Josh Thomson to unify the Strikeforce lightweight crown in the 5 Oz. Fight of the Year.

3. Jose Aldo: Although three of Aldo’s victims this year can’t really be considered top notch competition, an eye dazzling eight second flying knee knockout of Cub Swanson and a thorough beatdown of Mike Brown, who many considered to be a top ten pound for pound fighter at the time, to earn the WEC featherweight title made this twenty-three year old phenom an easy choice for the top five.

4. Georges St. Pierre: St. Pierre only fought twice this year, but in true GSP fashion the UFC welterweight champion made them count with landslide victories over the likes of B.J. Penn and Thiago Alves.

5. B.J. Penn: It’s definitely surprising to see a fighter with a loss make the top five this time around, but Penn’s complete domination of Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez at his natural weight can not go ignored.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Benson Henderson

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

Jake Shields

Eddie Alvarez

Dan Hardy

Fedor Emelianenko

Nate Marquardt

Marius Zaromskis

Gegard Mousasi

Bibiano Fernandes

Anderson Silva

Cain Velasquez

Vitor Belfort

12 COMMENTS
  • Jak says:

    Hopefully Mousasi, Zaromski, Aldo and Velasquez keep the ball rolling and have great 2010 to follow up so much potential from 2009.

    It might have been one of the worst decisions ever, but i’m still a Machida hugger… WAR the Dragon!

    Wil be simultaneously rooting for both Rua and Machida in the rematch!

  • thunder okami says:

    GSP’s takedown after takedown dominations are unmatched, dont get me wrong.
    But I think Andersons performance over Forrest was enough for him to get GSP’s spot on the list.

    Still a nice list though.

  • king mah mah says:

    I have to strongly disagree with putting Machida as number 1. Especially since he should have lost his belt to Shogun.

  • danw84 says:

    Maybe I slept through them, but I don’t recall watching Machida defend his title 3 times this last year.

  • danw84 says:

    I see it now, oddly worded.

  • neijia says:

    thunder okami: GSP’s takedown after takedown dominations are unmatched, dont get me wrong.
    But I think Andersons performance over Forrest was enough for him to get GSP’s spot on the list.Still a nice list though.

    Agree with you. GSP beating Alves and a naturally smaller Penn doesn’t put him at #4 for the year in my book. I’d also put A Silva in his place. I’d probably put Fedor in Penn’s place with his highlight reel wins over Arlovski and Rogers. Didn’t catch Melendez or Aldo fight or else A Silva and Fedor might be higher. Agree about Machida. Frank Mir gets an honorable mention from me.

  • Jstew3785 says:

    I think Aldo should be ranked #1. 4-0, 4 brutal KO’s and captured the Featherweight belt in the process.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Why is Silva there? his win over Leites was not impressive at all, in fact he was booed so badly afterwards that the UFC went into restore his reputation mode.

  • I don’t see Machida as being #1. He did great but his fight with Shogun left a bitter taste in my mouth and I dont see him as being unstopable like I did. I think GSP is 1 or possibly even Aldo.

  • edub says:

    MMA-LOGIC: Why is Silva there? his win over Leites was not impressive at all, in fact he was booed so badly afterwards that the UFC went into restore his reputation mode.

    Just because the fight was boring doesn’t meant it wasn’t one sided. I’d switch out Penn and put Fedor in his spot.

  • robby says:

    i think all these fighters had good years. i think that when the level of compitition that one faces at the elite level they deserve all the props they get no matter the order.as for machida the judges don’t have to listen to the slant the commentators are putting on the fight. every time rua hit machida they commented on it but neglected to say that machida hit him first . so the three judges sitting right there watching the fight all came to the same conclusion you have to accept it. it was a close fight i had machida winning the first two rounds out right third round could of goine either way depending on what you personaly judge and the last two rounds i had rua winning but i was just surprised at how wqell rua did, which leads me top believe machida had an injury pre fight and like a true champion went and fought anyway. we’ll see in may then all the answers will be answered

  • mu_shin says:

    Fedor edges BJ in my opinion, with no losses, and two first round knockouts, for #5.

    Honorable mention for Brian Bowles, taking the bantamweight championship from Miguel Torres, one of the most dominant champions in all of MMA?

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