2013 Bangers, Finally

As the first step in our path back to greatness (or internet mediocrity), we hand out the only awards worth turning your nose up at: the 2013 Bangers.

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We’ll start with the easy ones.

Male Fighter of the Year
The nominees are…
Jon Jones
Demetrious Johnson
Cain Velasquez
Vitor Belfort
Chris Weidman

And the winner is…
Chris Weidman
Any time you beat the greatest of all-time twice in one year, you win a corn dog. And a Banger.

Female Fighter of the Year
The nominees are…
Ronda Rousey
Miesha Tate
Cat Zingano
Sarah McCann

And the winner is…
Ronda Rousey
Whose really surprised here? For the second straight year, Rousey defined women’s MMA. Two title defenses, a run on the Ultimate Fighter and two upcoming movies, Rousey is fulfilling all the promise for women’s MMA that Gina Carano showed. She’s still doing things, isn’t she?

Fight of the Year
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustaffson – UFC 165
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva – UFC Fight Night 33
Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez – UFC 166
Cat Zingano vs. Miesha Tate – The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale
Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez II – Bellator 106
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann – UFC on Fuel 8
Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit – UFC 158
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson – UFC on Fox 6
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar – UFC 156
Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein – UFC on Fox 7

And the winner is…
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustaffson – UFC 165
One of the closest categories this year. After much debate, Armando and I finally agreed that JBJ and the Mauler won out over El Nino and the Dream because their fight was closer and more technical. But there were still a ton of great fights. This year’s Best of UFC DVD will be a must own, assuming they agree with our list too.

Knockout of the Year
Vitor Belfort KOs Luke Rockhold – UFC on FX 8
Antonio Silva KOs Alistair Overeem – UFC 156
Chris Weidman KOs Anderson Silva – UFC 162
Junior dos Santos KOs Mark Hunt – UFC 160
Vitor Belfort KOs Michael Bisping – UFC on FX 7
Mark Hunt KOs Stefan Struve – UFC on FUEL 8
Anthony Pettis KOs Donald Cerrone – UFC on FOX 6
Wanderlei Silva KOs Brian Stann – UFC on FUEL 8
Emmanuel Newton KOs King Mo – Bellator 90
Travis Browne KOs Alistair Overeem – UFC Fight Night 28

and the winner is…
Junior dos Santos KOs Mark Hunt – UFC 160
For the second straight year, wheel kicks forever.

Submission of the Year
Renan Barao (arm triangle choke) Michael MacDonald – UFC on FUEL 7
Ronaldo Souza (kimura) Ed Herman – Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffidine
Uriah Faber (rear naked choke) Ivan Menjivar II – UFC 157
Ronda Rousey (armbar) Liz Caramouche – UFC 157
Josh Burkman (standing guillotine) Jon Fitch – WSOF 3
Anthony Pettis (armbar) Benson Henderson – UFC 164
Kenny Robertson (Suloev stretch) Brock Jardine – UFC 157
Ryan Bader (guillotine choke) Vladimir Matyushenko – UFC on FOX 6
Fabricio Werdum (armbar) Antonio Rodrigo Nogeira – UFC on FUEL 10
Chael Sonnen (guillotine choke) Shogun Rua – UFC Fight Night 26

And the winner is…
Josh Burkman’s standing guillotine on Jon Fitch at WSOF 3
This is the only award Armando and I had a dispute over and since he never bothered to write these up, I’m giving it to my choice. I’ve always been impressed with the standing guillotine. Armando did make a strong case for Pettis’ armbar on Bendo, pointing out how slick the transition was, but I win on this one. Ton of great subs this year too.

B-Side Award for the best preliminary fight of the year
Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice – UFC 157
Tom Watson vs. Stanislaus Nedkov – UFC on FUEL 7
Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith – UFC on FOX 8
Omari Akhmedov vs. Thiago Perpetuo – UFC Fight Night 32
Bobby Green vs. Jacob Volkmann – UFC 156

and the winner is…

Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice – UFC 157
The only reason this wasn’t nominated for fight of the year is because it deserved to win something. A razor-thin split decision in one of the fastest paced fights I’ve ever seen.

Breakout Fighter of the Year
Anthony Pettis
Travis Browne
Emanuel Newton
Khabib Nurmagomedov
Alexis Davis

and the winner is…
Travis Browne
The accidental Dish TV spokesman (DA HOPPA!!!) went 3-0 against top 20 guys, with 3 KO’s (2 from elbows off of takedown attempts), 6:19 total fight time, and a #1 contender scrap coming up in April. Hard to vote against that.

Deuces Up Award for the fighter who should retire in 2014
Georges St. Pierre
Yoshihiro Akiyama
Josh Koscheck
Wanderlei Silva
Dominick Cruz

and the winner is…
Dominic Cruz
He’s the only fighter on this list that probably will never fight again.

Ace of Spades Award for the card of the year
UFC 166
UFC 157
Invicta FC 5
Bellator 90
UFC Fight Night 26
UFC 168
UFC 160
UFC 164
Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffadine

and the winner is…
UFC 157
For more than just the historical significance for being in the first UFC card to be headlined by a women’s fight, 157 featured 4 solid submissions, Robbie Lawler’s dissection of Kos, and our B-Side Award winning fight. UFC 160 is a close second with it’s hard-hitting finishes, including our KO of the Year, and a solid lineup throughout.

Manos: The Hands of Fate Award for the worst card of the year
UFC 161
UFC 163
UFC on FUEL 7
UFC on FUEL 9
Bellator 108

and the winner is…
UFC 161
11 fights, 9 decisions, 0 fucks given

Biggest Story of 2013
The saga of Georges St. Pierre
The Year of the title change
The success of TUF: Rousey vs. Tate
The battle over UFC fighter pay
The death of Strikeforce

and the winner is…
The saga of Georges St. Pierre
Not only does this put the career of the #2 greatest of all time in limbo, but with it comes an unexpected new era of 170’ers

Worst Moment of 2013
Ben Askren vs. Dana White
Anderson Silva’s graphic leg break
Matt Mitrione’s comments on Fallon Fox
Nate Diaz suspended for gay slur on Brian Caraway

and the winner is…
Anderson Silva’s graphic leg break at UFC 168
Look it up for yourself. I’m getting nauseous just thinking about it.

WTF of the Year
Georges St. Pierre def. Johny Hendricks – UFC 167
Diego Sanchez def. Takanori Gomi – UFC on FUEL 8
Phil Davis def. Lyoto Machida – UFC 163
Dennis Bermudez def. Max Holloway – UFC 160
Francis Carmont def. Lorenz Larkin – UFC on Fox 7

and the winner is…
Georges St. Pierre def. Johny Hendricks – UFC 167
GSP should have just handed the belt to Johny that night in Vegas.

So that’s it. Feel free to comment and argue with our picks and stay turned for more from the Bang in 2014.

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