2009 MMA Fighter of the Year

So which MMA fighter had the best 2009?

After reading some magazine that named Anderson Silva the best fighter of the year I was a bit surprised. Now I think he is definitely in the running for best pound for pound fighter in the world – no doubt, but if you just look at 2009 it was not that impressive.

So who do I think had the best?  Well I had to do some research because it is hard to remember if a certain fight was Decemeber 2008 or Jan 2009 at this point. Basically I started with the people I felt were the best in their respective weight classes.


Jose Aldo smashed into the MMA scene this year.  The list of names he beat may not be as impressive as some, but the amount of fights he won and the fashion in which he won them has the real fans gushing.  Perez, Swanson and Mickle all went down KO/TKO style in the FIRST round.  The fight against Swanson in fact was ended by a flying knee in 8 seconds.  In his last fight he went  against the 145lb Champion who was coming off two defeats of the former top P4P’er Urijah Faber.  This step up in talent meant it took him until the 2nd round to score yet another impressive TKO victory.  This time it go him the Featherweight title.

Yeah Penn looked real bad against GSP, but no offense to him, he shouldn’t be fighting GSP.  Georges is too strong.  In his own rightful weight class, Penn was a beast by beating up 2 #1 contenders with ease.  He submitted Florian after beating him up for 4 rounds, and then the doctors stopped him from killing Sanchez.  He proved no one is even in his class at 155lbs.  I’d love to see Aoki (who recently disrespected his opponent after he had already broken his arm) get picked apart and destroyed by Penn.


The only man on this list with a win against someone else on here!  GSP had two impressive wins this year.  He destroyed fellow top 5 P4P’er Pen with ease and then won a decision against Alves in which he once again proved to be dominant.  He is easily the best in his weight class, and there is really no one that I can see beating him.  If he hadn’t been injured he would probably have one (maybe 2) more impressive wins this year.

Anderson is riding high due to Dana White telling anyone within earshot he is the best P4P fighter in the world.  He is definitely in the top three, but I do not find his 2009 that impressive.  The Forrest win was nice, especially up a weight class, but his performance against Leites was a snooze.  It was particularly glaring coming off the boring Cote fight.  My biggest problem is that he wouldn’t fight Marqhuardt or Henderson until they fought each other.  They had both earned a rematch IMO and Silva should have fought one if not both of them.
Machida had a great start to the year.  The man who fans claimed as too boring, continued his elusive way in the ring but at the same time earned exciting KO wins over both Thiago Silva and Rashad Evans.  October was not kind to Machida though – he was gifted a decision win over Shoguan Rua in a fight that most people feel he clearly lost.  Another KO win over a guy like Shogun Rua would have meant a slam dunk for fight of the year…alas its not to be.
Fedor started his year by demolishing yet another former UFC champion in early and dramatic fashion.  He then followed it up with yet another huge punch victory over former tire store employee Bret Rogers.  A good year for sure, but lets be honest at this point we only want to see this man fight Lesnar.  Any year from now on in his career, that he doesn’t leaves a slightly sour taste in my mouth.

~Honorable Mentions~

Shane Carwin (need to stay healthy and get morre than one fight next year)…Cane Velasquez (3 great wins, lets see some bigger named competition)…Shinya Aoki (4 big wins, but also a loss…most exciting submission fighter out there, but too one dimensional IMO) and lastly Gilbert Melendez (2 solid wins and one great one over Thompson, time to come play with the big boys in UFC!)



Why?  because that is who Sherdog chose!  Just kidding.  Soooo kidding.  In fact when I heard Sherdog named him fighter of the year at first I was a bit put off and surprised.  It wasn’t until I looked back on these fighters and their fights that I came to this decision.  In fact I didn’t really think about it until I tabulated and wrote down the records.

Ok, he didn’t always face marquee talent in his fights this year, but all of his fights were with tough guys.  Plus he last opponent Brown was on everyones top P4P list after beating Faber twice.  Aldo destroyed these guys. His first three fights were all quick, within minutes Aldo had the fights won.  There was a lot of hype before he fought Brown and his whole year could have went for naught had he succumbed to the jitters.  He didn’t succumb to anything he calmly went out and scored a 2nd round finish of a great, great fighter.

Plus this year meant more for him than the other fighters I mentioned.  Most of them were either well known, in place as champs or for 3-4 of them, well on their way to UFC Hall of Fame.  Aldo was only known to a few people, but all that changed this eyar.  He isn’t a household name (how many MMA champs are?) but he is definitely talked about now and much more well known.

He went out and he won in exciting and decisive fashion, that is the most we can ask of our fighers!  He also advanced his recognition and stnading in MMA more than the opther people I mentioned. I know it wasn’t hard, since he had so much further to go than them, but it still can’t be overlooked.

All I hope is that 2010 is as great as 2009 was.  I hope the fighters stay a bit more helahty this year and that some young unknown upstart can capture out attention like Jose Aldo.

I know this is the internet and lots will disagree but that is my opinion and I am willing to needlessly argue it.  Post your thoughts, complaints or your choice in the comments below!

  • le would destoy silva in stand up... unless he got a lucky shot. if he took it to the ground i have no doubt that silva would win. but yes, it would be an exciting fight! peace

  • Le would destroy Silva standing up? Hmm I am not positive about that...Le did just get KO'd by Scott Smith who while tough, is no in the same class as Silva.

  • nice list. i would love to see silva vs cung le. would be exciting esp if they keep it stand up! silva is pretty much the best there is right now middleweight.

  • I am a little removed from MMA or UFC over the last couple of years. I have been down to a friend 1 to 2 times a year for the "big event". Not that I am a fan, but I am surprised you have not mentioned Brock "Bad Diagnosis" Lesnar in your list. From what I saw, I would like to meet the guy that will knock him out.

  • Id love to catch a live event! And Brock would have definitly made my list if he didn't have that mysterious ailment for most of the year. I fully imagine he will be on next years list. Somewhere near the top.

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