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2009 MMA FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

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There are a lot of big names being nominated for MMA Fighter of the Year, but in the end, I think it’s a fairly easy call. I made my decision based on a few factors: quantity of fights, quality of opponents, type of fights (title bouts weigh more) and overall dominance. First, the runners-up…

B.J. Penn

No fighter looked more dominant than “The Prodigy” did in his wins against Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian. But Penn was throttled soundly by GSP back in January.

Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor fought only twice and won both times. He beat Arlovski and Rogers, but it’s not enough for FOY.

Gegard Mousasi

Mousasi will get a lot of mentions for FOY, but his 2008 was actually more impressive than his 2009. He beat Mark Hunt, who was on a 4-fight losing streak. He needed just one minute to KO Babalu. And he finished the year with a TKO win over Sokoudjou here in Chicago.

Anderson Silva

“The Spider” probably was the most bored fighter of the year. The Forrest Griffin fight was nonsense and Thales Leites is no longer in the UFC. The UFC needs to challenge him more in 2010.

Georges St. Pierre

GSP dominated B.J. Penn and Thiago Alves, but it’s not enough for the FOY.

Lyoto Machida

Machida beat Thiago Silva, then Rashad Evans for the LHW belt. But it is the opinion of many that Shogun Rua should be the champion after their UFC 104 fight. I agree. So I can’t give Machida FOY.

There’s just one man left that could be the “FOY”.

Jose Aldo


Aldo was the most active and impressive fighter in 2009. He fought 4 times and won them all. He started 2009 with a round 1 knockout of Rolando Perez at WEC 38 in January. He fought again just over a month later at WEC 39: Brown vs. Garcia. There he needed just 1:39 to get the TKO victory over veteran fighter Chris Mickle.

In June, Aldo was back to face an even tougher opponentin Cub Swanson, who entered the cage having won 13 of his last 14 fights. Aldo’ s flying knee and the subsequent gash above Swanson’s left eye are now legendary. Aldo needed just :08 to destroy Swanson.

Those 3 straight victories got Aldo a title shot against Mike Brown at WEC 44 in November. Brown is one of the most well-rounded and respected fighters in all of MMA. Aldo absolutely domianted him. He took the belt after a TKO win at 1:20 of round 2. No one had a more dominant or impressive year than Jose Aldo. He is Chicago’s MMA 2009 Fighter of the Year.

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