The ballots are here, and the winners are in! Who topped the charts for the best UFC FIGHT PASS had to offer in 2021?
Here are your winners!
Podcast of the Year: Extra Rounds
From rag-tag to on location, TJ DeSantis, Pearl Gonzalez, Din Thomas, Ray Longo and crew have become easily the best UFC FIGHT PASS exclusive podcast.
Journalist of the Year: Chase Hooper
Don’t call it a comeback. After Hooper cruised the Las Vegas streets finding out fans’ favorite featherweight fighters and favorite Brandon Moreno fight, it was impossible not to give him the crown yet again.
Poster of the Year: LFA 100
The composition and treatment of the fighters on the poster are a clean, safe play, but the LFA 100 poster needed to pop with the milestone and it did, and then some. From the “100” in the background to the shine of that gold, it was going to be very tough for a poster to catch eyes quite as easily as this one.
FIGHT PASS Graduate of the Year: Paddy Pimblett
It feels like we’re doing Erin Blanchfield and her 2-0 UFC record dirty here, but it’s hard to argue with the entrance Paddy Pimblett made. From Cage Warriors mainstay to the talk of the entire company in one fight. A Performance of the Night bonus, viral interview and a cool seven-figure deal with Barstool Sports in less than five minutes, “it was always Paddy the Baddy.”
Storyline of the Year: Chris Tramell’s Return to Combat Sports
From fighting in the highest promotion in Muay Thai to homeless addict to a Thailand prison to a nearly life-ending motorcycle accident. Doctors barely gave Tramell a chance to run again; had he asked his chances of competing in a Thai fight ever again he would have gotten yet another head examination. Sure enough, he stepped in the Lion Fight ring in 2021.
Nickname of the Year: “Half-Ass” Chance Thackston
“Explosive Thin Man” was funny, “Candi Crush” was creative but “Half-Ass” Chance ran away with this category pretty easily.
Walkout of the Year: Myron Dennis - LFA 99
What happens when Myron Dennis gets rehydrated before a fight? “I don’t know, it’s really confusing come fight night,” said Dennis.”
Interview of the Year: Solomon Renfro – CFFC 94
Outside of Brok Weaver announcing on the microphone he was illegally fighting on foreign land, nobody really came close to topping Solomon Renfro’s plea with New York and New Jersey politicians to fix the potholes that almost caused him to no-show CFFC 94. Renfro has proven that he’s not one for a boring fight and even more impervious to boring interviews.
Folly of the Year: Sean Strickland gives up his back – SUG 29
While walking away from his opponent, Sean Strickland playfully threw his hands up in celebration of a match well done. Problem is the match was still going and he was choked out immediately as a result of his celebration. All time folly.
Submission of the Year: Jonathan Piersma – CFFC 94 – Omoplata
It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen an Omoplata on FIGHT PASS and it was worth the wait. The submission beat out a calf slicer, a twister and a Japanese Necktie. There’s just something a little bit more special about going into a fight expecting a knockout and seeing one of the rarest submissions out there.
Knockout of the Year: Steven Walker – Lion Fight 64
If only there could have been four winners. Our heart goes out to Justin Barry specifically after he gave us a knockout we’ve never seen before, but Steven Walker gave us a video game knockout. This far-fetched kick would have made movie theatre audiences roll their eyes if it was written into a script, but Steven Walker made it a reality. Can’t take that away from him.
Female Fighter of the Year: Danielle Kelly
A FIGHT PASS grappling event without Danielle Kelly almost doesn’t exist. Although she came up short in her FPI match, Kelly is the favorite going up against UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas to close out the year at Fury Pro Grappling 3.
Male Fighter of the Year: Mason Fowler
Impossible to deny the man his second straight Male Fighter of the Year award after he defended his SUG crown for the 50th time in a row.
Fight of the Year: Paul Hughes vs Morgan Charriere – Cage Warriors 128
While Tommy Aaron vs Gerald Scott may have been a closer fight, no fight was even close to the “Big Fight” feel that Hughes and Charriere had at CW 128. By the end, Hughes may have begun running away with it but both men appeared to be fighting for something much more than a Cage Warriors title. They looked like gladiators fighting for their lives in the Coliseum.
If there was a “Pre-Fight Face Off of the Year” award it would have won that, too. What a treat this fight was.
Event of the Year: LFA 100
With seemingly 75% of the UFC roster featuring LFA veterans, the promotion had high expectations for their milestone event. This event alone featured Walkout of the Year, Fight of the Year and Poster of the Year nominations. Every fight seemed to go viral and even every video package seemed to be a hit with the fans. It was the perfect event and a perfect nod to all the talent they’ve hosted along the way. It’s almost impossible to give anybody this award without saying that CFFC 100 missed the mark by a razor-thin margin.
To all the fans and subscribers, thank you all beyond words, and somehow, some way, 2022 will be even bigger!