Hall Of Fame
We are almost at the mid-year point of 2021 and UFC Fight Pass has delivered some incredible moments so far. See which fighters, fights and finishes have earned a UFC Fight Pass mid-year award:
At the midpoint of the year, it’s very hard to imagine anybody can top the year Mason Fowler has had and his position atop the Male Fighter of the Year nominees reflects it.
It’s been just over a year now since Mason Fowler’s name began exploding on the mainstream BJJ circuit. A decent ADCC run was followed by a massacre of any and all Submission Underground challengers. When Fowler got back to Craig Jones, the man to defeat him at ADCC, the loss was avenged. Not once but twice.
2020 UFC FIGHT PASS Fighter of the Year was in the bag.
“I wasn’t expecting that and it was a really pleasant surprise,” Fowler said. “I know that Submission Underground is one of the bigger shows on FIGHT PASS and as far that show goes I’ve been pretty much kind of like their golden boy for the past almost year now, so yeah, it made sense once I thought about it.”
Already 3-0 in 2021, submissions over Richie Martinez and Kyle Chamber have Fowler way ahead of the pack, and Submission Underground owner Chael Sonnen explains that this isn’t all that Fowler has to offer.
“I don’t know how good Mason is,” Sonnen said. “He beat Craig Jones, he beat an Olympic gold medalist, he took out the sitting Bellator champion in Ryan Bader; I don’t know how good he is. I’m not sure he’s shown us. I believe he has shown us enough to win on the night that he’s competing and I think he’s secretly better than we know.”
An admitted conservative grappler, it’s more than likely the world hasn’t seen the best of Fowler. Will he lose by the end of the year? Anything is possible, but it doesn’t look likely.
With all this in mind, Fowler’s ego has surprisingly shrunk. The man who has run through everybody SUG has put in front of him fears that he’s one loss away from obscurity.
“Let’s say I defend the title every match until the last match in December and then I lose that match, it would be hard not to give it to the other guy, right?” Fowler laid out.
Wherever logic lies it seems to be unclear. Is it possible Fowler loses devastatingly enough to erase his body of work for the year? Maybe. Is it likely? No.
What is likely, however, is that Uncle Chael and the rest of the SUG put Fowler in a position where he has to dig deep and show his true skillset. He hasn’t said no so far. Why start now?
“It’s anyone, any size, he takes them on,” Sonnen said. “There’s no complaints, no arguing, no ‘my shoulder hurts’ or ‘that date doesn’t work.’ No excuses. He shows up and puts a belt on the line. It’s really remarkable. No other athlete in combat is willing it put in on the line like Mason Fowler.”
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