The 2019 SevereMMA Irish and International Awards

After another jam-packed year of MMA it’s time to pick the performers that separated themselves from the pack over the last 365 days. From the UFC to Bellator, Cage Warriors, KSW, Invicta and more, we’ve never had more MMA to keep on top of than in 2019.

This year’s awards were voted on by a five-strong panel of SevereMMA owner Graeme McDonnell, UFC veteran/former Cage Warriors champion Cathal Pendred, vetern Reuters sports journalist Philip O’Connor, SevereMMA and Sherdog’s Sean Sheehan and the man who dedicates himself to seeing every fight on every promotion in the world, MMA twitter legend Grabaka Hitman. Special shout-out to Caposa for his huge help with the nomination process.

Also, Sean and Graeme recorded a podcast discussing the winners and nominations which you can listen to HERE or scroll to the bottom and press play.

Without further ado,

Here are our winners:

Fighter of the Year: Isreal Adesanya

After winning our prospect of the year award 12 months ago Adesanya fulfilled all of that promise to take the UFC middleweight title. 

Fight of the Year: Isreal Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Five rounds of back-and-forth action between two of the best in the world, battling for the 185 lbs interim title and a unification bout with Robert Whittaker. A truly special fight.

Submission of the Year: Bryce Mitchell – Twister

Whenever a twister is pulled off in MMA it’s always going to be there or thereabouts for the big awards, and your votes took it for Mitchell this year.

Knockout of the Year: Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren

There really was no debate on this one. The knee heard around the world, the fastest KO in UFC history.

Female Fighter of the Year: Amanda Nunes

It was a very good year for high-level women’s MMA in all promotions but the GOAT Amanda Nunes still leads the way.

Underdog of the Year: Alexander Volkanovski

Volkanovski entered fights with Jose Aldo and Max Holloway as an underdog and dominated both.

Emerging Worldwide Prospect Of The Year: Fabian Edwards

The British middleweight has shown promise for a few years now but four wins in Bellator in 2019 have made him the hottest prospect in the sport.

Irish Pro Fighter Of The Year: Norman Parke

Three wins and the KSW interim lightweight title makes Norman Parke the Irish MMA fighter of the year for the second year running.

Emerging Irish Prospect Of The Year: Ian Garry

It has been a very good year for young Irish up-and-comers in Bellator, Cage Warriors and beyond. Ian Garry’s three dominant wins put him at the head of the pack.

Irish Amateur Fighter Of The Year: Taka Mhandu

A very good year for Team KF sees one of their amateur stand-outs win after your votes settled it.

Irish Female Fighter Of The Year: Sinead Kavanagh

It has been a very encouraging year for Irish female MMA fighters with the likes of Leah McCourt, Danni Neilan and amateur world championships medalist Shauna Bannon coming through but SBG’s Sinead Kavanagh still leads the way.

Coach of the Year: Eugene Bareman 

Two new UFC champions have seen Bareman immediately vault himself to the best MMA coach on earth.

Upset of the Year: Kai Asakura vs. Kyoji Horiguchi

After establishing himself as one of the best lighter weight fighters in the world Kyoji Horiguchi getting knocked out in just over a minute made Kai Asakura’s Rizin 18 victory the biggest shock of the year.

Comeback Of The Year: Peter Queally vs. Ryan Scope

After being badly hurt and close to finished Waterford’s own Peter Queally summoned something from within and came back to send the sold-out 3Arena crowd into rapturous roars.

Worst Fight of the Year: Jacare Souza vs. Jan Blachowicz

This absolute stinker over five rounds was the unanimous winner of worst fight of the year.

Underperformer Of The Year: Ben Askren

Once lauded as the best welterweight on earth, Ben Askren’s 2019 consisted of a gift refereeing mishap, the quickest loss in UFC history and a thorough mauling by 40+ year old Demian Maia.

Worst decision Of The Year: Sinead Kavanagh vs. Leslie Smith

After picking off Leslie Smith fighting off the backfoot for three rounds, somehow Sinead Kavanagh managed to lose a majority decision.

Non-UFC Fighter of the Year: Douglas Lima

It was a pretty good year for non-UFC promotions but a KO win of Michael “Venom” Page and a dominant win over Rory MacDonald made Douglas Lima the obvious choice here.

Event of the Year: UFC 239

From the close-fought main event where Thiago Santos almost shocked Jon Jones, to Masvidal’s KO of Askren and the GOAT Amanda Nunes steamrolling Holly Holm, UFC 239 was the stand-out card of the year before you even get to the tremendous undercard.

Shocking Moment Of The Year: Pettis Superman Wonderboy

Coming up to welterweight to fight arguably the best 170 lbs fighter in the world over the last five years, Anthony Pettis vaulting forward at the very end of the round to KO Stephen Thompson brought everyone watching to thier feet.

Commentator Of The Year: Dominick Cruz

A man famed for his fighting brain, Dominick Cruz has developed the kind of in-depth commentary style that any true MMA fan should crave.

Listen to Episode 241 of SevereMMA Podcast where Sean and Graeme breakdown the whole voting process and each category.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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