November and December saw some high level events take place in the UK and Ireland, and that made the final polls for the year extremely competitive. With many worthy fighters and finishes in the running, it had our highest number of votes yet.
All monthly winners (and a selection of "wild card" runners up) will go into the 2014 awards to be crowned ‘Best of UK and Irish MMA in 2014′. Any potential sponsors for the UK and Irish MMA Year Awards 2014 are asked to contact us – all donated sponsorships will go directly to the fighters with maximum exposure given.
Here’s what you chose as the best of the action in November and December of 2014.
UK/IRISH MMA AWARDS: NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 WINNERS
UK/Irish Fighter of the Month – November/December 2014
Winner: Colin Fletcher (16%)
(Fletcher punches his way to victory, via DN4 Photography)
The inimitable Colin Fletcher scoops the award for November/December’s Fighter of the Month following a good performance over Hawaii’s Michael Brightmon in the BAMMA 17 main event. Of course Fletcher does his share of entertaining outside the cage, but he also topped it off with a sterling performance inside it.
A year after his defeat in an exciting battle with Mansour Barnaoui, Fletcher has compiled back-to-back victories against international opposition. The stage is set for a big 2015 for the North East fighter; let’s see what comes of it,
-Arnold Allen (12%) – Won the M4TC title up a weight and at late notice
-Brett Mcdermott (9%) – Went against the odds to KO Oli Thompson
-Aisling Daly (9%) – SBG’s female star picked up a UFC debut victory
International Fighter of the Month – November/December 2014
Winner: Nicolas Dalby (44%)
(Dalby after his title defence, via Cage Warriors/Dolly Clew)
Nicolas Dalby extended his unbeaten record to 13-0 at Cage Warriors 74, and against his toughest opponent yet. After a disappointment in the scheduled matchup with Gael Grimaud, Dalby was chomping at the bit to return to action and he got his wish in this five round CWFC title fight.
"Sharpshooter" had to draw on all of his reserves against the tough Bahari, but his kickboxing was on point and he managed to combat his opponent’s ferocious power on the inside by dictating the action. With an unblemished record and another title defence, a world of opportunities just opened up for Dalby to round off a great year for him.
-Pannie Kianzad (21%) – Anothe Rumble Sports fighters claiming a CWFC title
-Irene Cabello (16%) – Swift submission win at CWFC in Newcastle
-Michael Brightmon (15%) – The American was game and came to scrap at BAMMA
Fight of the Month – November/December 2014
Winner: Sean Carter vs. Tim Wilde – CWFC 74 (30%)
(Wilde and Carter exchange, via Cage Warriors/Dolly Clew)
Though Tim Wilde won’t feel so good about having his previously unbeaten record now blemished, he can feel very proud at being one half of an excellent fight at Cage Warriors 74. He was on the losing end, but for much of the bout Wilde was showing us just how high level his skill set is, hurting Sean Carter with strikes on several occasions.
If there’s one thing we know about Carter though, it’s that he’s as tough as the proverbial old boots. Able to absorb a vast amount of punishment, Carter gritted his teeth and locked on a tight triangle when the opportunity arose for a big win. In a true back-and-forth battle, both men could come out with their heads high, but there could only be one winner.
-Alex Enlund vs. Nad Narimani at CWFC 73 (24%)
-James Mulheron vs. Dayman Lake at M4TC 15 (18%)
-Colin Fletcher vs. Michael Brightmon at BAMMA 17 (13%)
Event of the Month – November/December 2014
Winner: BAMMA 17 (28%)
(BAMMA 17 via DN4 Photography)
BAMMA returned to the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, where they’d held their previous event and had plenty of great feedback. They did it again, and put on another excellent show with renowned domestic and European names, UFC veterans and promotional favourites.
Their new approach to matchmaking might not have the high profile Americans, but it is providing some explosive matchups and plenty of fresh UK talent. From the outside it also looks more sustainable, leading us to believe that the promotion have finally found their niche after some turbulent years.
Emphatic knockouts, great submissions, competitive decisions; the night had it all, and you voted it as your favourite event from November and December.
-Cage Warriors 74 (25%) – Huge night of fights in London, with two world titles.
-Made 4 The Cage 15 (16%) – Another excellent outing for the premier NE show
-Clan Wars 20 (15%) – Consistently exciting cards in Belfast
Knockout of the Month – November/December 2014
Winner: Joe Duffy at Cage Warriors 74 (30%)
(Duffy fells Boussuge in London, via Cage Warriors/Dolly Clew)
Niklas Backstrom did not respect what Mike Wilkinson brought to the table at UFC Stockholm, but he was made to pay a very severe price when the ASW man cleaned him out with a huge right hand a series of follow-up punches.
Confidence is a good trait, but over-confidence can cause problems. Wilkinson knew he had the ability to be competitive in this bout and he showed the UFC that he wasn’t just there to make up the victories.
With the win his picked up the best win and best finish of his career – not bad for a Brit who had ‘no chance’.
-Athinodoros Michailidis (17%) – Unreal spinning back elbow) at BCMMA
-Brett McDermott (14%) – Underdog KO from the big man at BAMMA 17
-Geoff Hall (13%) – Clan Wars favourite with one punch KO
Submission of the Month – November/December 2014
Winner: Mike Grundy – D’Arce choke (22%)
(Grundy sets up the D’Arce, via DN4 Photography)
Adding a solid reportoire of top position chokes to an already elite level wrestling game is a recipe for success. Commonwealth medallist Mick Grundy has been polishing up his submissions for years and is now bringing them to bear in the cage.
Grundy went 2-0 in his pro career, easily dispatching Mike Cutting at BAMMA 17. He also had an undefeated amateur career, and it looks like he’ll go far with a dearth of fighters in Europe able to stop his takedowns. Cutting was much more experienced, but Grundy handled him well. 2015 will be a breakout year for him.
-Steven Ray (20%) – Knocked Curt Warburton down and finished nicely at CWFC 73
-Sean Carter (19%) – Found a triangle from the bottom against Tim Wilde
-Ais Daly (16%) – Slick finish from Daly at the TUF 20 finale
That’s how the votes were cast after an exciting month of UK and Irish MMA. Keep your eyes open for the voting on the UK And Irish MMA Awards 2014, coming early January.
What do you think to the results? Let us know via www.facebook.com/YourMMA and via @YourMMA on Twitter.