It’s the end of the year, which means we don’t want to be here working. That’s why we’re happy to treat you to this year-end post about our picks for the 2022 World MMA Awards that we pre-filed in October. Enjoy!
Journalist of the Year: The Staff Family
When other journalists quake in fear of covering the hard hitting topics, one family is there to fill the void. Whether it’s old hands like MMA Junkie Staff or MMA Weekly Staff, or one of their many younger, exclusively-male siblings, where would be without these intrepid reporters ready to dig deep to find 37 pictures of a female fighter in bikinis before her title fight?
Comeback of the Year: Calling Jake Shields a nazi
It’s been a banner year for comebacks in MMA, but it’s clear to see that one comeback has set itself apart. When in doubt, you just can’t go wrong with calling Jake Shields a nazi. Not only is it accurate, it’s also very, very funny. The next time you see Jake Shields and think “that man could not possibly get any redder,” fire off this tasty little comeback and see how wrong you were.
Upset of the Year: Pat Barry When You Ask How Old Rose Was
Hoo boy, does Pat Barry ever hate to be asked about how old Rose Namajunas was when he met her and “fell in love at first sight” before carrying out a self-described two year defense-battering campaign to browbeat her into dating a man nearly twice her age when she did not originally want to.
Trainer of the Year: James Krause
Any old coach can help his fighters prepare for their fights, but how many can also help their fans line their pockets with expert fight picks so accurate you’d think he had inside information or something. Talk about having a brain for the game. The sky is the limit for Krause, and we can’t wait to see what he does in 2023!
Leading Man of the Year: Brendan Fraser
Long considered one of the nicest men in Hollywood, as well as a can’t miss comedic player, Fraser is set to break out in 2022 with his stunning dramatic performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale.
Fighter of the Year: Weili Zhang
After a rough 2021, Zhang bounced back hard in 2022, first by double-stamping her Fight of the Year victory over Joanna Jędrzejczyk, then dominantly recapturing her UFC Strawweight Title, all while just seeming like a genuinely delightful person in all media appearances.
Male Fighter of the Year: Chris Daukus
No fighter made a bigger career promotion or improved their impact on the world more this year than Daukus who quit his job as a police officer to focus full time on his UFC career. Daukus went 0-3 in UFC fights in 2022, with three knockout losses across 9:14 of cage time.
Submission of the Year: Colby Giving Up PPV Points
Despite facing some stiff competition from his fellow alpha bros in the UFC, no fighter epitomized MMA submission better than Colby Covington declining Pay Per View points on his bout with Jorge Masvidal after spending years hyping it up.
Knockout of the Year: Adrian Yanez
Yo, did you see him knock that racist jabroni out? That was fucking awesome.
Fight of the Year: Erkin Kush vs. Qazaqtyn Qara Balasy (Batyr Ball 1)
We would love to end with controversy and throw a curveball here to get some drama-fueled eyes on our picks, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to deny the obvious unanimous choice, the Batyr Ball 1 curtain-jerking bout between Erkin Kush and Qazaqtyn Qara Balasy. This fight had everything you wanted and more. A broken backboard in the cage just minutes into the event? Yep. Superman drives to the lane? You know it. A free throw for an indeterminate reason following a calm-by-comparison period of play? And how. Throw in the minute long delays between baskets and scoreboard updates leaving you unsure who is who and what the score is and there is simply no other choice.