As a recap, most “Fighter of the Year” awards on other sites are really “Breakout Fighter of the Year” awards in that fighters who win, were usually not top fighters in the beginning of the year, but became so by the end of the year.
A fighter like this can and has won our FotY awards, but our award is more about maintaining a high standing during the award year by performing well a sufficient number of times and against a sufficient quality of opponents. It is more comparable to a season MVP in major team sports, not a playoffs/surprise MVP.
Winner: Cristiane Justino
With her win over Holm, Cyborg is right on Rousey’s heels for the title of best female MMA fighter ever. For now, she’ll have to settle with being the best of 2017.
Runner-Up: Rose Namajunas
Rose was looking like the winner, right until the last weekend of the year.
3rd Place: Livia Renata Souza
Winning more than once and being one of the best fighters outside of the UFC is good enough to earn Souza the third position.