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.
Winners (Tie): Demetrious Johnson, Max Holloway
A very tight call, too tight to call… so we’re going with co-winners for the first time. DJ gets the nod with the #1 ranking for all 365 days, while Holloway twice beat an all-time great, albeit the same fighter.
3rd Place: Tyron Woodley
Like DJ, Woodley keeps churning out the quality performances and reigns over an even deeper division. But this year, he takes a backseat to DJ and Holloway.