MNMMANEWS AWARDS: Round, fight, knockout, amateur and coach of the year
Written by Ben Pherson
Friday, 13 January 2017 20:07
Welcome back for the second day of the annual Minnesota MMA News Awards.
Earlier this month, we asked for nominations from across the state in categories like fighter of the year, most improved, fight of the year, amateur of the year, etc.
Again this year, we did not receive nominations from many people across the Land of 10,000 Lakes. But it is what it is.
In order to win an award, fighters and trainers needed to be nominated — if you see a fight, an event, a fighter who you thought should have won, well, why didn't you nominate them?
After the nomination process, the winners were up to Minnesota MMA News. These awards were not determined by a fan vote. They are MNMMANEWS Awards, nothing more, nothing less. They are, essentially, one man's opinion based on what he saw throughout another year of covering MMA in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
On Thursday, we handed out awards for submission, event, upset and rookie of the year. Today we hand out five more awards, including fight, knockout, coach, amateur and round of the year.
Here we go:
ROUND OF THE YEAR
Jamie Naasz vs. Nelly Thompson, ATT X
Boy, this was the type of fight that you WISHED would have gone all three rounds. And then put it on every show all year long ... and you'd never be bored or disappointed. Both Thompson and Naasz came out firing, looking to finish in the most spectacular fashion imaginable. It was a knock-down, drag-it-out war that had fans going nuts down in Austin in December.
No recency bias here ... just watch the video. Video rarely does these types of fights justice, but this one isn't bad. What ... a ... war! We just wish it would have lasted all night!
Sadly, we didn't receive many nominations for this category. Frankly, there were so many fights we loved and felt were incredibly deserving of this award, but most of those fights weren't even nominated. That said, all three nominations were fantastic fights.
There were only two other nominations: Brandon Apfel vs. Elijah Phillips (Three River Throwdown) and Sean Stebbins vs. Kai Brunk (A-Town Throwdown).
Apfel and Phillips was an absolute bloody war. And Stebbins vs. Brunk featured elite grappling throughout, a true ground-lover's delight. Both were right there with the winner.
Hill vs. Jenkins takes the award, though, for several reasons. First, let's let matchmaker Ozzy Judge do the talking: "It's a great candidate for fight of the year. Both fighters