13th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards Winners

Las Vegas, Nevada: The 13th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards took place on Friday night, December 10, live from the Worre Studios in Las Vegas. Celebrities, industry executives, and a who’s who from the combat sports world took to the red carpet to celebrate the achievements of those from our entire industry.

Hosted by Chael Sonnen, the awards ceremony saw Kamaru Usman crowned ‘Male Fighter of the Year’ while Rose Namajunas won ‘Female Fighter of the Year.’ UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moereno was the big winner of the night and walked away with three world MMA awards in total.

Fighters Only CEO Rob Hewitt presented two-time UFC welterweight champion & UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’

Charles Oliveira, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Israel Adesanya, Daniel Cormier, and Michael Bisping, were among the other winners of the evening.

See below for the full list of winners from the 13th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards.


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The nomination period for this year’s awards was set between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

In true MMA tradition, Fighters Only Magazine gave fight fans the power to vote for their favourite fighters, which knockout and submissions amazed & shocked, and which nominees impressed them the most over the past year to determine who takes home a World MMA Award.

Here are the winners for the 13th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards:

Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis Male Fighter of the Year
• Kamaru Usman – winner
• Brandon Moreno
• Yaroslav Amosov
• Charles Oliveira
• Jan Blachowicz

Female Fighter of the Year
• Mackenzie Dern
• Kayla Harrison
• Valentina Shevchenko
• Rose Namajunas – winner (pictured below)
• Manon Fiorot

[Images via Tom Bear Photography]

International Fighter of the Year
• Vadim Nemkov
• Israel Adesanya – winner
• Yaroslav Amosov
• Robert Whittaker
• Jan Blachowicz

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year
• Khamzat Chimaev
• Jiří Procházka
• Brandon Moreno – winner (pictured below)
• Yaroslav Amosov
• Kevin Holland

Fight of the Year
• Paul Daley vs. Sabah Homasi – Bellator 257
• Edson Barboza vs. Shane Burgos – UFC 262
• Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno 1 – UFC 256 – winner
• Jiří Procházka vs. Dominick Reyes – UFC on ESPN 23
• Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Miguel Baeza – UFC on ESPN+ 47

Submission of the Year
• AJ McKee vs. Darrion Caldwell – Neck Crank – Bellator 253
• Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill – Armbar/Triangle – UFC 264
• Jimmy Flick vs. Cody Durden – Flying Triangle – UFC on ESPN+ 41
• Anthony Hernandez vs. Rodolfo Vieira – Guillotine – UFC 258
• Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje – Triangle – UFC 254 – winner

Knockout of the Year
• Joaquin Buckley vs. Impa Kasanganay – Back Kick – UFC on ESPN+ 37 – winner (pictured below)
• Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal – Punch – UFC 261
• Cory Sandhagen vs. Frankie Edgar – Flying Knee – UFC on ESPN+ 42
• Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza – Punch – UFC 262
• Mamed Khalidov vs. Scott Askham – Flying Switch Kick – KSW 55

Comeback of the Year
• Paul Daley vs. Sabah Homasi – Bellator 257
• Thanh le vs. Martin Nguyen – ONE: Inside the Matrix
• Sean Strickland (Career)
• Rose Namajunas (Career)
• Charles Oliviera vs. Michael Chandler – UFC 262 – winner

Upset of the Year
• Adriano Moraes vs. Demetrious Johnson – ONE on TNT 1 – winner (pictured below)
• Shana Dobson vs. Mariya Agapova – UFC on ESPN 15
• Clay Collard vs. Anthony Pettis – PFL 2021 #1
• Ok Rae Yoon vs. Eddie Alvarez – ONE on TNT 4
• Anthony Hernandez vs. Rodolfo Vieira – UFC 258

Shawn Tompkins Coach of the Year
• Eric Nicksick
• Henri Hooft
• Mike Brown
• Trevor Wittman – winner
• Jason Parillo

Trainer of the Year
• Phil Daru – winner
• Sam Calavitta
• Jordan Sullivan
• Chase Cichos
• Bo Sandoval

Gym of the Year
• American Top Team – winner
• City Kickboxing
• Elevation Fight Team
• RVCA
• Sanford MMA

Referee of the Year
• Herb Dean – winner (pictured below, right)
• Dan Miragliotta
• Mark Smith
• Jason Herzog
• Marc Goddard

Ringcard Girl of the Year
• Arianny Celeste
• Luciana Andrade
• Brookliyn Wren
• Brittney Palmer – winner (pictured below, left)
• Kasia Motloch Kejsi

Leading Man of the Year
• Dana White – winner
• Ed Soares
• Mohammed Shahid
• Densign White
• Scott Coker

Best Promotion of the Year
• Bellator MMA
• LFA
• Brave Combat Federation
• UAE Warriors
• UFC – winner

Personality of the Year
• Jon Anik
• Daniel Cormier – winner
• Joe Rogan
• Laura Sanko
• Chael Sonnen

Analyst of the Year
• Robin Black
• Michael Bisping – winner
• Paul Felder
• Dan Hardy
• John McCarthy

Best MMA Programming
• Morning Kombat – winner
• Dana White’s Contender Series
• DC & Helwani
• JRE MMA Show
• UFC Embedded

MMA Media Source of the Year
• The Mac Life
• BT Sport
• ESPN MMA – winner
• MMA Fighting
• MMA Junkie

MMA Journalist of the Year
• John Morgan
• Shaheen Al-Shatti
• Brett Okamoto
• Ariel Helwani – winner
• Oscar Willis

Fighting Spirit of the Year
• Khabib Nurmagomedov (Compassion vs. Justin Gaethje – transitioned from an armbar to triangle to avoid distressing Gaethje’s parents)
• Terrance McKinney (recovery – from overcoming drug addiction and near death to UFC callup and winning debut)
• Brandon Moreno (Perseverance – from being cut to fighting back and becoming the first Mexican UFC champion) – winner
• Dustin Poirier (Charity – continued efforts with The Good Fight Foundation giving back to the local community in Louisiana)
• Dana White (Leadership – when all sports were down and out due to Covid-19, against all the odds, Dana White made Fight Island real)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Matt Hughes: Two-Time UFC Welterweight Champion & UFC Hall of Famer
(pictured below)

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