It’s time for the first of our monthly awards feature for knockout, submission, and fight of the month. At the beginning of every month, MMA Plus will take a look at some of the standout moments from the previous month.
Here are our choices for January 2017…
KNOCKOUT OF THE MONTH AWARD
Paul Daley flying knee KO of Brennan Ward at Bellator 170
In the co-main event of Bellator 170 Paul “Semtex” Daley (39-14-2) sent fellow welterweight “Irish” Brennan Ward (14-5) into dreamland with a highlight reel flying knee KO.
From the bell, the two fighters kept their promise to slug it out and proceeded to openly exchange with each other, while both men tried to gain control of the center of the cage. Ward would successfully take the fight to the canvas on at least one occasion but the action would not stay there for long as Daley would scramble back to his feet.
The end would come at 2:27 of the 1st round as “Semtex” would rock Ward with a spinning back elbow and would quickly follow up with a devastating flying knee to put Irish to sleep.
SUBMISSION OF THE MONTH AWARD
Valentina Shevchenko armbar submission of Julianna Pena at UFC on Fox 23
Valentina Shevchenko (14-2) once again proved that she is a more than just a striker when she submitted Julianna Pena (8-3) at UFC Denver last Saturday to earn the Russian a shot at bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes title.
Once the fight got underway “The Venezuelan Vixen” would immediately clinch Shevchenko but the Kyrgyzstani fighter would get the takedown via a sweep, before quickly transitioning to mount and would unleash a series of strikes before Pena would attempt an armbar late in the round.
In the second stanza, Pena would once again look to clinch “Bullet” and shortly after the fight would again head to the ground after the former TUF winner secured the takedown. She would control the action until the final minute of round 2 before the number 1 ranked bantamweight would lock in an armbar which Pena would try to roll out of but it would be to no avail as she was forced to tap after 4:29 of round two.
FIGHT OF THE MONTH AWARD
Derek Campos def. Derek Anderson via unanimous decision at Bellator 170
Derek Campos (18-6) took the “W” over Derek Anderson (14-3) in a keenly contested catchweight encounter at Bellator 170.
Despite the weight disadvantage in the lead up to the fight, Campos was not at one when the two men stepped inside the Bellator cage, showcasing power that would send his opponent to the canvas on multiple occasions.
In the opening round, both men would look to keep the action standing with Campos and Anderson both landing hard shots. In the second it would be Campos who looked the sharper, launching wave after wave of attacks against a game Anderson who was finally dropped by a well-placed uppercut but would still manage to survive the round.
In the final round, the momentum of the fight repeatedly swung in both fighters favor with Anderson hurting Campos to the body who would respond with a guillotine attempt at one point. In the dying embers of the round the fight would return to the feet and after the final bell all three judges would award Campos the victory 29-28.
Do you agree with our picks for knockout, submission, and fight of the month January 2017? Let us know and tell what your picks were by leaving a comment below.