The MMA Plus team select their end of year awards for 2016. In this edition, the staff members select their breakout star of the year. But will the team agree on a majority winner?
The categories for the MMA Plus awards are: Fighter of the year, Coach of the year, Fight of the year, Event of the year, Upset of the year, Knockout of the year, Submission of the year, Breakout star of 2016.
MMA Plus 2016 Breakout Star of the Year picks
Seán Ryan: Breakout Star of the Year – Cody Garbrandt (Team Alpha Male)
He went from being unranked at the start of the year to being the champ at the end of the year. No one had ever done it.
Stuart Rodger: Breakout Star of the Year – Francis Ngannou (MMA Factory)
Racking up another three wins in the UFC Heavyweight division this year, Ngannou has shown super form in 2016 with stoppage wins over Curtis Blaydes, Bojan Mihajlovic and Anthony Hamilton. He is scheduled to face Andrei Arlovski at the end of January, if the Frenchman is victorious, then he will be amongst the top names in the division and looking to make an assault on the title picture later this year
Roberto Reid: Breakout Star of the Year – Cody Garbrandt (Team Alpha Male)
Cody Garbrant gets my vote for breakout star of the year, is performance during the course of 2016 have been nothing short of outstanding.
Andreas Georgiou: Breakout Star of the Year – Cody Garbrandt (Team Alpha Male)
Four wins in a year, going from unranked competitor to Bantamweight world champion, it is near impossible to overlook the achievements of “No Love.” Prior to his fight at UFC 207, no fighter had ever felt with Dominick Cruz in the manner Garbrandt did, showcasing a technical side many fans had overlooked.
Stephen Flynn: Breakout Star of the Year – Cody Garbrandt (Team Alpha Male)
Garbrandt rightfully cemented himself as breakout star for 2016 when he put on the performance of his life becoming the first person to defeat champion Cruz in nearly nine years and was crowned the new Bantamweight champion. Garbrandt notched a record of 4-0 in 2016 including a first round KO victory over top 10 contender Thomas Almeida. “No Love” became the first person to go from unranked to champion in just one year, therefore earns my vote.