The MMA Plus team select their end of year awards for 2016. In this edition, the staff members select their upset 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 Upset of the Year picks
Seán Ryan: Upset of the Year – Cody Garbrandt def. Dominick Cruz (UFC 207)
Who can honestly say they saw that coming? Cody didn’t just beat Cruz, he made him look average. Nobody has ever done that to Dom. It was an incredible performance.
Stuart Rodger: Upset of the Year – Brandon Moreno def. Louis Smolka (UFC Fight Night 96)
Stepping out of the TUF house and into the place of the injured Ray Borg at UFC FN 96, Brandon Moreno would cause the biggest upset of the year as he would blow through Louis Smolka in under one round making the Hawaiian look silly in the process. Nobody had given the inexperienced Moreno a chance of the win however he made the roles seem reversed and punished Smolka for perhaps taking him too lightly.
Roberto Reid: Upset of the Year – Cody Garbrandt def. Dominick Cruz (UFC 207)
At the beginning of 2016 the Team Alpha Male trained was not even ranked in the top 10 of the UFC bantamweight rankings and by the end if the year his was crowned champion is one of the most impressive performances your likely see for years to come.
Andreas Georgiou: Upset of the Year – Cody Garbrandt def. Dominick Cruz (UFC 207)
It was an absolute toss up for me between Garbrandt vs. Cruz and Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold from UFC 199. That fight deserves special mention just for the fact Bisping became the first British-born UFC champion, on just 17 days notice. Alas, “No Love” beating Cruz at his own game, just a very special, masterful showing which no one (probably not even Cody) saw coming.
Stephen Flynn: Upset of the Year – Michael Bisping def. Luke Rockhold (UFC 199)
A man whose name has appeared in a few of my picks so far Michael Bisping yet again is mentioned for upset of the year. Taking the title fight against a hot in-form Luke Rockhold on three weeks notice everyone expected Rockhold to bulldoze through the Brit and make it 2-0 against his opponent, but that’s not what happened. In what was perhaps the performance of his life “The Count” secured a first round KO over the champ to become Middleweight champion.