The 2015 SevereMMA Irish and International Awards

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What a year it has been.

From unbelievable fights to belts changing hands to sport altering upsets to huge knockouts this year has been without question the best in the history of MMA.

And now it’s that time of the year when we look back and decide what was the best of the best (and worst of the worst). To do that, the crew here at SevereMMA got together and voted on who we think stood out in each of the below categories.

The awards were voted on by Sean Sheehan, Graeme McDonnell, Andrew McGahon and Petesy Carroll.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

FIGHT OF THE YEAR

Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald at UFC 189

In the greatest year in MMA history this fight stood out over all others for fun, heart, violence and exceptional skill.

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KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR

Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo at UFC 194

It took just 13 seconds for Conor McGregor to KO Jose Aldo but the level of precision and timing involved made it our KO of the year.

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SUBMISSION OF THE YEAR

Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez at UFC 188

There were many great submissions this year but the old master Werdum choking out Velasquez to unify the heavyweight titles was something special.

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FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Conor McGregor

Knockout wins over top-10 ranked Dennis Siver, long-time #1 ranked Chad Mendes and the only ever featherweight champion Jose Aldo put McGregor out on his own as the best fighter on earth in 2015.

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FEMALE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

With Ronda Rousey defeated, it was Joanna Jedrzejczyk who took on the mantle of the longest reigning female champion in the UFC. And she did just that with three dominant wins.

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IRISH PRO FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Conor McGregor

It was a great year for Irish MMA with McGregor not only the best from Ireland but the best from anywhere.

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IRISH AMATEUR FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Frans Mlambo

As well as the pros, it was probably the best year ever for the ammys too with plenty of names up for this award. In the end, though, Frans Mlambo’s world championship win before turning pro was enough to win it for him.

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IRISH FEMALE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Aisling Daly

With names like Leah McCourt, Catherine Costigan and Sinead Kavanagh on the up, WMMA in Ireland is growing stronger all the time. But Aisling Daly is still number one.

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EMERGING IRISH PROSPECT OF THE YEAR

Peter Queally

With a whole bunch of new Irish pros on the scene in 2015 this was a hard one to pick, but Peter Queally’s development over the last 12 months has many tipping him to be the next UFC recruit.

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EMERGING PROSPECT OF THE YEAR

Thomas Almeida

Undefeated Brazilian Thomas Almeida is not only the most exciting young fighter in the world at the moment, he’s also the best. Should be a huge 2016 for him.

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UNDERDOG OF THE YEAR

Rafael Dos Anjos

Going into his fight with Anthony Pettis not many gave RDA a chance. But he was having none of it as he destroyed the champion.

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COACH OF THE YEAR

Javier Mendes

Although Javier Mendes had his disappointments with Cain Velasquez and Khabib Nurmagomedov this year, new champions Luke Rockhold and Daniel Cormier really showed his elite pedigree.

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UPSET OF THE YEAR

Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey at UFC 193

At one stage Holly Holm was upwards of 10/1 to beat Ronda Rousey but she defied those odds and beat the only ever female bantamweight champion from pillar to post.

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COMEBACK OF THE YEAR

Uriah Hall vs. Gegard Mousasi

After losing the first round badly, Uriah Hall came back in the second round, timed the takedown attempt, hurt Mousasi with a spinning back kick and finished him with a flying knee.

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UNDERPERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Erick Silva

After being long-touted as a future champion, 2015 saw Erick Silva come into his fights looking erratic and out of shape.

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WORST DECISION OF THE YEAR

Al Iaquinta vs. Jorge Masvidal at UFC Fight Night 63

This was a particularly hard one to pick with almost no clearly horrific decisions in 2015 but the crowd reaction was enough to show this one wasn’t the best.

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WORST FIGHT OF THE YEAR

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Konstantin Erokhin at TUF 22 Finale

Luckily, I actually fell asleep and missed most of this fight…. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

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NON-UFC FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Liam McGeary

It was a real banner year for some top non-UFC stars, none more so than Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary who beat both Manny Newton and Tito Ortiz.

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EVENT OF THE YEAR

UFC 189

With live performers doing the entrances, the introduction of new drug testing, new TV graphics and the debut of the Reebok kits, UFC 189 was an historic night which also delivered bigtime inside the cage.

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SHOCKING MOMENT OF THE YEAR

Conor McGregor finishes Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194

There was only ever going to be one winner here really. Although many people picked Conor McGregor to win, nobody would have foreseen him ending Jose Aldo’s 10-year unbeaten run in just 13 seconds.

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WALKOUT OF THE YEAR

Aisling Daly in UFC Dublin

In was a special moment for everyone on the 3Arena that night as the crowd raised the roof singing The Cranberries’ classic.

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QUOTE OF THE YEAR

“He’s powerful and he’s fast. But precision beats power. And timing beats speed.” – Conor McGregor

Lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Co-host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Tuesday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma