December 21, 2010
It's that time of year again, where the fans tell us what was the best in the past year.Vote in the poll, and we'll announce the winners on Dec. 30. All winners will get home-baked cookies. That's better than a trophy, right?
We start with breakout fighter of the year. This isn't necessarily the best fighter of the year; instead, this is the one who jumped onto your radar screen. This is the fighter who impressed you for the first time in 2010, and who you can't wait to see again in 2011.
Ben Askren -- Bellator: The wrestling Olympian became an MMA champ in 2010, first walking through Bellator's welterweight tournament to earn a shot at Lyman Good. He beat Good in a unanimous decision to win the Bellator title.
Phil Davis -- UFC: "Mr. Wonderful" lived up to his nickname in 2010, winning four fights. He even brought a new submission to the MMA world, a modified Kimura that is heretofore know as the "Mr. Wonderful." What should frighten other UFC light heavyweights is that Davis still has plenty of potential and a thirst to grow.
Anthony Pettis -- WEC: A year ago, Pettis had just lost to Bart Palasewski in a split decision and was worried about winning his next fight so that he wouldn't be cut from the WEC. One year later, he's the final WEC lightweight champ and has a chance to win the UFC belt. Add to that a starring turn on MTV, wins over Danny Castillo, Alex Karalexis, Shane Roller and Ben Henderson, and a kick that got the world talking. It's been one heck of a year for "Showtime."
George Sotiropoulos -- UFC: What did the Australian "The Ultimate Fighter" alumnus do to get the MMA world's attention this year? Just get three wins, over Joe Lauzon, Kurt Pellegrino and Joe Stevenson. His seven-fight win streak is good enough to put him in the title contention discussion.
Ovince St. Preux -- Strikeforce: The former football player for the University of Tennessee had quite a year: six fights, six wins. Three of those wins came for Strikeforce, over Benji Radach, Antwain Britt and Chris Hawk. He also scored a win over UFC vet Jason Day. St. Preux is not letting up in 2011 as he will take on Ron Humphrey on the January 7 Strikeforce Challengers card.
Now you tell us. Who is the breakout fighter of the year?
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