By the CagePotato Staff (and a few friends)
2015 was a tough year for the Potato Nation…Nation. We lost our commanding officer, saw our budget slashed to ribbons, and suffered damn near every setback a mid-level MMA blog could suffer. There were times when it seemed that CagePotato would be forced to close its doors for good, or even worse, sell out and start writing “credible” “unbiased” and “truthful” stories rather than 500-700 word fart jokes masquerading as journalism.
But we’re still here, dammit, and while our prospects for 2016 may not be the brightest they’ve ever been, our continued existence will serve as a proud Stockton Heybuddy to everyone who’s been saying for years that we died the minute Old Dad left. So to kick off another year of hastily-researched shenanigans, we figured there would be no more appropriate a celebration than to deliver our year-end awards list, THE POTATO AWARDS, just one business week too late.
Use the page links below to scroll through our list of the greatest knockouts, the slickest submissions, and the most bizarre, f*cked up MMA moments that 2015 had to offer. A huge thanks goes out to all the contributors who made this possible, as well as those of you who have continued to stick with us through these tough times. To 2016!!!!!!!!!!
Page 1: Comeback Fight of the Year, The Steve Nelmark “Is He Dead?” Award, MMA Screen-Cap of the Year
Page 2: Worst Performance in a Drug Test, The Minowaman Freak Show Hall of Fame Award, Worst Event, Submission of the Year
Page 3: MMA GIF of the Year, Most Satisfying Beatdown, Worst Fight of the Year, Most Embarrassing Knockout
Page 4: Greatest Unsanctioned Fight of the Year,The Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year,Worst Use of Social Media, Greatest Fight Cancelled Due to Injury, Knockout of the Year
Page 5: WTF?!! Moment of the Year, Most Awkward Interview, The Cecil Peoples Shittiest Decision Award, MMA Fail of the Year, Greatest Hype Inflation
Page 6: Photo of the Year, Best Event of the Year,Fight of the Year
It’s a scenario we’ve seen a thousand times before — Fighter A rocks Fighter B with a punch/kick/knee, gets overconfident, and walks right into a fight-ending knockout shot from his wobbled opponent — and yet it is NEVER NOT INCREDIBLE.
And this (last) year’s award for the Comeback Fight of the Year (aka theKongo vs. Barry award)? It would be hard not to give it to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, who went from nearly knocked out to knocking his opponent out in a span of roughly 30 seconds.
In the co-main event of Bellator 138, Freire was looking to defend the featherweight title that had long eluded him for a second timeagainst Daniel Weichel, who was fresh off a career-defining win over former champion Pat Curran in theBellator season 10 featherweight tournament final. Though he was mostly known for his grappling prowess, Weichel surprised everyone by flooring Pitbull with a hellacious combination in the closing seconds of the first round.
Sensing that his opponent was still on queer street, Weichel came out aggressive in the second round, pressing Freire to the cage and looking for the one shot to end it all. Unfortunately, aggression can come at a price when facing a knockout artist like Pitbull, and boy did it ever in the form of a short left hook. It was a dicknailing of epic proportions and a triumphant comeback for Freire, who would sadly lose his title to Daniel Straus later in the year.
Thomas Almeida had a more violent year in 2015 than Joseph Stalin had in 1937. Save a brief hiccup against Brad Pickett, the Brazilian prospect was damn near flawless over the course of three fights, all of which ended via (T)KO inside of two rounds. He battered Yves Jabouin, butchered Brad Pickett, and topped off the year with a knockout of Anthony Birchak that was basically a shot-for-shot remake of the fight to which this category owes its name.
Seriously, take a look for yourself. The similarities are STRIKING.
Honorable mention: Frank Mir vs. Todd Duffee at Fight Night 71
Even if you’re not one for superstitions, it would be hard to look at Reebok’s hilarious, depressing #FightKit unveiling ceremony as an ominous sign of things to come. Between the obnoxious, overbearing, trying-so-hard-to-be-hip dubstep soundtrack and the awkward segues and fighter introductions delivered by Corrina Werkle, it looked like Reebok had maybe, just maybe rushed into this whole MMA thing a little quickly.
Of course, adding to this theory was the fact that the creative geniuses at Reebok had apparently neglected to run their presentation through spellcheck, resulting in the absolute nexus of stupidity pictured above.
The mistake, though simple, would be the tipping point for the litany of erroneous decisions made by Reebok in the following months. First, there was Giblert Melendez. Then, there was Anderson Aldo. Then, there was that shirtthatpissed off the entire nation of Ireland. It’s been mistake after mistake for Reebok, and everyone from the fighters to the fans to the goddamn cutmen are letting them know about it…often at the cost of their careers.