Mixed Martial Arts
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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Sherdog.com’s 2015 Fighter of the Year

“We should have seen it coming.

Rewind to this time last year. Of all the fighters coming off superlative years, of all the burgeoning and blazing stars of the sport, only one of them had the clairvoyance to know where he would end up by year’s end: the man they call “Mystic Mac.”

Entering 2015, McGregor was still plagued by questions and doubters. He had run roughshod over inferior foes, they said; the Ultimate Fighting Championship was handpicking opponents for him to look good against; he had yet to face a stud wrestler; his ground game was completely untested and unproven; he was being promoted because of his trash talk, not his skill. Such accusations brought comfort to the high school coach types who hated his cockiness, and they put staunch McGregorites in a defensive uproar. However, the man himself could not seem to be bothered by any of it…”

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Sherdog.com’s 2015 Submission of the Year

“To many, martial arts are a sort of magic — in every sense of the word. Magic in the sense that it is fascinating, mysterious and incomprehensible how a man or woman can train their body and mind to reliably do the opposite of what comes natural to most people, to fight instead of flee, to move to the side instead of step back, to maneuver into a counter instead of cover up.

Martial arts also evoke the same feelings of skepticism that magic does. There is a long, embarrassing history of ridiculous ideas that are founded in lore more so than actual combat, yet they have come to inhabit a mythological soma. Never mind that things like the death touch or using invisible energy to control people have never been proven to actually work; there are still cultish legions of believers in such techniques. Indeed, magic is usually bulls— and trickery.

Then there is the very real magic, where the impossible happens without explanation or doubt…”

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Sherdog.com’s 2015 Round of the Year

“When the opening bell sounded between Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne at UFC 187, fans thought they knew what to expect. Two heavy-hitting heavyweights — one a former champion, the other hailed as a potential future champion — would meet in the middle and throw bombs until one of them went unconscious. True to the high-drama of combat, fans got exactly what they thought they would, yet at the same time, the way it unfolded was completely unpredictable…”

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem Statistical Analysis

“Before Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone battle for the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight belt in the UFC on Fox 17 main event on Saturday at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., there will be a clash of the titans in the co-headliner. Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos were supposed to fight twice already, but a failed drug test and an injury to the Dutchman derailed the bout until now.

This is a high-stakes fight. In the thin heavyweight division, the winner will immediately be shortlisted for title contention, while the loser will go back to square one. Let us see what the Tale of the Tape has to say…”

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

UFC 194 Statistical Matchup Analysis

“It has finally arrived.

After a rollercoaster ride of press tours, promotional media appearances and an injury-induced postponement, Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor will square off in the Octagon in the UFC 194 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

It has seemed like a long time since Aldo — the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s most-tenured champion — has been active. He was last seen in October 2014, when he defended his title for the seventh time in the UFC — the ninth if you count his World Extreme Cagefighting run — against Chad Mendes in one of the best fights of the year. After gearing up for a July 11 showdown with McGregor at UFC 189, Aldo suffered a rib injury weeks before the fight and was forced to withdraw. Assuming everything goes according to plan, this year will be the first time since 2012 that the longtime featherweight king logs only a single fight in a calendar year…”

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