ROUNDTABLE (pt. 1 of 2): What are leading contenders for Fight of the Year so far in 2016? Bisping vs. Silva? Diaz vs. McGregor? Tate vs. Holm?

Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate (photo credit Mark J. Rebilas © USA Today Sports)

What are your top three or four candidates for Fight of the Year so far this year?

MATTHEW PETERSON, MMATorch contributor

3. Michael Bisping vs. Anderson Silva. Slight decline from Silva, but huge performance and win for Bisping.

2. Carlos Condit vs. Robbie Lawler. Speaks for itself, if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor right now.

1. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2. Close this brower tab and watch it, right now.

MATTHEW ECOCHARD, MMATorch contributor

(1) Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 2 at UFC 202: This fight was the most hyped fight for me and for most of the MMA world. The amount of trash talk along with the results from the first fight leading to doubt about McGregor just made this fight absolutely must see TV. The fight itself was a very close, exciting fight with both men really laying it all out there. The result was contested by some, but I believe they got it right in the end. Anytime these two fight going forward I’m sure even more eyes will be watching.

(2) T.J. Dillashaw vs. Dominic Cruz at UFC Fight Night 81: The technical skill displayed in this fight was better than almost anything you could ever ask for in an MMA fight. These two men have the best footwork in the game and Cruz ended up being just a little bit harder to hit. These two need to fight again ASAP if Cruz makes it past the young gun Cody Garbrandt.

(3) Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping 2 at UFC 199: This fight is almost solely on here for the shock value it provided when we could then call Michael Bisping the UFC Middleweight Champion of the world. The talk prior to the fight was fairly entertaining with some serious distain between the two fighters. Bisping’s victory was shocking, brutal, and caused a lot of ruckus in the UFC.

(4) Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson 2 at UFC 204: Who would’ve thought in 2016, two of my top fights so far would be starring Bisping. This fight was a side-show kind of fight with Henderson not really deserving of the title shot. Henderson almost finished the fight on a couple of occasions and it was quite exciting. I was viewing this at a Buffalo Wild Wings and the whole place was going insane when Henderson dropped Bisping those few times. Henderson came up short on a tight decision and retired promptly after the fight. What a way to go out for the fans, Mr. Henderson.

MICHAEL GROCKE, MMATorch contributor

(1) Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit: The Fight of the Year was decided just two days into the new year. At UFC 195 on January 2, Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler fought a five round epic battle that saw Lawler retain the UFC Welterweight Title in a controversial split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47). Personally, I scored the fight in Condit’s favor. Nevertheless, it was a fight both fighters refused to lose and the image of them resting side by side against the cage after the final horn is a sight I’ll remember for a long time.

(2) Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2: UFC 202 saw Conor McGregor avenge his loss to Nate Diaz earlier in the year by majority decision (48-47,47-47, 48-47). After losing to Nate Diaz back in March by submission, McGregor came back with an entirely different game plan and executed it perfectly. He fought a much more calm, patient fight that paid off in the end. It’s not to say it was easy. Diaz came on strong in the latter rounds as Conor was slowing just as he predicted. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for Nate who is now looking to finish off the trilogy in the best rivalry of the year.

(3) Miesha Tate vs. Holly Holm: Some may disagree with this choice as there are some other fights that are also worthy of consideration including Steve Bosse vs. Sean O’Connell. Holm vs.Tate does it for me due to the sheer determination and heart Miesha Tate showed in her fifth round submission victory to win the Women’s Bantamweight Title. Losing on all the judges scorecards heading into the fifth round, Tate needed a finish in order to fulfill her dream of becoming champion. With only 90 seconds left in the fight, Miesha was able to sink in a rear-naked choke putting Holm to sleep and winning her first ever title.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE: What are the top three picks for Fighter of the Year so far in 2016? Cruz? Alvarez? Diaz? McGregor? (pt. 2 of 2)

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