Welcome to the latest of many MMATorch Awards for 2018. MMATorch staff have voted in a wide array of categories, with the top vote-getters receiving the awards. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments or Tweet us @MMATorch. Be sure to check out our other awards thus far.
- MMA Story of the Year
- Career Tailspin Award
- Rising Star of the Year
- Submission of the Year
- Knockout of the Year
- Fighter of the Year
Worst MMA Event of 2018
Many MMA events look great on paper and fail to deliver. Many others look terrible on paper and live down to those expectations. Our top vote-getters for 2018’s worst MMA event tended to fall in the latter category. It was a close vote, but the award goes to a show that will likely go down in history for being sad more than just plain bad.
Winner: Liddell vs. Ortiz 3
Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 was an ambitious pay-per-view event put on by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. The biggest problem is that this fight came many years too late to truly matter. Liddell had not fought in eight years and had looked pretty bad in his last several years of fighting before that. Ortiz had pockets of success over that past decade but was also clearly well past his prime. Much of the promotion of the event surrounded around how poorly UFC pays its fighters and now Golden Boy was finally doing fighters right. This wasn’t a storyline that the average pay-per-view buyer was going to get hooked on. Then, when it was revealed that no one outside of Liddell or Ortiz were making any real money, it wasn’t a good look.
The event itself was well produced, if not a little long. There was some decent action on the undercard, but nothing truly memorable. It is really just the sad state of the main event that makes this the worst MMA event of the year. Ortiz turned out Liddell’s lights inside the first round. Ortiz celebrated like he won the Super Bowl but fans could only bury their heads in their hands and think about what a regrettable purchase it was.
UFC 224: Nunes vs. Pennington nearly had the votes to take the award. UFC’s least purchased pay-per-view of the modern era had a promising start with a Lyoto Machida knockout of Vitor Belfort, but the uncompetitive main event between Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington likely contributed to the votes.