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OTM MMA Fighter of the Year

    Tue, 2008-01-01 15:17 — OntheMat

    Here they come! The Annual OTM Awards are here: the industry standard for recognizing excellence in combat sports and the most trusted name in MMA, BJJ, and Submission Grappling.

    Here they come! The Annual OTM Awards are here: the industry standard for recognizing excellence in combat sports and the most trusted name in MMA, BJJ, and Submission Grappling.

    We'll be announcing the winners over the next couple of days, as well as reflecting on what has been one of the most eventful years yet for the sport (and for us here at OTM).

    OntheMat.com is pleased to announce our choice of 2007 MMA Fighter of the Year goes to Anderson "The Spider" Silva.

    For a number of reasons, 2007 was a tumultuous year for MMA, but there was one thing that was a constant: Anderson Silva entered as the UFC Middleweight Champion and he left the year as the UFC Middleweight Champion.

    Anderson defended his title three times (actually, the first bout of 2007 was a non-title affair because his scheduled opponent, Travis Lutter, failed to make weight). It gave Anderson a chance to show off that his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu was for real, as he handled and finished one of the top grapplers in the world, on the ground! Anderson's next fight was against the former King of Pancrase in Nate Marquardt and that bout only lasted a single round before Anderson was able to put him away. Finally came a rematch against the man he took the title from, Rich Franklin, and despite a revitalized gameplan, Anderson was able to put away the tough former champion in the second round.

    Anderson took on arguably the toughest competition of the year, and he managed to make it look EASY. As each bout occurred there seemed to be an air of inevitability as well as an aura of invincibility.

    Furthermore, the success couldn't come for a nicer and more humble man outside of the cage.

    Anderson Silva faces a HUGE test coming in the new year as he is slated to defend his title against Dan "Hollywood" Henderson in what is one of the most anticipated bouts of the new year and a defining moment in both men's careers!

    Previous OTM MMA Fighters of the Year

    2004: B.J. Penn
    2005: Takanori Gomi
    2006: Mirko "CroCop" Filipovich

    Do you agree with our pick? Who were the other candidates for MMA fighter of the year? Sound off in the OTM Forums! http://www.onthemat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4277

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