Who are your top three or four candidates for Fighter of the Year so far this year, and why them above other top considerations?
CHRISTOPHER KING, MMATorch contributor
Personally, I would go for Michael Bisping at number one, and it is not because I am a Brit, either. He is far from my favorite fighter. However, he beat Anderson Silva, knocked out arguably the best Middleweight in MMA right now in Luke Rockhold, and survived two H bombs to hold onto his belt. Pretty impressive stuff.
He would be closely followed by Stipe Miocic who has three TKO wins in 2016, the most recent an amazing battle with Alaistair Overeem to establish himself as ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet.”
In number three, I have to put Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in. His step up to 170 lbs. looks like a great move. He has three wins already, and with a win against Gastelum. He could be in line for a title shot in a new weight class.
McGregor comes in at number 4 for me.
NICK GRINUPS, MMATorch contributor
As of right now – and this may change within the next few months – my top three are as follows. First is Stipe Miocic, who beat Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, and Allistair Overeem, all in 2016. Second is Eddie Alvarez who beat Anthony Pettis, Rafael Dos Anjos, and has a chance to beat the most popular fighter in the UFC, Conor McGregor. Third is Stephen Thompson because he has beaten Johnny Hendricks, Rory MacDonald, and has a chance to beat Tyron Woodley this December.
MICHAEL HISCOE, MMATorch contributor
As weird as it is to say, it’s hard to deny Michael Bisping’s case for Fighter of the Year this year. He has won three fights and the Middleweight Championship after many had counted him out. The most impressive win, of course, being the short notice title fight with Luke Rockhold. That said, he won two very close decisions that could have gone the other way and we’d be having a very different discussion. So with that in mind, I’d have to go with Stipe Miocic for Fighter of the Year. He has three first round knockouts and a heavyweight championship that doesn’t carry the doubts that Bisping’s championship does. No top level fighter has beaten top competition as convincingly as Miocic has this year.
MATTHEW PETERSON, MMATorch contributor
Top three candidates in no real order would have to be Nate Diaz, Dominick Cruz, and Eddie Alvarez. Nate Diaz moved from being a fighter who “couldn’t move the needle” and now he has headlined two of the UFC’s highest selling PPVs. He’s a household name now, he’s made millions, and he still has a case for a rubber match against Conor in the future. Cruz came back from injury hell and took a split decision from T.J. Dillashaw to get his title back. Follow that up with the rubber match and victory over Urijah Faber and Cruz is a fighter to watch once again. Alvarez finally fulfilled all the talk over the years and TKO’d Rafael dos Anjos to win the Lightweight Title and will face Conor McGregor in what will probably be the biggest PPV in UFC history at UFC 205.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE: If Bobby Lashley went to UFC, who would be the appropriate first opponents for him, and how close is he to a Top 15 Hvt?