2013 VigilanteMMA Year-End Awards — Breakthrough Fighter of the Year

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, Latest news
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MMA: UFC TUF 17 Finale-Tate vs ZinganoWell the end of the year is upon us, which means it’s time to review all our favorite moments of 2013. We’ll have several awards to discuss over the next couple weeks. The most important thing we’re looking for is feedback. We’d love to hear your comments and YOUR picks for these categories. Today we’ll tackle Breakthrough Fighter of the Year.

This is why I love women’s MMA right now. A fighter can literally go from being known only in certain circles, to a UFC headliner overnight. That’s pretty much what Cat Zingano did in 2013. Upon being signed by the UFC after just one fight in Invicta in 2012, Zingano was booked in the 2nd female fight in the company’s history against one of the most recognizable names in the division, Miesha Tate.

The first mother in the octagon made sure the story played out perfectly that night, coming back from several edge-of-your-seat moments to rally and get stronger as the fight progressed. The beating Zingano put on Tate was one to behold.

Immediately following the fight, Zingano was promised a life-changing reward—a fight with Ronda Rousey and a coaching slot opposite the champ on The Ultimate Fighter. As we now know, a blown knee ended Cat’s hopes of starring on TUF. But the title shot is still looming as she recovers from her injury.

Cat Zingano is our choice for breakthrough fighter of the year for her entrance onto the scene in early 2013. She went from obscurity to star in one night.

Other nominees…Conor McGregor, TJ Grant, Travis Browne

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  1. […] 2013 VigilanteMMA Year-End Awards – Breakthrough Fighter of the Year (vigilantemma.com) […]

  2. […] 2013 VigilanteMMA Year-End Awards — Breakthrough Fighter of the Year […]

  3. […] 2013 VigilanteMMA Year-End Awards — Breakthrough Fighter of the Year […]

  4. […] Year End Awards… Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Female Fighter of the […]

  5. […] other Year-End Awards already announced: Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Female Fighter of the Year Submission of the […]

  6. […] other Year-End Awards already announced: Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Female Fighter of the Year Submission of the Year Upset of the […]

  7. […] other Year-End Awards already announced: Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Female Fighter of the Year Submission of the Year Upset of the Year Most Improved Fighter of the […]

  8. […] other Year-End Awards already announced: Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Female Fighter of the Year Submission of the Year Upset of the Year Most Improved Fighter of the […]

  9. […] other Year-End Awards already announced: Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Female Fighter of the Year Submission of the Year Upset of the Year Most Improved Fighter of the […]

  10. […] Breakthrough Fighter of the Year. Which fighter raised their stock the most by breaking onto the scene with the biggest splash? Was it a fighter who came from obscurity and went into the limelight? Or was it someone who went from being “average” all the way to top contender? Female Fighter of the Year. Several women made an impact in 2013. That’s thanks to the inclusion of females to the UFC as well as great promotions like Invicta shining a spotlight on the women like never before. Submission of the Year. Well, which was your favorite? Was it Burkman over Fitch? How ’bout one of Rousey’s armbars? Maybe you liked ‘Showtime’s’ because it won him the belt? Or perhaps you’re like us, and you didn’t select ANY of those worthy nominees. Upset of the Year. There’s nothing like an upset to get people jumping out of their seats in amazement. We discussed a nice handful before settling on our fave. Most Improved Fighter of the Year. You might also call this one the “career turnaround” category. We selected a guy who went from a pretty damn good fighter to what think is a guy who can contend for a belt right now. Knockout of the Year. I want to see a highlight reel of all the awesome knockouts we considered. Can you say “knockout boner”???? Fight of the Year. Of all the incredible fights in ’13, can you believe we picked one that was free? This one could be the most controversial selection–not because it’s not a worthy winner, but because of the sheer number of legitimate fights that were 5 stars. Fighter of the Year. Let me give you a hint. I wrote the article for this one right before the year ended. I had to tear it up and start over though, because of a last minute fight that catapulted our choice to the winner’s circle. Can you guess? […]

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