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Saturday, 12/21/2013, 11:19 am

BJPENN.COM’S 2013 Fighter of the year candidates


By Evan Stoumbelis

This year has been a great one for fight fans, and as it’s winding down with its final card next Saturday it only seems right to reflect on the year and wonder who the UFC will pick as fighter of the year. In the meantime I have decided to take a look at some people I think could be potential candidates for this award.

Vitor Belfort: Vitor had an outstanding 2013, winning all three of his fights by head kick knockout and setting a UFC record. His wins came over Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, and Dan Henderson. With his outstanding 2013 Belfort has set himself up for a title shot in the upcoming year.

Urijah Faber: Urijah posted an unbelievable 4-0 record in 2013, with his wins coming against Ivan Menjivar, Scott Jorgensen, Iuri Alacantra and most notably Michael McDonald. Faber finished three of his for wins this year by submission, and with his recent win over Michael McDonald has set himself up for a shot at the winner of Barao vs. Cruz in February.

Demetrious Johnson Mighty Mouse may have had the most impressive 2013, he posted a 3-0 record, but the most outstanding part is he got better from one fight to the next. His wins this year came over John Dodson, John Moraga, and Joseph Benavidez. It will be exciting to see what the new year brings to the first ever flyweight champion.

Robbie Lawler: Robbie Lawler’s career had been somewhat of a lackluster one until he got signed in the UFC this February. He posted a 3-5 record while signed to Strikeforce, but in his first UFC fight against Josh Koscheck he won by knockout. From there it only got better for Lawler, he knocked out Bobby Voelker, and then went on to defeat Rory MacDonald at UFC 167. His unbelievable 2013 landed him a spot fighting for Georges St. Pierre’s vacated welterweight title against Johny Hendricks.

Chris Weidman: Chris Weidman may have only had one fight in 2013, but boy was it a great one. Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva in the second round of their title fight on July 6th to end the seven and a half year title reign of Anderson Silva. Weidman will fight Anderson Silva in the rematch next Saturday on December 28th.

Honorable mentions: Anthony Pettis, Matt Brown, Cain Velasquez, Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre.

What do you think PENNation? who will be the fighter of the year for 2013? Sound off in the comments section.

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