It was a great year for MMA and a great year for a few specific fighters, namely one who burst on the scene and went 5-0. Most fighters would be happy calling it a career beating the top level fighters that Maurcio “Shogun” Rua did for 2005.
Rua started off his year at Pride 29 taking out Hiromitsu Kanehara by foot stomp and securing the TKO last February. He then faced his first true test in Pride by facing Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Rua shocked everyone, by not just just winning, but dominating Jackson by KO in the first round last April.
Next on the hit list was Rogerio Nogueira in what many believe was the fight of the year for 2005. The two slugged it out and Rua squeezed out a decision and the win.
Alistair Overeem presented some problems early for Shogun as Overeem landed some solid shots, but Rua whethered the storm and came on strong to take out Overeem at 6:42 of Round 1 and would make it to the Pride Final of the Grand Prix Tournament.
Arona wanted to avenge teammate Wanderlei Silva’s loss to Arona and did so with wicked hammer fists. He made quick work of Arona winning by knockout at 2:54 of Round 1. An impressive 5-0 record against top flight competition for 2005. Others fighters were very deserving, but no one had as many fights or went through the competition Rua had gone through and when it was all said and done, the public voted for Shogun Rua over Georges St.Pierre in a close vote.
2005 FIGHTER OF THE YEAR VOTING
Shogun Rua 30.93%
George St.Pierre 24.89%
Fedor Emelianenko 18.12%
Rich Franklin 14.16%
Chuck Liddell 11.91%
Shogun told MMAWeekly.com quote “I’m very excited and honored to have been selected as the Fighter of the Year. I had a great year, and appreciate all the fans out there that voted for me. I’m looking forward to next year, and I’m training very hard to keep improving. See you in 2006!”
edges out Georges St.Pierre for Fight of the Year for 2005.