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Awakening Women’s MMA Awards 2017 – Results

by Rew MitchellPosted on 2
Awakening Women's MMA Awards 2017 - Results

Awakening Women's MMA Awards 2017

Welcome to the 5th annual Awakening Women's MMA Awards. Each year we refine and develop the categories, nominating and voting process.  This year the number of categories has doubled due to our inclusion of the Awakening choice categories.  If you have any questions or suggestions then we encourage you to join our community and have your say on our forum. 

Female Fighter of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

Female Fighter of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

2nd. Nicco Montano
3rd. Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg'

Crowning our fighter of the year was a difficult decision, with all three of our top picks claiming UFC gold this year. Rose's impressive wins included her composed upset victory over previously undefeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk, bringing in a new reign for the deeply talented strawweight division.

Featherweight of the Year 2017
Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg'

Featherweight (145lbs) of the Year
Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg'

2nd.  Julia Budd
3rd.  Arlene Blencowe / Holly Holm

One of the most fearsome MMA athletes in the world, Cyborg was triumphant in her long-anticipated UFC title opportunity, and again claimed her spot atop the division with a decisive victory to close out 2017.

Note: Holly moved weight classes, and it was down to human error that we failed to include her in the featherweight category during the voting stage. We apologize for that, however she does take joint third with Arlene. 

Fan Favourite Featherweight of the Year 2017
Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg'

Fan Favourite Featherweight (145lbs) of the Year
Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg'

1st. Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg'  38.94%
2nd. Megan Anderson  20.06%
3rd. Felicia Spencer  12.98%
4th. Amanda Bell  8.8%
5th. Amber Leibrock  7.7%

11.5% of votes for remaining nominees
Arlene BlencoweEdiane GomesGabby HollowayGermaine de RandamieHelena KolesnykIony RazafiarisonJulia BuddOlga RubinSinead KavanaghTalita Nogueira

Bantamweight of the Year 2017
Amanda Nunes

Bantamweight (135lbs) of the Year
Amanda Nunes

2. Ketlen Vieira
3. Tonya Evinger

Amanda Nunes was able to successfully defend her Bantamweight title for a second time over a highly talented Valentina Shevchenko, making the Lioness longest-reigning female Champion in the UFC today.

Fan Favourite Bantamweight of the Year 2017
Holly Holm

Fan Favourite Bantamweight (135lbs) of the Year
Holly Holm

1st. Holly Holm  35.34%
2nd. Valentina Shevchenko  20.52%
3rd. Tonya Evinger  12.54%
4th. Amanda Nunes  11.4%
5th. Alexis Davis  4.56%

15.64% of votes for remaining nominees
Aspen LaddKatlyn ChookagianKetlen Vieira, Leslie Smith, Marion ReneauRaquel Pa'aluhiSara McMannSarah MorasShaianna RinconYana Kunitskaya

Flyweight of the Year 2017
Nicco Montano

Flyweight (125lbs) of the Year
Nicco Montano

2nd. Mara Borella
3rd. Priscila Cachoeira

Nicco Montano entered The Ultimate Fighter season 26 as a marked underdog, but rose to the challenge against more experienced fighters in order to earn her shot at the inaugural UFC Flyweight title. Nicco completed her Cinderella story with a victory at the TUF finale, and begins 2018 as champion of the UFC's newest division.

Fan Favourite Flyweight of the Year 2017
Andrea Lee

Fan Favourite Flyweight (125lbs) of the Year
Andrea Lee

1st. Andrea Lee  44.69%
2nd.  Roxanne Modafferi  14.17%
3rd. Agnieszka Niedźwiedź  /  Barb Honchak  6.54% each
4th. Kate Jackson  5.45%

22.61%% of votes for remaining nominees
Ariane LipskiEmily DucoteIlima-Lei MacfarlaneJennifer MaiaKarina RodriguezLauren MurphyMara BorellaMontana De La RosaNicco MontanoPriscila CachoeiraVanessa PortoXiong Jingnan

Strawweight of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

Strawweight (115lbs) of the Year
Rose Namajunas

2. Angela Lee
3. Tecia Torres

Rose Namajunas earned an opportunity to fight for the inaugural UFC Strawweight World title in 2014, but fell short in her title aspirations. A little under 3 years later, Rose completed her comeback to the top of the division with a momentous upset win to complete her run to the title.

Fan Favourite Strawweight of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

Fan Favourite Strawweight (115lbs) of the Year
Rose Namajunas

1st. Rose Namajunas  34.24%
2nd. Joanna Jedrzejczyk  18.19%
3rd. Karolina Kowalkiewicz  8.56%
4th. Felice Herrig / Angela Lee  6.42% each

26.17% of votes for remaining nominees
Alexa GrassoCarla EsparzaClaudia GadelhaCortney Casey-SanchezCynthia ArceoCynthia CalvilloJessica AndradeLivia Renata SouzaMackenzie DernNina AnsaroffRanda Markos-ThomasSunna DavidsdottirTecia TorresWeili Zhang

Atomweight of the Year 2017
Kanna Asakura

Atomweight (105lbs) of the Year
Kanna Asakura

2. Seo-Hee Ham
3. Rena Kubota

Kanna Asakura boasts 5 victories at Atomweight in 2017, including winning the DEEP-JEWELS and RIZIN Grand Prix tournaments. Kanna ended the year with highlight finishes in her two fights on New Year's Eve in her home country of Japan.

Fan Favourite Atomweight of the Year 2017
Melissa Karagianis

Fan Favourite Atomweight (105lbs) of the Year
Melissa Karagianis

1st. Melissa Karagianis  23.76%
2nd. Jinh Yu Frey  22.44%
3rd. Ashley Cummins  15.84%
4th. Amber Brown  9.24%
5th. Kyra Batara  7.92%

20.8% of votes for remaining nominees
Emi TomimatsuKanna AsakuraLizbeth López SilvaMina KurobePaulina GranadosSatomi TakanoSeo-Hee HamShino VanHooseStephanie AlbaTessa SimpsonTomo Maesawa



Newcomer of the Year 2017
Paulina Giemza

Newcomer of the Year
Paulina Giemza

2. Shaianna Rincon
3. Heather Hardy

Paulina deserved both Newcomer and Amateur of the year. To save repeating ourselves, we encourage you to read her achievements in the award below.

What does Newcomer mean in the Awakening Awards? It is a catch all term for anyone that arrives on the scene; either as an amateur or someone who has made their pro debut. For a pro to appear on this list they need to have made a significant wave of excitement as in the case of Shaianna and Heather. For an amateur to appear they need to have been undeniably outstanding - as in the case of Paulina.

Community's Newcomer of the Year 2017
Heather Hardy

Community's Newcomer of the Year 2017
Heather Hardy

1st. Heather Hardy  20.7%
2nd. Kayla Hracho  19.55%
3rd. Anna Astvik  18.4%
4th. Reina Miura / Paulina Giemza / Hannah Dawson  6.9% each

20.65% of votes for remaining nominees
Byelka SotoCamila RivarolaCornelia HolmCrystal Vanessa Demopoulos, Eunice OngFabiana GiampàGloria HoongHannah GuyJillian DeCourseyKiara RamosNicole SzepesvaryShaianna Rincon

Amateur of the Year 2017
Paulina Giemza

Amateur of the Year 2017
Paulina Giemza

2. Helen Peralta
3. Michele Oliveira

Paulina had an outstanding year, or half a year because all of her seven fights happened between May and November. Not only did she win the ALMMA tournament titles at Flyweight, Bantamweight and Featherweight, but six of her fights were stoppages - five of which in the first round!

Community's Amateur of the Year 2017
Kerry Isom

Community's Amateur of the Year 2017
Kerry Isom

1st. Kerry Isom  63.13%
2nd. Kayla Hracho  11.21%
3rd. Anna Astvik / Helen Peralta  5.9%

13.86% of votes for remaining nominees
Brittney Victoria GrizzelleDanni NeilanEunice OngFabiana GiampàGloria HoongHannah GuyKarolina WojcikKiara RamosMichele OliveiraPaulina Giemza, Reina Miura

KO/TKO of the Year 2017

KO/TKO of the Year 2017
Sabina Mazo vs Jamie Thornton
LFA 9

Sabina Mazo was featured in two nominations for knockout of the year, having impressively won by head kick KOs in not one, but two of her fights for Legacy Fighting Alliance. Her clean, perfectly placed kick towards the close of the first round at LFA 9 was our choice for KO of of the year.

Community's KO/TKO of the Year 2017

Community's KO/TKO of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas def.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk
UFC 217, UFC Strawweight title

1st.  Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk  59.4%
2nd. Holly Holm def. Bethe Correia  22.77%
3rd. Seo Hee Ham def. Jinh Yu Frey  4.95%

12.88% of votes for remaining nominees
Leah Letson def. Elizabeth Phillips, Megan Anderson def. Charmaine TweetSabina Mazo Isaza def. Jamie Thorton, Sabina Mazo Isaza def. Linsey Williams

Submission of the Year 2017

Submission of the Year 2017
Mackenzie Dern over Kaline Medeiros
Invicta FC

Mackenzie Dern announced her arrival at Invicta FC with an armbar victory. The skill and clean technique by the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt helped her remain undefeated in MMA. When deciding on a winner we chose clean and precise over something unusual.

Community's Submission of the Year 2017

Community's Submission of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas def. Michelle Waterson
Rear-Naked Choke at 2:47 of round 2.
UFC on FOX 24

1st. Rose Namajunas def. Michelle Waterson  31.75%
2nd. Valentina Shevchenko def. Julianna Pena  19.05%
3rd. Angela Lee def. Istela Nunes   17.78%
4th. Mackenzie Dern def. Kaline Medeiros 12.7%

18.27% of votes for remaining nominees
Claudia Gadelha vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Sarah Moras def. Ashlee Evans-SmithTiffany Masters def. Miki RogersVirna Jandiroba def. Amy Montenegro

Fight of the Year 2017
Andrade and Gadelha

Fight of the Year 2017
Jessica Andrade vs Claudia Gadelha
UFC

Three rounds of intense action, highlighted by multiple throws and slams through the air as well as many exciting exchanges, brought to a close one of the pivotal fights of the year for the strawweight division. While Jessica Andrade would go on to earn the win, together Andrade and Claudia Gadelha take home our Fight of the Year for their performance.

Community's Fight of the Year 2017
Cyborg vs Holm

Community's Fight of the Year 2017
Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg' (W) vs Holly Holm
UFC 219

1st. Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg' vs Holly Holm  58.56%
UFC 219
2nd. Jessica Andrade vs Claudia Gadelha  15.86%
UFC Fight Night 117
3rd. Sunna Davidsdottir vs Mallory Martin  10.98%
Invicta FC 24

14.6% of votes for remaining nominees
Amy Montengro vs Celine Haga, Jessica Andrade vs Angela Hill

Inspirational Female Fighter of the Year 2017
Nicco Montano

Inspirational Female Fighter of the Year 2017
Nicco Montano

Starting off 2017 with a loss, Nicco Montano had the comeback story of the year with her rise through the newly created UFC Flyweight division. Representing Navajo nation, Nicco was victorious over seasoned competitors throughout her journey to becoming World Champion.

Community's Inspirational Female Fighter of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

Community's Inspirational Female Fighter of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

1st. Rose Namajunas  52.53%
2nd. Holly Holm  10.3%
3rd. Roxanne Modafferi  8.24%
4th. Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg'  7.21%
5th. Barb Honchak  5.15%

16.57% of votes for remaining nominees
Amanda NunesAngela LeeCynthia ArceoNicco MontanoValentina Shevchenko



Personality of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

Personality of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

Newly crowned Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas kept her composure throughout the tense lead-up and fight versus Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Following her victory, an emotional Rose delivered a powerful post-fight speech of encouragement and kindness, qualities that she continues to embody as a martial artist and champion.

Community's Personality of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

Community's Personality of the Year 2017
Rose Namajunas

1st. Rose Namajunas  29.29%
2nd. Joanna Jedrzejczyk  13.4%
3rd. Cristiane Justino 'Cyborg'  12.06%
4th. Tonya Evinger  9.42%
5th. Heather Hardy  8.18%

27.65% of votes for remaining nominees
Amanda NunesLaura SankoRachael Ostovich-BerdonRoxanne ModafferiSijara Eubanks

Gym of the Year 2017
American Top Team

Gym of the Year 2017
American Top Team, FL

American Top Team coached Amanda Nunes and Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully for one title defense each. ATT is also responsible for the training of other notable female fighters such as Valerie Letourneau, Mara Borella, and Nina Ansaroff, all of whom went undefeated at a high level in 2017.

Community's Gym of the Year 2017
American Top Team

Community's Gym of the Year 2017
American Top Team, FL

1st. American Top Team, FL, USA  30.78%
2nd. Syndicate MMA, NV, USA / SBG, Ireland  14.58%
3rd. Jackson's MMA Association, NM, USA  8.1%

31.96% of votes for remaining nominees
303 Gym (CO, USA), Busan Team MAD (South Korea), Lobo Gym MMA (MEX), Nova União (BRA), RVCA Gym (Costa Mesa, USA), Team Alpha Male (CA, USA)

Media Source of the Year 2017
MMA Rising

Media Source of the Year 2017
MMA Rising

2nd. Wombat Sports
3rd. WMMA Today

If you don't use MMA Rising as part of your news digest then you should. Robert Sargent does a great job with news from around the world. The above sources are part of our reference material as well as many other websites that arguably have larger visitor numbers. These three listed here however deserve commendation for their highly informed support of the female fight industry.

Community's Media Source of the Year 2017
MMA Junkie

Community's Media Source of the Year 2017
MMA Junkie

1st. MMA Junkie  35.42%
2nd. MMA Fighting  26.18%
3rd. Bloody Elbow  15.4%

23% of votes for remaining nominees
MMA Rising, MMA Today, Wombat Sports

Journalist of the Year 2017
MarQ P @WMMANews

Journalist of the Year 2017
MarQ Piocos

2nd. Robert Sargeant / MMA Rising
3rd. Tim Peterson / WMMA Today

Marq Piocos of Wombat Sports has been one of the best sources of up to date information within the female fight community for a long time. He may not find as much time away from his daily commitments to write the volume of articles that Rob Sargent does, however his twitter account is an endless stream of useful content and expert knowledge. We would go as far as saying that most people reading this are already following him - if you're not, why not?

Community's Journalist of the Year 2017
Ariel Helwani

Community's Journalist of the Year 2017
Ariel Helwani

1st. Ariel Helwani  30.21%
2nd. Megan Olivi  19.08%
3rd. MarQ Piocos  17.49%
4th. Tim Peterson  14.31%
5th. Helen Yee  9.54%

9.37% of votes for remaining nominees
Amy Kaplan, Nolan Kings, Rober Sargent, Robin Black

Best Promotion of the Year 2017
UFC

Best Promotion of the Year 2017
UFC

2nd. Invicta FC
3rd. Bellator MMA

As women's MMA continues to grow and be recognized, promotions at the highest level continue to include more fights and divisions for female competitors. We strongly support all promotions who continue to bring opportunities for the athletes, of which there were several worthy contenders this year. We chose to recognize the UFC for 2017 with their introduction of not only one, but two new championships for female athletes with the addition of their Featherweight and Flyweight World titles.

Community's Best Promotion of the Year 2017
UFC

Community's Best Promotion of the Year 2017
UFC

1st. UFC  44.8%
2nd. Invicta FC  34.72%
3rd. Bellator MMA  13.44%

7.04% of votes for remaining nominees
Road FC, ONE FC, Legacy Fighting Alliance, IMMAF

Note: Arranging these awards each year is a huge process for such a small team. Inevitably someone always falls through the cracks and gets missed, this year sadly it was RIZIN who deserved to be listed in the nominations.  This was pointed out to us on twitter by charlie @cjsreport. We sincerely apologize for this oversight.

To see the results for the Awakening Female Muay Thai Awards 2017, click below.

Awakening Female Muay Thai Awards 2017

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