UFC champions Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya nominated for World MMA Awards
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By Temisan Amoye

Nigerian UFC contingent comprising the reigning Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya have been nominated in different categories for the 2021 World MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) awards.

Usman aka The Nigerian Nightmare who knocked out Jorge Masvidal in April to retain his Welterweight title has been nominated in the Male Fighter of the Year and Knockout of the Year categories, while Israel Adesanya, despite suffering his first MMA defeat to Jan Blachowicz, has been nominated in the International Fighter of the Year category.

Other notable nominees include UFC supremo, Dana White, and Yaroslav Amosov with 3 nominations, recently retired Russian UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Jan Blachowicz, and Brandon Romero with 2 nominations each, while Robert Whitaker has a solitary nomination.

UFC champions Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya nominated for World MMA Awards
UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Photo: Esther Lin MMA Fighting

Popular podcast host and former MMA fighter Joe Rogan has also been nominated in the Personality of the Year.

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Full list of nominees

Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis Male Fighter of the Year
Kamaru Usman
Brandon Moreno
Yaroslav Amosov
Charles Oliveira
Jan Blachowicz

Female Fighter of the Year
Mackenzie Dern
Kayla Harrison
Valentina Shevchenko
Rose Namajunas
Manon Fiorot

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year
Khamzat Chimaev
Jirí Prochazka
Brandon Moreno
Yaroslav Amosov
Kevin Holland

International Fighter of the Year
Vadim Nemkov
Israel Adesanya
Yaroslav Amosov
Robert Whittaker
Jan Blachowicz

Fight of the Year
Paul Daley vs. Sabah Homasi – Bellator 257
Edson Barboza vs. Shane Burgos – UFC 262
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno I – UFC 256
Jiří Procházka vs. Dominick Reyes – UFC on ESPN 23
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Miguel Baeza – UFC on ESPN+ 47

Knockout of the Year
Joaquin Buckley vs. Impa Kasanganay – Back Kick – UFC on ESPN+ 37
Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal – Punch – UFC 261
Cory Sandhagen vs. Frankie Edgar – Flying Knee – UFC on ESPN+ 42
Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza – Punch – UFC 262
Mamed Khalidov vs. Scott Askham – Flying Switch Kick – KSW 55

Submission of the Year
AJ McKee vs. Darrion Caldwell – Neck Crank – Bellator 253
Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill – Armbar/Triangle – UFC 264
Jimmy Flick vs. Cody Durden – Flying Triangle – UFC on ESPN+ 41
Anthony Hernandez vs. Rodolfo Vieira – Guillotine – UFC 258
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje – Triangle – UFC 254

Comeback of the Year
Paul Daley vs. Sabah Homasi – Bellator 257
Thanh Le vs. Martin Nguyen – ONE: Inside the Matrix
Sean Strickland (Career)
Rose Namajunas (Career)
Charles Oliviera vs. Michael Chandler – UFC 262

Upset of the Year
Adriano Moraes vs. Demetrious Johnson – ONE on TNT 1
Shana Dobson vs. Mariya Agapova – UFC on ESPN 15
Clay Collard vs. Anthony Pettis – PFL 2021 #1
Ok Rae Yoon vs. Eddie Alvarez – ONE on TNT 4
Anthony Hernandez vs. Rodolfo Vieira – UFC 258

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Shawn Tompkins Coach of the Year
Eric Nicksick
Henri Hooft
Mike Brown
Trevor Wittman
Jason Parillo

Trainer of the Year
Phil Daru
Sam Calavitta
Jordan Sullivan
Chase Cichos
Bo Sandoval

Gym of the Year
American Top Team
City Kickboxing
Elevation Fight Team
Sanford MMA

Referee of the Year
Herb Dean
Dan Miragliotta
Mark Smith
Jason Herzog
Marc Goddard

Ringcard Girl of the Year
Arianny Celeste
Luciana Andrade
Brookliyn Wren
Brittney Palmer
Kasia Motloch Kejsi

Leading Man of the Year
Dana White
Ed Soares
Mohammed Shahid
Densign White
Scott Coker

Best Promotion of the Year
Bellator MMA
Brave Combat Federation
UAE Warriors

Personality of the Year
Jon Anik
Daniel Cormier
Joe Rogan
Laura Sanko
Chael Sonnen

Analyst of the Year
Robin Black
Michael Bisping
Paul Felder
Dan Hardy
John McCarthy

Best MMA Programming
Morning Kombat
Dana White’s Contender Series
DC & Helwani
UFC Embedded

MMA Media Source of the Year
The Mac Life
BT Sport
MMA Fighting
MMA Junkie

MMA Journalist of the Year
John Morgan
Shaheen Al-Shatti
Brett Okamoto
Ariel Helwani
Oscar Willis

Fighting Spirit of the Year
Khabib Nurmagomedov (Compassion vs. Justin Gaethje – transitioned from an arm bar to triangle to avoid distressing Gaethje’s parents).

Terrance McKinney (Recovery – from overcoming drug addiction and near death to UFC call up and winning debut)

Brandon Moreno (Perseverance – from being cut to fighting back and becoming the first Mexican UFC champion)

Dustin Poirier (Charity – continued efforts with The Good Fight Foundation giving back to the local community in Louisiana)

Dana White (Leadership – when all sports were down and out due to Covid-19, against all the odds, Dana White made Fight Island real)

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