(We tried to give the Potato Awards a classier vibe this year. We failed.)
By the CagePotato Staff
Look, you already know how we feel about MMA awards ceremonies: They’re meaningless exercises tainted by personal bias and stupidity, in equal measures. The only thing that makes the Potato Awards different is that we’re completely honest about the fact that our awards are biased and stupid. But it’s the end of the year, and we have to acknowledge that somehow, right?
Putting together this year’s Potato Awards list was a harrowing experience. Honestly, 2014 was an awful year for mixed martial arts. It was the year that the UFC’s pay-per-view business tanked due to injured stars and general disinterest among fans — what else is new, amirite? — while competing promotions stooped to terrifying depths in order to get your attention. (Not that the UFC didn’t do some of that, too.) 2014 answered the question “Could the UFC survive an entire year without Anderson Silva and GSP?”, and that answer was “yes, but just barely.” It was also a year in which domestic violence incidents involving MMA fighters became a tragic recurring theme (see: War Machine, Thiago Silva, Josh Grispi, Anthony Johnson, Michael Johnson).
But years from now, we may look back at 2014 as an important turning point, thanks to some major developments that took place near the end of the year. Notably, the UFC’s Reebok uniform deal is poised to transform the sponsorship landscape, while the Le/Quarry/Fitch class-action lawsuit and the related suits that came out in its wake could drag out some long-hidden truths about the UFC’s finances. We don’t yet know if these developments will turn out to be good or bad overall, but MMA could be a lot more interesting in 2015.
As we enter a new year, let’s look back at the past 12 months that got us here — the highs, the lows, and the moments that were so “WTF?!” that they defy all judgment. Use the page links below to peruse our mostly-chronological list of 38 award categories, and thanks so much for sticking with CagePotato for another year.
Page 1: Comeback Fight of the Year, The Steve Nelmark Memorial “Is He Dead?” Award, MMA Screen-Caps of the Year, “Just Bleed” MMA Superfan of the Year Award
Page 2: Worst Performance in a Drug Test, The Cecil Peoples Shittiest Decision of the Year Award, Worst Event of the Year, Sponsor of the Year
Page 3: Submission of the Year, MMA GIF of the Year, Worst Fight of the Year, Most Embarrassing Knockout of the Year
Page 4: Greatest Unsanctioned Fight of the Year, Catchphrase of the Year, The Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year Award, Greatest Fight Canceled Due to Injury, Best Reference to Medieval Europe in MMA
Page 5: Knockout of the Year, Photo of the Year, Media Shill of the Year, Most Awkward Interview, Most Satisfying Beatdown
Page 6: The Gilbert Yvel Award for Outstanding Creativity in a Cheating Performance, Greatest Hype Inflation, Best Use of Social Media, Best MMA Personality Appearance in a Non-MMA Setting
Page 7: Most Bizarre News Story of the Year, The “Really? You’re Just Gonna Keep Doing That Shit That Gets You in All That Trouble?” Award a.k.a. “The Koppenhaver”, Best Event of the Year, The Minowaman Freak Show Hall of Fame Award
Page 8: Gnarliest Injury of the Year, Greatest Failed Propaganda of The Year, Worst Use of Social Media, MMA Fail of the Year
Page 9: Most Terrifying Game-Changer, Fight of the Year, “WTF?” Moment of the Year, Promotion of the Year