Now that 2014 is in the books, it’s time to reflect on some of the great fights and performances that took place inside the Invicta cage over the last year.
Over the last week, we asked you, the fans, to help determine winners in five categories: Fighter of the Year, Fight of the Year, Knockout of the Year, Submission of the Year and Upset of the Year.
The votes have been tallied and your voices have been heard. Let’s take a look at the winners.
Upset of the Year
Brazil’s Herica Tiburcio scored the year’s biggest upset in December. The 22-year-old shocked the MMA world with her third-round submission win over Michelle Waterson at Invicta FC 10 to capture the Invicta atomweight title.
Tiburcio edged out red-hot bantamweight Tonya Evinger, who spoiled the 135-pound debut of Brazilian Ediane Gomes at Invicta FC 8 with a first-round armbar finish.
Submission of the Year
The year’s top submission award went to Mexican bantamweight Irene Aldana. The hard-hitting fighter battered opponent Peggy Morgan from the opening bell of their Invicta FC 8 contest, setting up the fight-finishing rear-naked choke.
Aldana’s dominant performance beat out newly crowned strawweight champion Katja Kankaanpää’s d’arce choke finish of Stephanie Eggink.
Knockout of the Year
There was little debate as to which fighter earned the nod for knockout of the year. Mexico’s Alexa Grasso joined her Lobo Gym teammate Irene Aldana, taking the first of three awards, for her violent finish of Alida Gray at Invicta FC 10.
Grasso’s big victory topped DeAnna Bennett’s win over Michelle Ould from Invicta FC 8.
Fight of the Year
Alexa Grasso’s win over Alida Gray was enough to secure the knockout of the year award, but it was her hard-fought Invicta debut against a very game Ashley Cummins at Invicta FC 8 that was voted as the fight of the year.
Cummins pushed the undefeated Mexican fighter for the full 15 minutes, but when it was all said and done, Grasso walked away with the decision win. The back-and-forth battle bested another strawweight war between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Mizuki Inoue for the honor.
Fighter of the Year
There were many deserving candidates for this year’s fighter of the year award. From champions Herica Tiburcio and Katja Kankaanpää to the resurgent Tonya Evinger and Roxanne Modafferi, all the nominees made a strong case inside the Invicta cage in 2014.
Yet, once again, it was unbeaten strawweight Alexa Grasso who earned your votes as the fighter of the year. The 21-year-old Mexican fighter moved her record to 6-0 with wins over Ashley Cummins and Alida Gray in her two bouts in the Invicta cage.
Thanks to all of you that voted! Remember you can go back and re-live all of the year’s action on UFC Fight Pass.