By TXMMA Staff
Announcing the Official Winners for 2015 TXMMA Awards – MMA Edition
The 2015 TXMMA Awards Official Edition winners have finally been decided by the TXMMA Staff Panel following a lengthy delay will shall not be repeated again in future years.
On the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) side there were 32 awards up for grabs with the goal of highlighting the top fighters, performances, and other contributors for 2015.
The results below indicate our choices for a variety of different categories with 2015 competition statistics as the number one determining factor for all the winners.
Congratulations to everyone who participated in these awards and to all the finalists who were nominated. You all deserve credit for an exceptional year in 2015.
Now let’s get on with the winners!
2015 TXMMA Awards – MMA Edition Official Winners
Professional MMA – Men’s Individual Categories
The rise of “Super” Sage Northcutt was the big story of 2015 with the 20 year old grabbing both the Texas UFC fighter and Regional Fighter of the Year awards for the season. He went 4-0 with 4 finishes as a Legacy fighter before getting signed to the UFC and winning his first two fights there in impressive fashion, also in 2015. Perhaps no other Texas fighter has stepped into the big leagues with such lofty expectations and he delivered on them to begin is promising career in 2015.
Elsewhere in the Texas MMA professional ranks, another fighter scored big in Alex Morono. He won both the Fight of the Year and Knockout of the Year awards for his performance against Blackzilian’s Valdir “BB Monster” Araujo – a fight which catapulted him into the UFC. Other winners included Steven “Ocho” Peterson for his guillotine choke victory over Caio Machado – perhaps his most dominant win to date. Honorable mention in that category to Levi Mowles for his twister victory over Jacob Norsworthy in Dallas. Last but not least, GB Texas’ Roberto Sanchez earned Rookie of the Year status with his first 3 pro wins all happening last year.
- Texas UFC Fighter of the Year – Sage Northcutt (6-0 total, 2 UFC)
- Regional Fighter of the Year – Sage Northcutt (6-0 total, 2 UFC)
- Rookie of the Year– Roberto Sanchez (3-0 in 2015)
- Fight of the Year – Valdir Araujo vs. Alex Morono (Legacy FC 44)
- Knockout of the Year – Valdir Araujo vs. Alex Morono (Legacy FC 44)
- Submission of the Year – Steven Peterson (Guillotine Choke at LFC 38)
Professional MMA – Women’s Individual Categories
“Triple Threat” Tonya Evinger was the big winner again in the women’s categories and not surprisingly so. The Invicta bantamweight champ scored big with wins over Irene Aldana and Pannie Kianzad to punctuate her 2015 campaign. The fight with Aldana scored Fight of the Year as well. There was no KO of the Year winner for 2015 but Bi Nguyen earned herself the TXMMA Submission of the Year with her armbar victory over Tony Leis at Legacy FC 48. Prospect Cassandra Spatz takes home Rookie of the Year after starting her career off with a TKO in 2015.
- Fighter of the Year– Tonya Evinger (GB Champion’s Forrest, Invicta Champion)
- Rookie of the Year – Cassandra (KC) Spatz (1-0 in 2015)
- Fight of the Year – Tonya Evinger vs. Irene Aldana (Invicta 13)
- Knockout of the Year– NONE
- Submission of the Year – Bi Nguyen (Armbar at LFC 48)
Amateur MMA – Individual Categories
It was another exciting year for the amateurs in 2015. Fighter of the Year was a close one with CJ Hancock and Cody Owens sporting identical records and title accomplishments. Hancock edged it out with his strength of schedule. Meanwhile Jasmine Crawford wins the award on the female side. Fight of the Year goes to Jake Heffernan and Zach Henson for their spectacular clash at Cage Combat 20 while Crawford and Elizabeth Palacios win on the women’s side for their first bout at EAC 9. Madison Johnson and Kenia Rosas take home the KO of the Year awards while Dylan Ashburn takes home the Submission of the Year for his win by twister at Legacy FC 38.
- Fighter of the Year (M) – CJ Hancock (3-0, 2 TITLE in 2015)
Honorable Mention: Cody Owens (3-0, 2 TITLE in 2015)
- Fighter of the Year (F) – Jasmine Crawford (2-0 in 2015)
- Fight of the Year M) – Jake Heffernan vs. Zach Henson (Cage Combat 20)
Fight of the Year (F) – Jasmine Crawford vs. Elizabeth Palacios (Elite Amateur Combat 9)
Knockout of the Year (M) – Madison Johnson vs. Aaron Valdez (FURY FC 7)
Knockout of the Year (F) – Kenia Rosas vs. Bi Nguyen (Fury FC 4)
Submission of the Year– Dylan Ashburn (Twister, Legacy 38)
Team and Additional Awards
Not very many surprised here. Octagon MMA with head coach Sayif Saud and Houston Muay Thai with coaches Bob Perez and Michael Chase Corley win out in the team awards for MMA and striking respectively. Meanwhile, Ray Blodget earned himself a Comeback Fighter of the Year award after going 2-0 in 2015 following 2 years of inactivity. Breakthrough fighter of 2015 goes to the obvious choice, Sage Northcutt while the Ironman Award for most fights taken goes to Clarence Brown and Kevin Holland for amateurs and pros respectively.
Moving along, Mick Maynard wins promoter of the year while the XFC riot that took place last February earns the dubious controversy of the year award. Chris Reed was voted the TDLR official of the year while Justin Wren earns the community service award for his work in the Congo through Fight for the Forgotten.
Last but not least, the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award and mythical TXMMA Hall of Fame induction goes to Tony Orozco Sr. Currently involved in the battle of his life against cancer, Tony has been around the Houston and Texas MMA Scene since the early days. He’s been around longer than this writer so excuse any inaccuracies here but I believe Tony’s involvement goes as far back as the founding stages of 4OZ Fight Club. He also founded Silverback Fight Club and was instrumental in bringing along many fighters both amateur and pro. Tony has also worked with many at-risk individuals, showing them a straighter path at life through MMA. This includes guys like Derrick Lewis, currently the top heavyweight in Texas and a successful UFC fighter who initially got his start through Silverback Fight Club. For better or worse, Orozco has always made an impact with his work in Houston and Texas MMA. We’d be remiss to mention his larger-than-life personality in this regard. Not completely devoid of controversy, there has never been a boring day when Orozco has been around. He’s caused many a discussion in his day with plenty of arguments and laughter galore. He’s definitely played a big part for making the local scene what it is in the Houston area and we recognize him for that. Definitely an award well earned here. Congratulations Tony.
- MMA Fight Team of the Year– Octagon MMA
- MMA Coach of the Year– Sayif Saud (Octagon MMA)
- Striking Gym of the Year – Houston Muay Thai
- Striking Coach of the Year– Bob Perez / Michael Chase Corley (HMT)
- Comeback Fighter of the Year – Ray Blodget (2-0 in 2015 after being inactive since 2013)
- Breakthrough Fighter of the Year– Sage Northcutt (6-0 total, 2 UFC)
- Ironman Fighter of the Year – Clarence Brown (amateur: 9 fights in 2015) Kevin Holland (pro: 6 fights in 2015)
- Pro Event of the Year– Legacy Fighting Championship 44
- Amateur Event of the Year– Cage Combat 20
- Controversy of the Year – XFC Riot at Gas Monkey Live
- Promoter of the Year– Mick Maynard (Legacy Fighting Championship
- State Official (Referee/Judge) of the Year– Chris Reed
- 2015 Community Service Award– Justin Wren – Fight for the Forgotten
- Lifetime Achievement / TXMMA Hall of Fame – Tony Orozco Sr.
Past Inductees: Steve Armstrong, Saekson Janjira, Guy Mezger, Yves Edwards