2017 BluegrassMMA Awards winners
The voting is done, and it’s time to crown the 2017 BluegrassMMA Awards winners. Here are the 2017 winners:
Pro Fighter of the Year: Jeff Hughes
With more than 31% of the vote, Jeff Hughes is the 2017 BluegrassMMA Pro Fighter of the Year award. Hughes (8-1) had just two fights in 2017, as he first topped Ryan Pokryfky at RFO: Big Guns 24 in June. Then, “Lights Out” had the biggest win of his career, as he claimed the LFA heavyweight title by topping former champion Richard Odoms via decision at LFA 26. He’s ranked as the No. 1 pro heavyweight in Ohio by Tapology.
Runner up: Cameron VanCamp. Third place: John Gunther.
Amateur Fighter of the Year: Tyler Shipp
With more than 32% of the vote, Tyler Shipp is the 2017 BluegrassMMA Amateur Fighter of the Year. After finally graduating high school, Indiana’s Shipp (6-0) was able to concentrate fully on MMA. He had an impressive year, winning three Hardrock MMA titles in three different weight classes. He defeated Josh Schlenker to win the heavyweight title at Hardrock MMA 86, beat Nick Jewell to earn the light heavyweight title at Hardrock MMA 91, and finished Nathan Pierce to close out the year by winning the middleweight title at Hardrock MMA 96.
Runner up: Dalton Rosta. Third place: Brian Hauser.
Pro Knockout of the Year: Jamal Mohammed over James Adcock – Hardrock MMA 91
Jamal Mohammad wins the 2017 BluegrassMMA Pro KO of the Year for his first round finish over James Adcock at Hardrock MMA 91 in July.
Runner up: Tywan Claxton over Jonny Bonilla-Bowman – Bellator 186. Third place: Jacob Kilburn over Edward Massey – Valor Fights 46.
Amateur Knockout of the Year: Brian Hauser over Ben Willeford – IT Fight Series 76
Brian Hauser wins the 2017 BluegrassMMA Amateur KO of the Year award for his finish of Ben Willeford at IT Fight Series 76.
Runner up: Cameron Pool over Charles Lamp – Bayfront Brawl III. Third place: Linda Mihalec over Jennifer Lee – V3 Fights 62.
Pro Submission of the Year: Devonte Smith triangle over Damonte Robinson – IT Fight Series 74
For the third year in a row, Devonte Smith wins a BluegrassMMA Award. This year, he takes home Pro Submission of the Year for his triangle victory over Damonte Robinson at IT Fight Series 74 in July.
Runner up: Cameron VanCamp triangle over Que Parks – Hardrock MMA 93. Third place: Gina Begley arm bar over Taylor Turner – Border Wars: Valor vs. Warrior FC
Amateur Submission of the Year: Max Meese arm bar over Tony Kirksey – RFO: Big Guns 25
Max Meese wins the 2017 BluegrassMMA Amateur Submission of the Year for his arm bar over Tony Kirksey at RFO: Big Guns 25 in September.
Runner up: Mike Walters D’arce choke over Max Meese – Caged Thunder 1. Third place: Ian Pomfret arm bar over Isaiah Watkins – Colosseum Combat XLI.
Pro Fight of the Year: John Gunther vs. Devonte Smith – RFO: Big Guns 22
Devonte Smith wins a second award on the year, although he came up short in the 2017 BluegrassMMA Pro Fight of the Year against John Gunther at RFO: Big Guns 22 in January.
Runner up: Tom Shoaff vs. Tyler Combs – Colosseum Combat XXXVII. Third place: Brandon Bell vs. Ben Sergent – Border Wars: Valor vs. Warrior FC
Amateur Fight of the Year: Hope Chase vs. Liz Lewis – Bayfront Brawl IV
Runner up: Chase Boutwell vs. Stone Beverly – Border Wars: Valor vs. Warrior FC. Third place: Apineru Vele vs. James Shaffer – Colosseum Combat XL
Promotion of the Year: RFO
RFO seems to have gone out with a bang, as the promotion wins Promotion of the Year for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, promoter Matt Trukovich recently announced that he’s decided to call it quits with RFO.
Runner up: Hardrock MMA. Third place: Colosseum Combat.
Event of the Year: RFO: Big Guns 24
Also for the second year in a row, RFO wins Event of the Year for RFO: Big Guns 24.
Runner up: Hardrock MMA 89. Third place: Colosseum Combat XLI
Ring Announcer of the Year: Jake Digman
Jake Digman is crowned Ring Announcer of the Year, as the RFO emcee topped a very good field this year.
Runner up: Jennifer Oxendine. Third place: Brady Davis.
Matchmaker of the Year: Scott Corbin – RFO/Honor FC/Caged Thunder
Scott Corbin is always one of the busiest matchmakers around, and he wins the 2017 BluegrassMMA Matchmaker of the Year award.
Runner up: Mark Slater – Colosseum Combat. Third place: Nichole Castillo – IT Fight Series/Bizzarro Promotions.