A year's worth of action in six months time -- that is how the first half of 2009 felt for many mixed martial arts fans. With some of the most anticipated fights of the year looming large, now feels like the right time to pause for a breath.
Here's an early glance at the tops of 2009.
Machida is a clear favorite at the midway point. With two major wins in the bank -- over
His unique style and martial arts heritage make the 31-year-old Brazilian one of the most discussed fighters in the sport after his thrashing of Evans in May.
Of course, should any of the aforementioned fighters lose then a strong contingent of off-the-radar candidates might emerge. For now, Machida and the the rest of the quartet are clear frontrunners.
Kaufman (10-0) has separated herself from the pack with three wins in three fights, but you can't make mention of fighter of the year honors on the female side without discussing Aug. 15's showdown between
It seems like every weekend a new fight video turns into a viral clip. Of the many entertaining and meaningful bouts that played out from January through June,
Hoping for a repeat of last year's honor when he and
There has been no shortage of beautiful submissions to choose from, but
It'll take some sort of levitating submission -- one no one has seen before -- to trump Imada's leg choke. I'm not sure a
The early consensus made
• Jose Aldo's