Now that 2017 is over, we can look back on the year that was in the UFC. The year started a bit slow with only 3 PPV’s in the first 4 months, but it picked up as we went along and delivered plenty of memorable events. Great fights and fantastic finishes have become the norm but 2017 delivered 2 new divisions(women’s featherweight and flyweight), an upset for the ages, a record breaking title defense streak and the return of one of the greatest fighters ever.
Let’s look back on the year of 2017 by handing out some awards and discussing what’s next in 2018 for this ever growing sport.
UPSET OF THE YEAR: Rose Namajunas defeats Joanna Jedrzejczyk – This wasn’t just an upset of the year, this was a top 5 upset of all-time. Joanna had basically cleaned out the 115 lbs straw weight division and her fight against Namajunas seemed more of a formality as everyone just figured she would win and then possibly move up to the new 125 lbs women's division to challenge for the title there. To make Rose's odds seem even more unfavorable, her 2 losses in the UFC were to Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Carla Esparza, 2 women that Joanna has beaten so if she couldn't beat them and they were unable to defeat Joanna then the transitive property says that Rose cannot beat Joanna. But at UFC 217, Rose Namajunas did the unthinkable, she stopped Joanna midway through the 1st round via TKO(punches/verbal submission) to become the new straw weight champion. And it's not just that she beat her, but the way she did. Joanna is renowned as the best striker in the division and she has outclassed everyone that has stood and traded with her, for Rose to dominate her on her feet and get a TKO win by knocking her down and punching her until Joanna verbally told the ref to call it is just mindblowing. Huge win for Rose Namajunas and easily the 2017 upset of the year.