It’s taken a while to get this series going but it’s finally the time to do so. As with last year this year the contributors for the site of the past year will be honored. Any article written in 2014 is eligible and of course not all the nominated articles made it so here’s the honorable mentions:
-Monthly Rankings – by Matthew Salzer. The monthly articles based on the rankings panel’s complied voting results at different weights.
-Breaking down Diego Sanchez – Tom Heffernan. An article about Diego Sanchez‘s recent fight strategy and how his career’s gone.
-Have You Heard? UFC 171 is not about GSP – Ben McPhee. Talking about UFC 171 and how the main event isn’t about Georges St.-Pierre.
-Is Fedor Emelianenko UFC Hall of Fame worth? – Ben McPhee. An analysis about how Fedor Emelianenko shouldn’t be in the UFC HOF.
-Can old school fighters win titles? – Gabriel Keith. By our Editor-in-Chief about how several MMA veterans could win UFC titles in 2014.
-Nick Diaz Arrested…Again – Tom Heffernan. An article reporting on and talking about Nick Diaz‘s arrest and his overall attitude.
-Cris Cyborg will take Ronda Rousey’s title – Gabriel Keith. Another one of our Editor-n-Chief’s articles, this one about Justino facing Rousey.
-Kaliesh-ing the Beast (parts 1-3) – Brian Jerry. A three part series about boxing champion Kaliesha West and her transition to MMA.
-Veterans Day 2014 Special: Top 10 MMA Veterans – Matthew Salzer. An article in honor of Veteran’s Day about the top 10 MMA veterans.
-Luke Rockhold slips up before Michael Bisping fight – Tom Heffernan.
With that the top 10 articles of 2014 will be covered. At the end the author with the top article will be honored:
10) GSP retired and so should Dana White if steriod use in the UFC isn’t outlawed by Gabriel Keith
At the time that MMA Freak writer Tom Heffernan wrote this article there were several issues in the UFC regarding performance enhancing drugs. TRT was still legal with physician’s notes and there was the occasional random drug test that turned out positive. That of course was out of control for UFC President Dana White but he still could have been taking a more proactive role in the whole TRT issue at the time. Since then there was the issues regarding after TRT was revoked completely Chael Sonnen and the four different positive drug tests in January alone in UFC events. One does have to wonder now though if Georges St.-Pierre‘s statements don’t have validity now.
9) Top 10 series by Matthew Salzer
While the rankings were listed in this choice of the ballot, the emphasis on these lists are theme’s of the various lists. This covers anything from the Top 10 Fights of the Various Months of the Year to lists themed around various holidays, one of which was specifically voted on later in this list. They serve a purpose to help educate those in the MMA community or those who are researching or new to MMA. Regardless it is a type of opinion piece that will continue as the years go on. The topics for the various top 10s are almost endless.
8) The blind lead the dumb as harsh MMA critics refuse to go away by Tom Heffernan
In light of the UFC coming to Australia, Australian journalist Phil Rothfield wrote on article where he resorted to calling MMA various things. Some of the adjectives he used were “barbaric savagery” and contained his call to ban the sport from the country. It was for this reason that MMA Freak’s Scottish correspondent Tom Heffernan wrote a piece addressing how MMA was anything but the no-holds-barred competition that it used to be. Facts like Olympic athletes and Rich Franklin‘s past career as a math teacher were listed. All of the facts were well addressed and if Rothfield had seen it he may have slightly changed his mind.
7) Are Jones/Cormier good role models? by Ben McPhee
This article was written shortly after the media brawl between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. It was an embarrassing moment for the UFC and only built the tension between these two until they actually fought. To address the issue, Ben PcPhee talked about how Jones and Cormier were not good role models for the youth of today and it was completely understandable. Jones was already on the do not follow list because of various issues over the years. Cormier obviously has a tendency to smack talk so he was on the list as well.
6) Dana White doesn’t speak for everyone by Brian Jerry
Dana White has a huge tendency to shoot his mouth off on a regular basis and usually about anything possible. He talks about topics and addresses his opinion very strongly. His emotions range from calm to a full on rant about the issue. It was because of this issue that Brian Jerry talked about how White doesn’t speak for the MMA community as a whole when he addresses any issue. However, many outsiders look at him and assume he does because of his outspoken nature and assertive nature.
5) Best of Series: MMA Freak Hall of Fame 2014 by Matthew Salzer
When one hears the phrase “Hall of Fame” the idea is that those in such a hall are the best of the best in whatever field they are in. The MMA Freak Hall of Fame was created to honor those in the sport who have sacrificed for the sport in some way or another. Because the UFC Hall of Fame is biased, the MMA Freak Hall of Fame was written to be unbiased and induct those who are truly deserving of such an honor. The article included this year’s inductees as well as reviewing last year’s inaugural inductees as well. It was truly an honoring moment.
4) Conor McGregor – A Game Changer for MMA by Tom Heffernan
Conor McGregor has certainly made a splash in MMA and even gained some recognition for it. His smack talk and entertaining attitude have lead to some exciting fights and has now lead to his title shot against UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. It was during his rise that Tom Heffernan wrote this article about how much McGregor has changed MMA. As is typical it was well addressed and the points were made rather well. Also addressed was Dana White‘s nature to be biased which only helped in this article.
3) UFC champ Jon Jones doesn’t want Alexander Gustafsson next and it makes sense by Gabriel Keith
Gabriel Keith made a point to write about Jon Jones hesitancy to face Alexander Gustafsson so soon after their first meeting. He addressed all the benefits about Jones desire not to face his former opponent. Several events have transpired since that time. This was written in March when Gustafsson dismantled Jimi Manuwa. It was certainly relevant at the time.
2) The UFC Octagon is a symbol of accepting the winner and loser in all of us by Gabriel Keith
This article wasn’t inspired by any particular incident but about the UFC and the competitive nature overall. It talks about the reason why people are attracted to MMA and the UFC in particular. Life overall is competitive and as a result people like competition. Editor-n-Chief Gabriel Keith understands that. It was for this reason that he wrote this article to help people inspire to be better.
1) UFC comes to Scotland in 2015 by Tom Heffernan
Several people have helped build MMA Freak to where it is now and are still continuing to do so. This article however by our own Tom “Heff” Heffernan has probably garnered as much attention as has been possible. It was regarding a tweet to Dana White about a possible UFC event in Scotland which was actually addressed by the UFC President. The article garnered so much attention that the media in Scotland also ran with it. For this reason, MMA Freak extends a congratulations to Tom Heffernan for writing the article of the year!
Continue to stay tuned for the Best of 2014 series.