SportsJOE's Monday Morning Awards: Who earned our appreciation on the UFC's final card of 2015? 6 years ago

SportsJOE's Monday Morning Awards: Who earned our appreciation on the UFC's final card of 2015?

That'll do it, lads.

2015 in the UFC has come to an end and what a year it's been.


We've seen Jon Jones' belt taken away, Conor McGregor steal the show and Holly Holm brutally rob Ronda Rousey of her consciousness.

But it's not been all taking. We're in the giving mood as we approach Christmas and these are the four warriors who receive our coveted* Monday Morning Awards after a sublime UFC on Fox 17 fight card.

*Not coveted whatsoever

Knockout of the Night - Nate Marquardt


Who said anything about retirement?

Nate Marquardt proved that there's life in the old dog yet as he upset the odds with a picture-perfect knockout on the undercard of the Orlando event.

Marquardt was hurt in a tentative first round but proved his doubters wrong as he punished a tremendously naive entry from the less experienced CB Dolloway early on in the second.

Nate 'The Great' uncorked with a crunching right hook that put Dolloway out before he hit the mat, earning his first victory since last summer.


Submission of the Night - Tamdan McCrory

He's back!

The last time we saw Tamdan McCrory in the UFC, Brock Lesnar was the heavyweight champion, BJ Penn was the lightweight champion and there were only five weight classes in the promotion.


Six long years ago, McCrory lost to John Howard and took some time off from fighting before going 2-0 in Bellator over the past year which prompted Dana White to give him another chance.

McCrory more than grasped it as he absolutely dominated super-athlete and dangerous striker Josh Samman on the mat for fourteen minutes before finally locking up a triangle and patiently pursuing the finish which arrived with just fifteen seconds remaining on the clock.


Performance of the Night - Rafael dos Anjos

Does the lightweight division finally have the dominant force that it's never truly had?


Rafael dos Anjos could well be that man as he's cemented himself as the best fighter in a weight class that is arguably the most stacked in the world.

Dos Anjos raised many an impressed eyebrow with the most unanimous of unanimous decision victories over Anthony Pettis in March and trumped that with a definitive stoppage against Donald Cerrone in Saturday night's main event.

RDA slammed home a kick to the body before stalking 'Cowboy' down with a series of lead hooks and straight left hands which was the beginning of the end.

One to watch - Karolina Kowalkiewicz

What are they putting in the water in Poland?

Karolina Kowalkiewicz's UFC debut was not unlike the first promotional outing of fellow countrywoman Joanna Jedrzejczyk and her striking skills were not far off the 115 lb champ.

Her eighth professional fight was no gimme as she came up against a very game and hard-hitting Randa Markos, and Kowalkiewicz even lost a round but her stand-up never looked anything other than crisp, jarring and supremely technical throughout.

She has some way to go yet but we wouldn't be surprised to see an all-Poland strawweight title fight before the end of 2016.