MMA 2010 Half-Year Awards

PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 29:  UFC fighter Chris Leben (L) battles UFC fighter Jake Rosholt (R) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 102:  Couture vs. Nogueira at the Rose Garden Arena on August 29, 2009 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Who has been the best fighter over the past half year in MMA? What about the best fight or the biggest upset?

Heavy.com compiled its half-year awards for 2010 in MMA, handing out honors to the best fighter, the best knockout, the best submission and much more.

Chris Leben was the recipient of best fighter.

This is one tough category to pick. Most contending fighters have only one fight for us to judge them by, meaning you’re looking at a virtual crapshoot when it comes to picking between them.

Because of that, I went with a guy who not only has three fights, but two of them came within two weeks of each other. Leben’s victory over Aaron Simpson was surprising. He went into the fight as a significant underdog who should’ve been overwhelmed by Simpson’s wrestling. Instead, Leben used a surprisingly well-rounded skill set to stop Simpson’s takedown and batter him into a second-round TKO.

Two weeks later, he went into the cage against Yoshihiro Akiyama on short notice and, in one of the most thrilling fights of the year, submitted Akiyama in dramatic fashion to score the biggest win of his career. On top of the two biggest wins of his career, he’s got a win over Jay Silva in January, giving him three solid victories in a year where many fighters only have one.

To check out all of their first-half awards, click here.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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