UFC names top 10 fighters of 2012, Bendo takes top spot

2012 wasn’t exactly the year everyone thought it would be. With some of the best fights imaginable set to happen, MMA fans were let down over and over again by injuries and last minute changes. With that said this years list of top fighters seems to favor a combination of those who not only performed well, but were the most active throughout the year.

One very underrated fighter I’m personally glad to see on the list is Matt Brown who not was not only the most active but went on a 4-fight winning streak in the process. One of the biggest stand outs of course would have to be the one fighter who exhibited a good mix of both performance and activity, and that was none other than Benson Henderson.

Winning two separate decisions over Frankie Edgar, while I’ll admit were debatable but also impressive, and recently dominating #1 contender Nate Diaz. It’s no wonder the UFC chose Henderson this year.

Although personally I would have chosen Cain Velasquez based on his complete dominance of both his opponents, working his way back and winning the belt for the second time in the process, especially from such a dominant champion. But what do you think?

I’d have to agree with this list for the most part, but do you? Who would you name fighter of the year? Check out the official list below and then give us your thoughts in the comments!

10. Constantinos Philippou (3-0)
9. Anderson Silva (2-0)
8. Mike Pyle (3-0)
7. Cub Swanson (3-0)
6. Stefan Struve (3-0)
5. Cain Velasquez (2-0)
4. Matt Brown (4-0)
3. Demetrious Johnson (2-0-1)
2. Jon Jones (2-0)
1. Ben Henderson (3-0)


  1. Profile photo of thealex


    January 10, 2013 at 1:46 am

    i happy to see matt brown in the list he had a tremendous year!!

  2. Profile photo of highkick12


    January 10, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Henderson not having a single finish earns #1? ….

  3. Profile photo of azzkika


    January 10, 2013 at 5:11 am

    And one decision was clearly wrong and another debateable. His win over Diaz was impressive though. I have no idea how Silva makes this list with a win over Sonnen and a win over Bonnar. These lists are just an opinion and often prone to ignorance and prejudice

  4. Profile photo of enjoylife321


    January 10, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Ben Hendo definetly does not come in at No 1 for me…I'm with Bryan on this one…I like Cain's effort after he loss to jnr and reclaimed the belt in a 25 minute annihilation of JDS and the warm up bloodbath with bigfoot.

  5. Profile photo of wolvie316


    January 10, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Bendo clearly won his first fight against Edgar. Only those in denial would think differently. I agree, the second fight was much closer and I actually scored it for Edgar but just barely but there shouldn't have been a rematch to begin with.

    • Profile photo of KeithFarrell


      January 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Clearly… so clear there was a huge out roar in the MMA community about how bad the decision was (talking about the second fight)

    • Profile photo of Kris-tyahn


      January 12, 2013 at 12:40 am

      Wolvie: Apparently you are the ONLY one who thinks Bendo won the 1st Edgar fight & that there shouldn't have been a rematch! 10Weak & 1Sharp – which I know you gave yourself ….. Seems you are the one in denial. I don't remember the 1st fight, but the 2nd fight was Edgars hands down!

  6. Profile photo of EazyMuthaphukkinE


    January 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

    No Johnny Hendricks?

  7. Profile photo of Mike Drahota

    Mike Drahota

    January 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Johny has to be on there. And I think it's a bit ridiculous to name Bendo no. 1 when so many thought he lost his second bout to Frankie. Which he did. Cain's a beast. He deserves it.

  8. Profile photo of KeithFarrell


    January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Ben Henderson at #1 is laughable. I think he should probbaly be on the list but top 3 is crazy – He arguably lost his first fight with Frankie and definitely didn't come out of it looking like a world beater (basically did the upkick and an attempted guillotine, not much else), the rematch was a obvious win for Edgar in just about everyone's eyes except the judges.
    Bendo did amazing in his 3rd fight but is one good win, within 3 decisions, enough to be the Fighter of the Year?

    I think Cain Velasqeuz deserves the nod after mutilating Bigfoot Silva, finishing him disturbingly in the first round, and then going on to avenge his only loss against a champion universally ranked top 8 P4P in the world.
    Both of Cain's wins are could be argued for the biggest one sided beatings in the whole year as well.

    I think this may be the UFC trying to bolster their young champion's stock after not too much love this year (prior to Diaz fit anyway).

  9. Profile photo of KeithFarrell


    January 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    John Hendricks may deserve to be on this list but it is arguable, remember his win over Fitch was Dec 2011 so it doesn't count for this award (the UFC is using the criteria of including fights ONLY in 2012).

    If they were using Dec 2011 as well (which would include Hendrick's win over Fitch) Jon Jones would surely get the nod for #1, seeing as he would be 3-0 over former world champs that are still top of their divisions and finished two of them.

  10. Profile photo of Def_tac


    January 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Who in the world put Ben Henderson as the #1. He questionably beat Frankie not once but twice. whoever made this list must have been paid off or they couldn't make the deadline for a story.

  11. Profile photo of xpballer


    January 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Ben Henderson is a great fighter, and he pwns kids no doubt. But i cant help but feel bad for Anthony Pettis…. I watched this show that was on mtv a couple years back called 'the world of jenks', it was a show where this guy would live the life of certain types of people. Well, one episode he lived with an mma fighter while he had a fight coming up. That fighter was Anthony Pettis. I've been a fan of mma for a long time, but I instantly became a pettis fan after i watched it. He came into the ufc as a champion, with a dominant victory over ben henderson. bendo fans can argue that 'close' fight all they want, but he beat bendo impressively, period. I feel like he kinda got fucked over and due to some of the situations with injuries and repeat fights, he got pushed to the wayside and got the short end of the ufc stick. If all that didnt happen, who knows, maybe wed be looking at anthony pettis in the #1 spot today… the man was a champion, and in my opinion, deserves his shot.

  12. Profile photo of ljense8


    January 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I'm actually happy to see Costa Philippou on the list. The guy won't ever be champ, but he brings it every time and puts on a great show. He has an exciting style and a great work ethic.

  13. Profile photo of grandslam


    January 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    In my view, the top fighter of the year is Cain. He dominated his division like no one else.

  14. Profile photo of TheRealDeal


    January 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I'd give #1 to Sonnen, based on the fact that he is proving that fighting can be about more than actual wins and losses. If earning two title shots in one year in two different weight classes (yes, he earned the Jone's shot in 2012), isn't enough for fighter of the year, then what is?


  15. Profile photo of Kris-tyahn


    January 12, 2013 at 12:51 am

    It's sooo funny how people are crying that Ben Henderson got #1 b/c of his controversial win(s) over Edgar, yet some of you want Hendricks on there b/c he beat Kampmann & won a controversial decision vs. Koscheck. Yeah that makes a lot of sense!

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