Elite champs sweep the Yahoo Sports 2017 MMA Fighters of the Year honors

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist

Some years, there are many fighters who run away from the field and are obvious selections as the mixed martial arts Fighter of the Year.

Such is not the case in 2017 in MMA, however. While there were many very good to excellent performances, nobody built an overwhelming case for themselves to win the honor.

In choosing both my male and female Fighters of the Year for MMA, I came up with three semifinalists in each and then narrowed it down from there.

On the women’s side, my three semifinalists are UFC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino, UFC strawweight champion “Thug” Rose Namajunas and Bellator flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.

For the men, I chose three UFC champions as my semifinalists: UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and UFC flyweieght champion, Demetrious Johnson, the pound-for-pound king.

There were pluses and minuses for each contender. Watch the video and see who I chose and why, and let us know who you would have gone with as 2017 Fighter of the Year in both the men’s and women’s classes.

Rose Namajunas celebrates her stoppage of Joanna Jędrzejczyk at Madison Square Garden in New York that carried her to the UFC women’s strawweight title. (Getty Images)