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The ten biggest stories in MMA for 2011

December 31st, 2011MORE MMA NEWS10. The year of injuries and retirement: The injury of GSP and Brock Lesnar have to be one of the biggest stories of 2011 as the UFC lost its biggest box office star in Brock Lesnar as he battled his second bout of diverticulitis. GSP would suffer a serious knee injury this month as he looks to be gone for a year. 9. Randy Couture retires: He is one of the most recognizable figures in mma and the UFC hall of famer finally called it a career following his loss to Lyoto Machida. 8. Fedor can’t win: Fedor Emelianenko is one of the most popular fighters in mma. He started the year 0-2 and was cut from Strikeforce. He at one point was considered unbeatable and following 3 straight losses has gone from pound for pound king to washed up. He has since won twice against a faded Jeff Monson and a light heavyweight Satoshi Ishii. 7. Alistair Overeem signs with the UFC: The most famous fighter not competing in the UFC finally signed with them following his win over Werdum. The Strikeforce heavyweight champion, Dream heavyweight champion and k1 champion is simply put one of the best fighters on the planet. 6. Chael Sonnen returns: The gangster from Oregon returned following his suspension for using steroids returned with a vengeance as he submitted Brian Stann. He then offered a loser leave town match with Anderson Silva. Like him or not the charismatic fighter is simply someone fans love to talk about.   5. Junior DosSantos defeats Cain Velasquez: Junior DosSantos and Cain Velasquez fought to record viewers on TV on the first fight on fox and DosSantos would knock out Velasquez to win the heavyweight title. Up next is an even bigger matchup against fellow striker Alistair Overeem. 4.  Jon Jones dominating contenders: He is without a doubt the fighter of the year as he foiled a robbery on the day of the biggest fight of his career and would win the UFC title against Shogun all on the same day. He would prove his worth as champion by submitting Rampage in his first defence and then submitting Lyoto Machida in his second defence. 3.  Bellator gets purchased by Viacom: Viacom bought majority shares in Bellator and the 3 year old promotion now has a big financial backer as the upstart company has considerable swagger now and with the UFC going to fox, the pending deal with Spike should increase potential viewers. 2. Strikeforce sold to UFC: The number two promotion Strikeforce was bought by the UFC and all of a sudden the top Strikeforce talent was heading over to the UFC in what can only be described as a list of dream matchups featuring Nick Diaz, Josh Barnett against the UFC TOP FIGHTERS. 1. UFC signs deal with FOX: This was the biggest year in the history of the UFC. But the biggest deal was leaving Spike for Fox and broadening their exposure in viewership and Mainstream media. The potential for growth has not reached its peak and the UFC has a lot to be proud of as the best is yet to come. Follow me on twitter @ 28nelson or my website

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