They’ve not been around as long as Big Wheels, but the Fighter’s Only MMA Awards are a big deal.
The ceremony put on by the global company that produces magazines in the U.S., U.K., South Africa, Germany and Canada in addition to a worldwide publication, is the only annual event that acknowledges the milestones and achievements of mixed martial arts. Organized by Fighter’s Only, the function is ready to delve into its fourth consecutive year of celebrations on Wednesday at the Pearl Theatre inside the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Two new categories – Comeback of the Year and MMA Personality of the Year – were added this year.
Celebrities from outside the MMA world are brought in to attract non-MMA viewers. As opposed to last year, Wednesday’s show will be broadcast on Fox instead of an internet stream, which is sure to bring more spectators.
Among the awards is a Lifetime Achievement award, something Randy Couture acquired last year while co-hosting the program with CBS Sports journalist and former MMA Live (ESPN) personality Molly Qerim. Couture was humorous, professional and well-received in the role.
This year Fighter’s Only went a different direction with Qerim’s partner, the imitable Chael Sonnen.
“I think Chael will be brilliant,” Fighter’s Only CEO Rob Hewitt told MMADieHards.com. “I think he has the look, the confidence and the personality to go in there and do a great job. He’s entertaining and he’s a well-known name in the sport. People want to hear what Chael has to say and I think the fans at the show and at home watching will enjoy what Chael brings to the ceremony. He’s co-hosting with Molly Qerim, who is a lovely woman, very beautiful and a great journalist herself. I think the two of them will give the fans a great show. I’m looking forward to it.”
Loved or hated, Sonnen attracts fans, the same fans that Hewitt allows to decide the winners. The nominees are pared down by an industry ensemble.
“We have six international magazines and....