Rob Hewitt, CEO of Fighters Only, is pleased to announce that Chael Sonnen is returning to host the 14th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards this Thursday, December 8, at the iconic SAHARA Las Vegas and live on ESPN+.

Sonnen is one of the most recognizable personalities ever in the sport, both in and outside of the cage. After a legendary MMA career, which saw him compete against some the biggest names of our time, ‘The Bad Guy’ seamlessly transitioned into his role in front of the camera with his various analyst positions, podcasts, and his popular YouTube channel.

Known for his unpredictable remarks, polarizing takes on the sport, quick wit, and humor, anything could happen this Thursday night.

Rob Hewitt: “I am delighted to have Chael back to host the Fighters Only World MMA Awards once again. He has always done a fantastic job hosting our event.

“There is always a fun sense of unpredictability in what Chael will say and this is an important element to the awards. So now he is back once again, and I look forward to seeing everyone on Thursday night!”

The Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards is the industry event for the sport of MMA and celebrates the achievements & performances of the people who make the sport what it is during the twelve-month period between July 2021 and June 2022.

Celebrities, industry executives, personalities, and a who’s who of fighters will take to the red carpet once again to celebrate the achievements from the best of our industry in this exclusive event.

Here are the Nominees for the 14th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards:

Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis Fighter of the Year

  • Alexander Volkanovski
  • Johnny Eblen
  • Charles Oliveira
  • Islam Makhachev
  • Francis Ngannou

Female Fighter of the Year

  • Julianna Peña
  • Cris Cyborg
  • Kayla Harrison
  • Valentina Shevchenko
  • Raquel Pennington

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year

  • Tai Tuivasa
  • Mateusz Gamrot
  • Paddy Pimblett
  • Molly McCann
  • Johnny Eblen

International Fighter of the Year

  • Alexander Volkanovski
  • Roberto Soldic
  • Mateusz Gamrot
  • Islam Makhachev
  • Khamzat Chimaev

Fight of the Year

  • Jiří Procházka vs. Glover Teixeira – UFC 275
  • Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler – UFC 268
  • Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega – UFC 266
  • Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns – UFC 273
  • Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez – UFC Vegas 42

Knockout of the Year

  • Michael Chandler (Front Kick) vs. Tony Ferguson – UFC 274
  • Ignacio Bahamondes (Wheel Kick) vs. Roosevelt Roberts – UFC Vegas 34
  • Sergio Pettis (Spinning Backfist) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi – Bellator 272
  • Molly McCann (Spinning Back Elbow) vs. Luana Carolina – UFC Fight Night 204
  • Roman Faraldo (Flying Knee) vs. Robert Turnquest – Bellator 271

Submission of the Year

  • Jiří Procházka (Rear-Naked Choke) vs. Glover Teixeira – UFC 275
  • Stevie Ray (Modified Body Lock) vs. Anthony Pettis – PFL 5
  • Oliver Enkamp (Inverted Triangle Choke) vs. Mark Lemminger – Bellator 281
  • Jessica Andrade (Standing Arm Triangle Choke) vs. Amanda Lemos – UFC Vegas 52
  • Charles Oliveira (Rear-Naked Choke) vs. Dustin Poirier – UFC 269

Comeback of the Year

  • Sergio Pettis vs. Kyoji Horiguchi – Bellator 272
  • Carla Esparza (career)
  • Clay Guida vs. Leonardo Santos – UFC on ESPN 31
  • Aljamain Sterling (overcoming intense ridicule & injury)
  • Chris Curtis (career)

Upset of the Year

  • Julianna Peña vs. Amanda Nunes – UFC 269
  • Mariusz Pudzianowski vs. Michał Materla – KSW 70
  • Matheus Scheffel vs. Bruno Cappelozza – PFL 5
  • Ben Parrish vs. Christian Edwards – Bellator 266
  • Seika Izawa vs. Ayaka Hamasaki – RIZIN 33

Best Promotion of the Year

  • UFC
  • Bellator
  • PFL
  • Cage Warriors
  • KSW

Leading Man of the Year

  • Dana White (UFC)
  • Scott Coker (Bellator)
  • Peter Murray (PFL)
  • Graham Boylan (Cage Warriors)
  • Kerrith Brown (IMMAF)

Referee of the Year

  • Jason Herzog
  • Marc Goddard
  • Mike Beltran
  • Mark Smith
  • Keith Peterson

Analyst of the Year

  • Paul Felder
  • Michael Bisping
  • Dan Hardy
  • Kenny Florian
  • Dominick Cruz

Personality of the Year

  • Laura Sanko
  • Daniel Cormier
  • Chael Sonnen
  • Joe Rogan
  • Jon Anik

Best MMA Programming

  • UFC Embedded
  • Dana White Contender Series
  • The MMA Hour
  • JRE MMA Show
  • Morning Kombat

MMA Media Source of the Year

  • MMA Fighting
  • MMA Junkie
  • ESPN
  • BT Sport
  • Sherdog

MMA Journalist of the Year

  • Ariel Helwani
  • John Morgan
  • Shaheen Al-Shatti
  • Aaron Bronsteter
  • Mike Bohn

Coach of the Year

  • Eugene Bareman
  • Eric Nicksick
  • Mike Brown
  • Henri Hooft
  • Diego Lima

Gym of the Year

  • City Kickboxing
  • Xtreme Couture
  • American Top Team
  • Kill Cliff (formerly Sanford MMA)
  • Fortis MMA

Trainer of the Year

  • Phil Daru
  • Jordan Sullivan
  • Andrew Wood
  • Heather Linden
  • Corey Peacock

Ringcard Girl of the Year

  • Brittney Palmer
  • Arianny Celeste
  • Luciana Andrade
  • Brooklyn Wren
  • Chrissy Blair

Fighting Spirit of the Year

  • Kevin Holland (Bravery – in and out of the cage, helping his community in the face of danger on several occasions)
  • Aaron Aby (Heart – surviving cancer and battling cystic fibrosis to become a top contender in Cage Warriors)
  • Bryce Mitchell (Charity – dedicating half of his UFC 272 fight purse to help children in medical need in his native Arkansas, with a special mention for Dana White who matched Mitchell’s contribution)
  • Alexander Volkanovski (Determination – demonstrating a champion’s will to overcome adversity and battling through a seemingly inescapable submission from Brian Ortega)
  • Robbie Lawler (Compassion vs. Nick Diaz – displaying true respect & genuine care for his opponent’s wellbeing in life outside the cage)