Rob Hewitt, Fighters Only CEO, is pleased to announce the nominees for the 15th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards.

The event’s voting website is now live at, where fans around the world can democratically voice their opinions and cast their vote for who they believe deserves to win.

“I am honored and excited to have reached a 15-year anniversary with the Fighters Only World MMA Awards,” said Rob Hewitt.

“To see the growth of the sport during that time has filled me full of joy and this year’s nominees are a true representation of this growth. It is the most international Awards in our history, and this year we will truly celebrate the best of MMA across the globe.”

With a nomination period between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, the independent Fighters Only panel searched through all promotions and regions to select the award nominees. Among the most anticipated award categories include “Fighter of the Year,” “Knockout of the Year,” “Fight of the Year,” and the recently added “Fighting Spirit Award.”

In true MMA tradition, Fighters Only gives the world’s fight fans the power to vote for their favorite fighters, knockouts, and submissions that amazed them, and which nominees impressed them the most over the past year to determine who takes home a coveted Fighters Only World MMA Award.

This is the only awards show where fans can have their say and cast their votes through their desktops, mobile devices, and smartphones at

Voting is now live and will conclude on September 30.

The Fighters Only World MMA Awards is the industry event for the sport of mixed martial arts and winners will be presented with their trophy in an unparalleled live event with a full red carpet attended by a who’s who of the combat sports industry and its celebrity fanbase.

The date and venue for the 15th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned for more information and exciting announcements.

Here are your nominees for the 15th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards:

Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis Fighter of the Year

  • Leon Edwards
  • Aljamain Sterling
  • Israel Adesanya
  • Islam Makhachev
  • Sadibou Sy

Female Fighter of the Year

  • Alexa Grasso
  • Amanda Nunes
  • Larissa Pacheco
  • Seika Izawa
  • Liz Carmouche

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year

  • Dricus Du Plessis
  • Alex Pereira
  • Ilia Topuria
  • Sergei Pavlovich
  • Alexa Grasso

International Fighter of the Year

  • Leon Edwards
  • Israel Adesanya
  • Dricus Du Plessis
  • Sergei Pavlovich
  • Sadibou Sy

Fight of the Year

  • Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev (UFC 286)
  • Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler (UFC 281)
  • Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski (UFC 284)
  • Brennan Ward vs. Sabah Homasi (Bellator 290)
  • Matt Schnell vs. Su Mudaerji (UFC on ABC 3)

Knockout of the Year

  • Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman – Head Kick (UFC 278)
  • Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira – Punches (UFC 287)
  • Sadibou Sy vs. Shane Mitchell – Spinning Wheel Kick (PFL 6, 2023)
  • Krzysztof Głowacki vs. Patryk Tołkaczewski – Punch (KSW Colosseum 2)
  • Ismael Bonfim vs. Terrance McKinney – Flying Knee (UFC 283)

Submission of the Year

  • Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko – Face Crank (UFC 285)
  • Louis Glismann vs. Melvin van Suijdam – Inverted Omoplata (Oktagon 43)
  • Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira – Arm-Triangle (UFC 280)
  • Olga Rubin vs. Claire Guthrie – Buggy Choke (Invicta FC 53)
  • Reinier de Ridder vs. Vitaly Bigdash – Inverted Triangle Choke (ONE 159)

Comeback of the Year

  • Jon Jones (Career)
  • Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 1 (UFC 278)
  • John Hathaway (Returning from lengthy illness)
  • Matt Schnell vs. Su Mudaerji (UFC on ABC 3)
  • Yaroslav Amosov (Returning from war)

Upset of the Year

  • Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko (UFC 285)
  • Larissa Pacheco vs. Kayla Harrison (PFL 10, 2022)
  • Christian Echols vs. Pat Downey (Bellator 289)
  • Jesus Pinedo vs. Brendan Loughnane (PFL 4, 2023)
  • Zebaztian Kadestam vs. Roberto Soldic (ONE Fight Night 10)

Shawn Tompkins Coach of the Year

  • Eugene Bareman
  • Mike Brown
  • Dave Lovell
  • Ray Longo
  • Eric Nicksick

Trainer of the Year

  • Heather Linden
  • Jonathon Reynolds
  • Everton Oliveira
  • Jordan Sullivan
  • Brandon Gallagher

Gym of the Year

  • City Kickboxing
  • American Top Team
  • Team Renegade
  • Kill Cliff FC
  • American Kickboxing Academy

Referee of the Year

  • Marc Goddard
  • Jason Herzog
  • Mark Smith
  • Herb Dean
  • Rich Mitchell

Ringcard Girl of the Year

  • Brittney Palmer
  • Louise McKie
  • Brookliyn Wren
  • Jhenny Andrade
  • Luciana Andrade

Leading Man

  • Dana White (UFC)
  • Scott Coker (Bellator)
  • Peter Murray (PFL)
  • Maciej Kawulski (KSW)
  • Ondrej Novotny (Oktagon)

Best Promotion

  • UFC
  • Bellator MMA
  • PFL
  • KSW
  • Oktagon MMA

Personality of the Year

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

Analyst of the Year

  • Michael Bisping
  • Paul Felder
  • Dan Hardy
  • Anthony Smith
  • Kenny Florian

Best MMA Programming

  • Morning Kombat
  • The MMA Hour
  • Dana White’s Contender Series
  • The Anik & Florian Podcast
  • UFC Embedded

MMA Media Source of the Year

  • MMA Fighting
  • Sherdog
  • MMA Junkie
  • ESPN
  • Bloody Elbow

MMA Journalist of the Year

  • Ariel Helwani
  • Aaron Bronsteter
  • Marc Raimondi
  • John Morgan
  • Nolan King

Fighting Spirit Award

  • Yaroslav Amosov (Adversity – returning from war to unify the Bellator welterweight title)
  • Steven Ray (Strength – fighting for his family)
  • Biaggio Ali Walsh (Bravery – helping his community in the face of danger)
  • Themba Gorimbo (Charity – building a water pump in Zimbabwe and putting others ahead of himself)
  • Chris Barnett (Adversity – overcoming great personal loss and adversity in the cage)