1. Caleb Truax: In probably the biggest upset of the year, Truax went to England, and pressured James DeGale relentlessly over twelve rounds while DeGale never really got comfortable, and is the new IBF World Super Middleweight champion.
2. Vasyl Lomachenko: Guillermo Rigondeaux had absolutely no answers for Hi-Tech, barely landing not even a half-dozen punches a round and looked thoroughly disheartened before calling it between rounds to a suspect hand.
3. Rico Verhoeven: Still the king of the mountain after chopping down 6’9″ Jamal Ben Saddik and avenging a 2011 loss by finishing the giant in the fifth round to retain his Glory heavyweight championship.
4. Renato Canuto: Put on an utterly fantastic performance, winning the eight-man KASAI Pro lightweight tournament, defeating Garry Tonon, AJ Agazarm, and Celso Vinicius in a row.
5. Brian Ortega: Stood toe-to-toe with Cub Swanson in the main event and finished it, getting past a high-level gatekeeper in Swanson is a contender-affirming bout that made people open their eyes to Ortega.
6. Alex Pereira: Opened up Yousri Belgaroui bad enough that the ref called it in the third round, and Pereira remains Glory middleweight champion.
7. Jennifer Maia: After being rocked early, Maia rallied and went on to a 49-46 sweep of Aga Niedzwiedz to retain her Invicta Flyweight title and remain the #1 female flyweight in the world.
8. KANA: The lone blemish on KANA’s record has been Mellony Geugjes, but she was able to defeat her and regain her Krush 50kg championship.
9. Rafael Carvalho: Dispatched Alessio Sakara in 44 seconds to retain his Bellator middleweight championship, as you should to a 2017 title-fighting Alessio Sakara.
10. Alex Silva: Is the new OneFC strawweight champion after dethroning Yoshitaka Naito and handing him his first career loss.
11. Caio Terra: Was the victor and new 125lb Black Belt No-Gi F2W champion with a main event victory of Marcelo Cohen at Fight To Win Pro 57.
12. Endy Seemeler: Won Enfusion’s 72kg tournament, defeating Superbon in the finals, and a date with Buakaw awaits.
13. Stoyan Koprivlenski: On the all-day Glory bukkake at Rotterdam, Koprivlenski won the lightweight contender tournament.
14. Miguel Roman: In an absolute heart-and-soul battle with fellow hard-nose veteran Orlando Salido on HBO, Mickey came out the victor in a bout that benefited both mens’ legacies.
t15. Damon Jackson: With two seconds to go in the contest, LFA mainstay Damon Jackson wrapped up a rear-naked choke for the win over A. Luis Luna Jr. in the main event of LFA 28.
t15. Mackenzie Dern: Made a successful Invicta debut, showing an abundance of power in her hands, a surprising overhead right, and wasn’t content to cruise to a decision, and got a submission on former title challenger Kaline Medeiros. Even more surprising, she made weight!