Return of the Year: Cody Garbrandt (UFC)
Former Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt entered the year on a three-fight losing skid. His last win was over Dominick Cruz in 2016. He had only competed once per calendar year following that victory. When matched with Assuncao, many wondered if he would be gun shy given he was knocked out in his last three performances.
In the early going of the contest, he was a little hesitant to engage with the Brazilian. Near the end of the second round with his back up against the cage he began to bob his head up and down to confuse the Brazilian. With one second remaining, he threw a bomb from his hip that face-planted Assuncao. It was one of the most devastating knockouts of the year and was instantly candidate for knockout of the year.
The former champion is now the front-runner to face the winner of the rematch between Moreno-Figueiredo for the Flyweight belt. He also threw his name in the hat for a fight with former Featherweight king Jose Aldo. Regardless of who he faces next, Cody is always a must-watch.
Rob Font (UFC)
Brian Ortega (UFC)
Neil Magny (UFC)