ROAD Fighting Championship’s final event of the year, Xiaomi ROAD FC 045 XX, took place in Seoul, South Korea on December 23, 2017. Atomweight Champion Ham Seo-Hee retained her belt and her position as the world’s top in the division by a fist round TKO over Jinh Yu Frey.
Here are the winners of this year’s awards, as compiled by ROAD FC staff and voted upon by ROAD FC fans.
Teams of the Year: Team Poma and Team Strong Wolf
Both teams are winners of this years; Team of the Year award, because both teams brought a great deal of action to the ROAD FC cage in 2017. Team Poma sent many seasoned competitors in 2017 including Min Kyung-Chul, Kim Woo-Jae and Cho Byung-Hwi, as well as fielding several new professional fighters and countless amateurs. Team Strong Wolf had a breakout year in 2017 with the success of many new fighters, including Park Jung-Eun, Lim Dong-Hwan, and Kim Yi-Sack.
Female Rookie of the Year: Yoshiko
Nominees: Shim Yoo-Ri, Yoshiko, Kang Jin-Hee
The Female Rookie of the Year is Yoshiko, who came fresh off a notorious professional wrestling career to make her MMA debut, which she did with an earth-shattering KO. Yoshiko competed three times under the ROAD FC banner in 2017 with a much improved performance in her rematch with Chun Sun-Yoo, and her first loss on the same night of the awards event. Therefore, it was an emotional acceptance by the young wrestler.
Male Rookie of the Year: Shin Dong-Guk
Nominees: Rafael Fiziev, Hwang In-Su, Shin Dong-Guk
Male Rookie of the Year saw three very distinct fighters earn the nomination, with Firefighter Shin Dong-Guk taking the win. Shin fought in the amateur leagues first, then made his pro debut at ROAD FC 038 with a 53 second KO. He followed up the performance with a 78 second KO in front of his hometown crowd at the Chungju World Martial Arts Festival event. Shin was not able to be at the awards ceremony as he was on call for a massive fire in the neighboring city of Jaechun.
KO of the Year: Myung Hyun-Man
Nominees: Amartuvshin Khuukhenkhuu, Myung Hyun-Man, Tom Santos
There were quite a few contenders for KO of the year in 2017, and it was Myung Hyun-Man’s faceplanting KO of Chris Barnett at ROAD FC 041 that took home the win. After their first contest which unfortunately ended by injury, and a follow up viral groin kick of Aorigele, Myung made his final appearance in 2017 a memorable one.
Fan Favorite of the Year: Aorigele
Nominees: Lee Je-Ji, Chris Barnett, Yoshiko, Aorigele
There are so many fighters who could be nominated for Fan Favorite of the Year, but the one who stood out was Aorigele. With his antics both inside and outside the cage, his constant friendly interaction with his fans, and his social media blitz, Aorigele became the clear winner for the world-wide fans.
Fighter of the Year: Kim Soo-Chul
Nominees: Kim Soo-Chul, Moon Jea-Hoon, Mansour Barnaoui
Again, there were so many impressive performances in ROAD FC in 2017, so it was difficult to make up a shortlist of nominees. Kim Soo-Chul’s emotional ROAD FC Bantamweight title win, which came after years of toiling against strong international opponents, earned him the highest respect from the fans. Upon accepting his award, Kim announced that he would be retiring from the sport, having accomplished all he’d originally intended to. ROAD FC wishes him a restful time, but does hope to see such a talented fighter return to the cage again one day.
New Wave MMA ROAD FC is the stage where legends shine, rookies thrill, and epic battles are waged that determine the future of MMA. From the pageantry of the grand entrance to the final crunch of the KO, ROAD FC showcases the very best of Mixed Martial Arts sports and entertainment. As we say in Korea, “Fighting!”