Portland, OR - The Full Contact Fighting Federation (FCFF) has released this year's Best of 2017 list. This list recognizes the top fighters within the organization in twelve categories and will become part of the annual Fighter Hall of Fame which has been recorded since 2009. The FCFF's Best of 2017 list features categories ranging from Fighter of the Year, Fastest Finish, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved, to 2018 Fighter to Watch. A number of these award winners are on the fight card for the FCFF's Rumble @ The Roseland 96 event scheduled for Saturday, January 20th 2018. This event features two FCFF Championship Fights, two Superfights, two female fights and a loaded undercard. More information can be found at thefcff.com.
The FCFF's Best of 2017 official list is comprised of athletes who fought in the 2017 calendar year in the FCFF's Rumble @ The Roseland event.
Fighter of the Year: Keaneo Moyer
2017 was all about Keaneo Moyer and the Flyweight division. Keaneo started the year with an undercard fight at Rumble 92 (win over Cody Westphal - round one submission) and he ended the year as the FCFF's two-time 125-pound Flyweight Champion. He earned the belt at Rumble @ The Roseland 94 after battling Dominick Abalos as the perceived underdog. Keaneo quickly overtook the Champion and won via a 23 second round-one TKO. Keaneo immediately returned at Rumble 95 to quiet any talk that his win was a one-time-deal. There, he finished Sean Kalinoski in only 25 seconds of round one. He had an outstanding 2017 and is the currently FCFF Flyweight Champion!
2017 Bout of the Year: Alex Aguilar vs Stefan Habib
FCFF fight fans witnessed an incredible battle between two warriors in the FCFF's Welterweight Championship fight at Rumble @ The Roseland 94. These two athletes went the distance, slugging it out for five nail-biting rounds. Alex Aguilar came out on top via the judges decision to earn the FCFF's 170-pound division Title. He returns on Saturday, January 20th at Rumble @ the Roseland 96 to defend his belt for the first time against Johnny James, another fighter who has made the FCFF's Best of 2017 List in two categories: Fastest KO and Most Improved.
Female Fighter of the Year: Jordan Kanewa
Jordan Kanewa is quickly making a name for herself in MMA in the Pacific Northwest. At Rumble @ The Roseland 95 in December, she faced Veronica Wilson, a seasoned mma fighter for the FCFF's Featherweight Title. She took what she had learned from her Knucklehead and Arena Wars wins over Kiki Tumale (decision victory in 2016) and Maria Schlienger (round one TKO in 2017) and held her composure to pull off a round three TKO win over Wilson for the Title. Keep your eyes on this talented fighter!
Rookie of the Year: Nick Maximov
It only took Nick Maximov nine seconds to leave his mark on the FCFF in 2017. This outstanding athlete came onto the mixed martial arts scene in June and left in September with a record of 6-0 (mma competition time frame reflects his collegiate wrestling commitments). In September, he faced Aaron Lopez at Rumble @ the Roseland 94 and won via a nine second TKO - which also earned him the FCFF's Fastest Finish on the Best of 2017 list.
Most Improved: Johnny James
Johnny's first fight in the FCFF was at Rumble @ The Roseland 88, where he faced Derek Rottenberg and lost via a round two TKO. This was Johnny's first loss, then he faced a second loss to Eric McConico at Budofights 15. He refocused and came back with a vengeance. Fight fans can see he's turned a corner with his training. His skill and agility is next-level and he's clearly headed to the pro arena. He returned to the FCFF at Rumble @ the Roseland 93 in July and faced the former Welterweight Champion in a special 175-pound Superfight. He impressed the crowd with a round two KO over the Saul Gallegos-Ruiz. Johnny James will return to the slammer, this January (1/20/18) at #Rumble96 to face the FCFF's current Welterweight Champion, Alex Aguilar in an epic Main Event battle-for-the-belt.
2018 Fighter to Watch: Max Garrison
Max Garrison debuted into the sport at Rumble @ The Roseland 94 and won his first fight via a round three rear naked choke over Micah Mitchell. In this fight, we saw a confidence and skilled base by Garrison that you rarely seen by a debut fighter. We expect to see big things from Max Garrison in 2018 in the FCFF.
Best Comeback: Rico Martinez
Everybody loves a comeback! Rico Martinez was the FCFF's Heavyweight Champion in 2014. Back then, he earned the belt in the hardest way possible - five long rounds against the giant Casey Lunzman at Battle at the Mountain 2 (FCFF event at Spirit Mountain Casino). Martinez got the TKO in the fifth and final grueling round. He fought once more in 2015 (win over Samuel Sprauer) and took a two year break. In 2017, he came back full force at Rumble @ the Roseland 92 and beat Jared Matthews via a round two TKO to regain this Championship status.
Best Submission: Cris Williams over Dylan Atkinson
Cris Williams has been on the FCFF's best list three years in a row. In 2015 he was our 2016 Fighter to Watch. In 2016 he was our FCFF Fighter of the Year. This year, he returned to the FCFF at Rumble @ the Roseland 93 as the 145-pound Pro Fight Main Event against Dylan "The Bull" Atkinson. In just over 90 seconds he secured the win via a tapout due to guillotine choke, truly taking "The Bull" by the horns, and earned the Best Submission victory of 2017.
Best Intro into the Slammer: Nicky Porter
FCFF fight fans love Nicky Porter's energy. He's intense and focused, but at Rumble 95 in December he got the entire Roseland crowd in the holiday spirit as he made his way to the Slammer! Porter donned a necklace of multi colored flashing bulbs along with special red and green trunks reading Merry Christmas on the back. He was simply having a wonderful Christmas time.
Best Crowd Following: SBGi
The team at Straight Blast Gym changed lives this year and the FCFF was proud to offer the slammer as the venue to end their season of Wimp 2 Warrior. They trained everyday people for the test of a lifetime, a mixed martial arts fight. At Rumble @ The Roseland 94, the FCFF hosted four W2W bouts ranging from 145-pounds to Heavyweight. The families of these courageous individuals packed the house at Rumble 94!
Fastest Finish of 2017: Nick Maximov
The FCFF's fastest finish came at Rumble @ The Roseland 94 in the Light Heavyweight Title fight between Nick Maximov and Jack Smash. It was lights out in nine seconds as Nick Maximov landed a head kick to silence the crowd and his competition.
Fastest KO of 2017:James James
Johnny James Jr. was already named the 2017's Most Improved fighter, but he's also earned the Best Knockout of 2017! It all went down at #Rumble93. Fight fans probably recall the stunning kick to Saul Gallegos-Ruiz's jaw in the first moments of round-one of. It had the former Welterweight Champion stumbling back and we expected the fight to be over in those first seconds. Ruiz regained his composure to enter into an intense stand-up battle of strikes and leg kicks that came to an end in round two via the knockout fury possessed by Johnny James Jr. He is a man on a mission. He's attained the FCFF's 175-pound Superfight belt. Next, he wants the FCFF's 170-pound Welterweight Champion belt. On Saturday, January 20th Johnny will have his chance at Rumble at the Roseland 96. There, he will battle the current Welterweight Champion, Alex Aguilar in the Main Event.
About the FCFF:
The FCFF is Oregon's oldest and most respected mixed martial arts promotion company. It's signature event Rumble @ The Roseland was established in 2001 at Roseland theater in downtown Portland. The FCFF has grown across the state, hosting events from Pendleton, Oregon to the Coast. The FCFF hosted two events on the Oregon Coast: the Battle at the Mountain series in partnership with Spirit Mountain Casino and the Caged on the Coast series with Chinook Winds Casino. The FCFF has been featured countless times across the MMA media landscape including being called the 'golden gloves of MMA' by Inside MMA, a nationally broadcast commentary sports program. In 2014 the FCFF begun hosting professional MMA fights in addition to matching up the region's top amateurs in tooth-in-nail battles for belts.
More info at TheFCFF.com.