Dolph Lundgren Returns to Host 12th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards on CBS Sports Network Dec. 26

Dolph Lundgren Returns to Host 12th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards on CBS Sports Network Dec. 26

Lifelong martial artist and star of Rocky IV and Creed II, the legendary Dolph Lundgren, today announced he is back for the second year in a row to host the Fighters Only 12th Annual World MMA Awards, airing live on CBS Sports Network, Saturday, Dec. 26th starting at 9:00 p.m. ET.

“In an especially challenging year to uphold the annual tradition of the World MMA Awards, I am deeply grateful to Dolph Lundgren for hosting our show and working with our incredible production team so the great athletes in the sport of mixed martial arts can receive their well deserved night of honors and recognition, said Rob Hewitt, CEO of Fighters Only. “We are pleased to announce today that CBS Sports Network will premiere the 12th Annual World MMA Awards on Saturday, December 26th at 9:00 p.m. ET, and that the show will go on – as it has – every year since 2008. Happy holidays, stay safe, and we will see you soon for MMA’s biggest night of celebration.”

“What happens when you put Mike Tyson, Dolph Lundgren, Justin Turner and Carrot Top together?” asks Lundren. “We’re not exactly sure, but we’ll find out together when I host the 12th Annual World MMA Awards on CSB Sports Network, Saturday, December 26th at 9:00 p.m.”

Since playing the character Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, Lundgren has starred in more than 70 feature films. In addition to Creed II, he starred as King Nereus in Aquaman, along with Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kidman.

Lundgren holds a third degree black belt in Karate. He also served as the captain of the Swedish National Karate Team and became the individual champion of the Swedish, European and Australian heavyweight Full Contact divisions. Additionally, Dolph was selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to serve as the Team Leader of the U.S. Olympic Pentathlon Team during the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Prior to his acting career, Lundgren served in the Swedish Marine Corps. After completing his military service, he enrolled in the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in pursuit of a chemical engineering degree. He attended both Washington State University and Clemson University in South Carolina on various scholarships. He graduated from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, completing his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering on an exchange program with the University of Sydney in Australia. After graduating the head of his class, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, one of the world’s top engineering schools.

Fighters Only Magazine presents the World MMA Awards to honor exceptional performances in MMA. Each year an industry panel of experts selects nominees across 20 different categories. Once nominees are announced, fans inherit the power to determine the winner. For one month, fans vote for nominees through the official Awards website,, using their mobile devices, smart phones or personal computers. The most anticipated awards include Fighter of the Year, Knockout of the Year and Upset of the Year.

Fighters Only designates a panel of MMA industry experts to select the award nominees. The most anticipated awards include ‘Fighter of the Year’, ‘Knockout of the Year’ and ‘Upset of the Year.’ New to the program this year is the Fighting Spirit Award, which will go to the Nominee that best represents the true spirit and ethos of martial arts in their acts and deeds, either inside or outside of the cage.

Following are the Nominees for the Fighters Only 12th Annual World MMA Awards:

Male Fighter of the Year                

  • Henry Cejudo
  • Israel Adesanya
  • Justin Gaethje
  • Jorge Masvidal
  • Douglas Lima

Female Fighter of the Year            

  • Weili Zhang
  • Amanda Nunes
  • Valentina Shevchenko
  • Kayla Harrison
  • Cris Cyborg

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year                                                               

  • Weili Zhang
  • Gilbert Burns
  • Alexander Volkanovski
  • Jorge Masvidal
  • Petr Yan

International Fighter of the Year                                                

  • Israel Adesanya
  • Weili Zhang
  • Kamaru Usman
  • Valentina Shevchenko
  • Aung La Nsang

Fight of the Year                                                               

  • Weili Zhang vs Joanna Jędrzejczyk (UFC 248)
  • Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington (UFC 245)
  • Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum (UFC 236)
  • Dustin Poirer vs Dan Hooker (UFC on ESPN 12)
  • Josh Emmett vs Shane Burgos (UFC on ESPN 11)      

Knockout of the Year                                                      

  • Jorge Masvidal KOs Ben Askren (Flying Knee – UFC 239)
  • Cody Garbrandt KOs Raphael Assuncao (Punch – UFC 250)
  • Anthony Pettis KOs Stephen Thompson (Superman Punch – UFC on ESPN 6)
  • Sean O’Malley KOs Eddie Wineland (Punch – UFC 250)
  • Douglas Lima KOs Michael Page (Punch – Bellator 221)     

Submission of the Year                                                   

  • Brent Primus SUB Tim Wilde (Gogoplata – Bellator Birmingham)
  • Bryce Mitchell SUB Matt Sayles (Twister – UFC on ESPN 7)
  • Aviv Gozali SUB Eduard Muravitsky (Heelhook – Bellator 225)
  • Demian Maia SUB Ben Askren (Rear-Naked Choke – UFC on ESPN+ 20)
  • Misha Cirkunov SUB Jimmy Crute (Peruvian Necktie – UFC on ESPN+ 16) 

Comeback of the Year                                                    

  • Stipe Miocic (Fight/Career – regained title after losing to Cormier in their first fight. Was also losing the second fight until round 4)
  • Eddie Alvarez (Fight/Career – losing badly to Eduard Folayang before fighting back and winning via submission. Also lost first fight)
  • Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs Alistair Overeem (Fight – Rozenstruik losing until round 5 when he TKO’d Overeem with 4 secs left)
  • Peter Queally vs Ryan Scope (Fight – Queally knocked down badly in round 2, but fights back in front of a rampant Irish crowd)
  • Cody Garbrandt (Career – Lost three fights in a row before coming back and KO’ing Assuncao)

Upset of the Year                                                              

  • Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway (UFC 245)
  • Henry Corrales def. Aaron Pico (Bellator 214)
  • Kama Worthy def. Devonte Smith (UFC 241)
  • Kai Asakura def. Kyoji Horiguchi (Rizin FF 18)
  • Timofey Nastyukhin def. Eddie Alvarez (ONE Championship 92)

Coach of the Year                                                             

  • Mike Brown
  • Trevor Whitmann
  • Eric Albarracin
  • Sayif Saud
  • Eugene Bareman

Referee of the Year                                                          

  • Herb Dean
  • Mike Beltran
  • Jason Herzog
  • Marc Goddard
  • Frank Trigg

Ringcard Girl of the Year                                                              

  • Mercedes Terrell (Bellator)
  • Jhenny Andrade (UFC)
  • Louise McKie (Bellator)
  • Carly Baker (UFC)
  • Britanny Palmer (UFC)

Best Promotion                                                 

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
  • Bellator
  • ONE Championship
  • Professional Fighters League (PFL)
    Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW)   

Analyst of the Year                                                          

  • Daniel Cormier
  • Paul Felder
  • Dan Hardy
  • Robin Black
  • Michael Bisping

Best MMA Programming                                                              

  • Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show
  • Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show
  • Anatomy of a Fighter
  • UFC Embedded
  • Dana White’s Contender Series

MMA Media Source of the Year                                                  

  • ESPN
  • MMA Junkie
  • Sherdog
  • The Athletic
  • The MacLife MMA

MMA Journalist of the Year                                                         

  • Brett Okamoto
  • Ariel Helwani
  • John Morgan
  • Mike Bohn
  • Gareth Davies

Gym of the Year                                               

  • American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)
  • American Top Team (ATT)
  • Elevation Fight Team
  • Sanford MMA
  • Fortis MMA

Leading Man of the Year                                               

  • Dana White, UFC
  • Scott Coker, Bellator MMA
  • Martin Lewandowski, KSW
  • Nobuyuki Sakakibara, Rizin
  • Densign White, IMMAF

MMA Personality of the Year                                                      

  • Joe Rogan
  • Chael Sonnen
  • The Schmo
  • Jon Anik
  • Big John McCarthy

Fighting Spirit Award                                                     

  • Dustin Poirier (Charity work with The Good Fight Foundation)
  • Justin Wren (Charity work with Fight for the Forgotten)
  • Robbie Lawler (Sportsmanship following loss to Ben Askren at UFC 235)
  • McGregor (Charity work with donation of €1m of PPE equipment in Ireland)
  • Walt Harris (Fighting Spirit – bravery to return to fighting following step daughters death)       

Trainer of the Year                                                          

  • Phil Daru
  • George Lockhart
  • Bo Sandoval
  • Andre Hicks
  • Sunz Singh