Best of 2010 – Canadian MMA Personality of the Year
The Canadian MMA Personality of the Year award is for the Canadian who influences the world of MMA the most with his/her personality OUTSIDE of the ring or cage. The influence of these individuals can be positive or negative.
There were a vast array of nominations for this award and they ranged from Canadian fighters and promoters to politicians and media personalities. Regardless of their order, all the people on this list promoted MMA in 2010 and raised the level of awareness of our great sport.
Top Canadian Personality of 2010
1. Ariel Helwani (Journalist) – Ariel Helwani was the hand’s down winner of the 2010 award as he was the only Personality on every voter’s ballot. Montreal’s Ariel Helwani is, without doubt, the best interviewer in MMA. If you are fan of MMA and are online frequently, there is no doubt you have seen Helwani ask the tough questions to Dana White or any other MMA star. Helwani contributes to MMAFighting.com and Versus.com and is sure to be headed to bigger and better things in 2011.
2. Georges St-Pierre (Fighter) – St-Pierre is wonderful ambassador of the sport of MMA and a great ambassador of Canada. In 2010, GSP is always professional and is the consumate gentlemen in any public appearance he makes – be it a pre-fight press conference, coaching on The Ultimate Fighter, or even doing a press junket in the Philippines. GSP shows the world that there is well-spoken, good-looking, intelligent people behind our violent sport.
3. Mark Pavelich (Promoter) – Love him or hate him, you must admit that Pavelich’s personality is larger than life. The head honcho of Maximum Fighting Championship can be seen at The Fight Summit with other industry big wigs, on TSN, on Internet Forums, and his website speaking his mind. In 2010, Pavelich shot from the hip on the UFC’s sponsorship policies, berated many of his MFC fighters, and even banned Top MMA News, but more MMA fans know the MFC brand than any other from Canada. Yeah, I said it!
4. Shelia Aggelonitis (Hamilton MP)/ Dalton McGuinty (Ontario Premier)/Ken Hayashi (Ontario Athletic Commission) – This triumverate of Ontario bureaucratic power takes the number four spot for finally aggreeing to allow MMA in Ontario in 2011. With special thanks to the UFC’s powerful lobbying, the sport of MMA should rocket in popularity, Canadian fighters will have more opportunities to fight, and Ontario fans will finally be able to watch live MMA in their province.
5. (tie) Mauro Ranallo (Broadcaster) \Joe Ferraro (Broadcaster) – Incredibly, The Score’s Mauro Ranallo and Sportsnet’s Showdown Joe tied for the fifth and final spot on our voting. Both individuals do a tremendous amount to publicize MMA in Canada. Ferraro’s MMA Connected and Ranallo’s The MMA Show bring MMA news and insight to the living rooms of Canadians everywhere on a weekly basis. In addition to his The Score duties, Ranallo has also done play-by-play for organizations like Strikeforce and Ultimate Glory in 2010 while Ferraro has become the man in 2010 for UFC news and interviews in Canada.
Honourable Mentions (others receving votes)
Tom Wright – UFC Director of Canadian Operations
Robin Black – Fighter, Broadcaster, Agent
Pat Reid – Edmonton Combative Sports Commission chairman
Best of 2010 – Canadian Story of the Year