The 2011 World MMA Awards officially hold the UFC 125 clash between the now-undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar and formerly-undefeated Gray "The Bully" Maynard as the "MMA Fight of 2011" but the year is not yet over in the fastest-growing combat sport in the world.
After Strikeforce's year-ending card this Saturday featuring Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal, only DREAM's New Year's Eve card and UFC 141 exist as the last two major MMA events of 2011, which obviously creates a question of whether we will see the true "Fight of The Year" between this Saturday and New Year's Eve.
Rest assured, we will see at least one fight earn the argument for the true "Fight of 2011" honor, but despite the grappling showcases, the modern MMA classics and epic slugfests that will close out 2011 in Saitama on New Year's Eve, it's what we will see December 30th in Las Vegas before the potential shoo-in for the UFC's final "Knockout of The Night" bonus winner of 2011.
As great as the Alistair Overeem-Brock Lesnar bout should be, it's Donald Cerrone's co-headliner with Nate Diaz that could bring 2011 to its most fitting close.
The stylistic bout is an MMA fan's ideal masterpiece, with Diaz showcasing sick boxing and punching power to combat Cerrone's patience, aggression and precise Muay Thai offense.
Despite being a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Diaz has found success on the ground and against a guy like Cerrone, the color of the belt might not mean as much as the proven evidence of what Diaz can do with his Jiu-Jitsu.
If you got the quick, almost-ten minutes worth of the preview of the Countdown to UFC 141, though, the difference between a win for Cerrone and a win for Diaz might be the aggression factor.
Cerrone has not had as passionate a dislike for someone before a fight since his WEC 51 bout with one Jamie Varner but, before Diaz, the heaviest trash talk has been reserved for guys like Cole Miller and, for a brief moment, Mac Danzig.
However, it's possible that by shaking off a classy gesture from Cerrone at an open workout for UFC 141, Diaz, known famously (or infamously) for not wanting to be too friendly with his opponents before the cage door locks, may have sparked up an old, familiar fire in Cerrone,
All the more reason to ask: can Cerrone keep his cool against Diaz? Or can Diaz stop the momentum train of an over-hyped (meaning over-excited) Cerrone?
Combine the stylistic match-up with the heated confrontation which seems to have fueled the Cerrone fire and it just might have everything it needs to create an argument for Fight of The Year.
Of course, if all else fails, there's always Edgar-Maynard 1 but, with the end of the year approaching, it's always possible that the last UFC Lightweight bout of 2011 somehow edges out the first UFC Lightweight Title bout of 2011 as the most exciting and most must-see-to-believe bout of this calendar year.