2012 World MMA Awards: UFC Wins 'Best Promotion' over Bellator, ONE FC

McKinley NobleCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2013

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; General view of heavyweight championship belt following UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this one seemed pretty clear to call.

MMA Junkie reports that one of the first honors of the night at the 2012 World MMA Awards went to the UFC, as the company won "Best Promotion" over some of its most prominent rivals.

Since the UFC remains the world's largest and most valuable mixed martial arts league, that alone would normally be enough to earn them reward.

But their last year in particular saw a huge amount of changes for the Zuffa-owned company.

During 2012, the UFC continued its partnership with the Fox Network, airing several events that pulled millions and millions of viewers between Fox, FX and Fuel TV.

By far, the two companies' most successful MMA event aired during the past year was UFC on Fox 5, which featured a lightweight title bout between Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz.

After a series of moderate, middling cards that couldn't break the coveted 5-million barrier, "Bendo" vs. Diaz pulled a high 5.7 million viewers during the main event. That move pretty much cemented title fights as a necessity for the UFC's Fox cards, which is expected to be a welcome pattern in 2013.

In total, the UFC aired 29 fight cards in a rather busy 2012, even with injuries and fighter fallout damaging most of its cards.

Notably, UFC champion Jon Jones dealt the company a particularly rare blow in the lead-up to UFC 151, as "Bones" played a part in the cancellation of the Las Vegas card after Chael Sonnen replaced an injured Dan Henderson.