Winners and losers of 2016
The year 2016 marked the return of the WFC after a short absence. The game plan changed a bit also with the introduction of the new cage instead of the regular boxing ring and the enhanced cooperation with the Polish promotion KSW.
WFC 20 featured some well-known faces within the promotion with middleweight champion Svetlozar Savov running the show in the newly opened Austrian MMA Academy on the outskirts of Vienna, Austria. Fans witnessed the debut fights of Ismail Naurdiev and Sado Ucar who later in the year proved that they are among the top fighters to watch in 2017.
Also on the card was Valeriu Mircea who turned some heads in mid-August with a powerful display of skills versus Niedzielski.
And then there was the last event of the year, just two weeks ago in Bad Vöslau, Austria. It was where Vaso Bakocevic returned to the winning path but not all of the fighters were lucky as him. One of the most exposed was surely the young but experienced Italian Luca Puggioni. He just can't connect a couple of victories in a row that would mean a turning point in his career. This was his 3rd straight loss in the promotion, one of those coming in Challengers.
For the Slovenians supporting their fighters in a Slovenian promotion Vardjan's loss was not an easy pill to swallow. Slovenian MMA scene in recent years is desperately in need of fresh names but it just might be that Vardjan won't be one of them. He was overrun by Ucar and instead of making his name in the WFC he pushed his opponent under the lights.
We can easily declare the winner of 2016 and name Ismail Naurdiev the most promising fighter that stepped in the cage this year. He showed his greatness in both fights and despite his young age showed to the fans around the World that he is definitely a man to watch out for. Hopefully, we will see him in the WFC cage in 2017 before he makes a transition to World's biggest stages.