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July 18, 2018

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MMA Awards preview: Stars include fighters, Coco, Claire, Springer and ‘Absinthe’


Sam Morris

Chael Sonnen has some parting words for his opponent Anderson Silva during the weigh-in for UFC 148 on Friday, July 6, 2012.

2011 MMA Awards at the Palms

Derek Hough, Cheryl Burke and Mark Ballas at the 2011 Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards red carpet at the Palms on Nov. 30, 2011.
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The kooky characters of the eccentric and sexually suggestive adult circus “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace will entertain at Friday’s fifth Mixed Martial Arts Awards at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, and talk-show host Jerry Springer and topless beauties Coco Austin and 2011 Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair will be among the presenters.

They are certain to give the Fighters Only World MMA Awards, which are being recorded to air on Fox Sports and Fuel on Jan. 20, a huge boost in TV ratings. It’s an all-star lineup for Friday’s red carpet and awards; other presenters include action-hero legend Steven Seagal (incidentally, ex-wife actress Kelly LeBrock is in town for CES), boxer Ricky Hatton and “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer champions Derek Hough and Mark Ballas.

Always-outspoken UFC middleweight star Chael Sonnen will host the 21 categories with award-winning sports reporter Molly Qerim. Rockers Otherwise will perform their hit “Soldiers,” and the “Absinthe” cast will perform their daring cabaret variety acts throughout the awards. (Penny Pibbets’ sock puppet, anyone?)

Sports, Hollywood and music celebrities will be there for the voting on the industry brands and professionals who have made the greatest impact on MMA in the past 12 months. Also set to attend: Eric Roberts, Navid Negahban, Sisqo, Adrian Patrick, T.J. Lavin, Freddie Roach, Amber Nichole, Kenda Perez and Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller.

MMA stars include Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Jade Bryce, Brian Rogers, Frank Mir, Robert Drysdale, Martin Kampmann, Jon Anik, Mike Dolce, Amir Sadollah, Wanderlei Silva, Uriah Faber, Jacob “Stich” Duran, Mike Pyle, Joseph Benavidez, Anthony Njokuani, Herb Dean and announcer Bruce Buffer.

Fighters Only is the world’s first MMA magazine and now produces versions in 32 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany and South Africa. In December 2009, Fighters Only held the first MMA Awards at The Joint.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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