As strange as the 2020 may have been, it was a fight fans’ dream. Conor McGregor returned, the flyweight division birthed a new star in Deiveson Figueiredo, and Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk set a new standard for a title fight. With only a slight pause in action, MMA continued to show the world why the cage is the ultimate proving ground.
While the votes are being tallied for Poirier, McGregor, Adesanya and the other A-list fighters, take a look at the year that tomorrow’s superstars had with the 2020 UFC FIGHT PASS awards!
Journalist of the Year: Chase Hooper
Pretty easy pickings on this one. Outside of myself, Chase Hooper is the lone UFC FIGHT PASS reporter. Even if there was competition, it would be hard for anybody to forget Hooper’s guerilla-style reporting when he took over the UFC 246 media day.
Submission of the Year: Jose Perez – CFFC 91
There were last second submissions, come from behind submissions, title fight submissions and everything else you can imagine, but it’s impossible to hand a silver medal to a banana split.
KO of the Year: Alex Pereira – LFA 95
Surprise, surprise, LFA brings yet another KO of the Year fighter to UFC FIGHT PASS. Kickboxing megastar Alex Pereira came with as much hype behind him as one would expect for the only man to ever KO middleweight champ Israel Adesanya. His opponent Thomas Powell was thinking head kick defense one too many times and ended up eating a left hand that would bring his night and the show as a whole to an abrupt halt.
Storyline of the Year: Lex McMahon – Force 4
Putting his money where his mouth is, Titan FC COO Lex McMahon made his MMA debut at 49 years old in effort to raise awareness for veteran suicide. The feel-good story in a year that desperately needed it was complete when McMahon finished Justin Thornton by way of RNC in the first round.
Viral Moment of the Year: Morgan Charriere – CW119
The body shot heard ‘round the world landed in the Cage Warriors cage when Morgan Charriere landed a left hand to the body of Perry Goodwin and earned himself the Cage Warriors featherweight title. France’s prodigal son gave the country something to scream about, and over two million people watched the tweet of his KO in under a week.
Fighter of the Year: Mason Fowler
Possibly the easiest entry on the list. Mason Fowler started the year off with a strong showing in Submission Underground 15 and would go on to defeat Satoshi Ishii, Vinny Magalhaes and Craig Jones… Twice. It would appear the BJJ world is on notice in 2021.
Congratulations to all the athletes of 2020, and with an even bigger schedule in 2021 we can’t wait to see what the rising stars bring up next year!