Letâs rewind the clock for a second.Â
At the start of 2020, UFC fans were looking forward to the return of Conor McGregor. The companyâs biggest draw was set to battle against the legendary, âCowboyâ Cerrone.Â
McGregor had ambitious plans for 2020. He intended to fight three times and reclaim the lightweight belt. In the matchup, McGregor dominated. He finished off the UFC veteran less than a minute into the first round.
In regards to the middleweight division, there was a clear champion. Israel Adesanya was tearing through opponents and proved his confidence by asking for a fight with the âboogeymanâ of the division, Yoel Romero. It is no secret that opponents tend to suffer damage in bouts with Romero, and he was often ducked or avoided. That was not the case with Adesanya.Â
The matchup turned into a total dud. Actually, it might have been one of the more lackluster fights of the year. Adesanya edged Romero out in a decision. Luckily, the same card was gifted with, what I consider to be, the fight of the year.
In the co-main event, Weili Zhang defended her belt against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Generally speaking, when people recall their favorite fights of the year, there is always a recency bias that impacts their decision. Fights that occur in the later months of the year always get a stronger push because the fight is more fresh in your mind. However, every time an excellent scrap would take place, I would still find myself saying, âI still think Zhang vs Jedrzejczyk was better.â If this fight wasnât for a belt, it would still be held in incredibly high regard. When you throw in that it was for UFC gold, there was no better fight. For all of our new fight fans, this bout is a must watch.
It would be hard to think about the 2020 year for the UFC and not acknowledge the retirements of some of the sportâs greatest legends.Â
Not enough people give Daniel Cormier the credit he deserves. More than being a great fighter and being an elite competitor, Daniel Cormier is a great person. Heâs been a joy to listen to during commentary and has such a bright future with the company. As we look back on 2020, we must give DC his roses.
The UFCâs increased roster in 2020 also led to some unknown figures to turn into overnight superstars. Look at Joaquin Buckley, who secured a LOT of bonuses, but also an entirely new wave of fandom.
The end of the year brought an onslaught of action in the menâs flyweight division. What is most fascinating to think about is that this was a division on the verge of being eliminated because the fights were âtoo boringâ and didnât sell well. And of course, in 2020 fashion, the year was capped off with two very fun but different fights.Â
Deiveson Figueiredo polished off Alex Perez in the first round of their November matchup.Â
Then he turned around and put on a show with Brandon Moreno. The fight was a late entry to the fight of the year category and resulted in a majority draw. That decision allowed Figueiredo to keep his belt, but it seems quite clear that an immediate rematch is in order.Â
When you look back on this year and consider everything that went down, this was as fun of a year as Iâve ever had with this company: new names, new maneuvers, different styles, and a whole helluva lot of action. I canât wait for the first event of 2021 when we get to hear, âItâs timeâ once again.