As the worst global pandemic in more than a century hamstrung many sports leagues and brought others around the world to their knees in 2020, prizefighting had another year to remember. Mixed martial arts remained big business domestically and abroad, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA managed to keep the sport afloat despite the noticeable absence of the Professional Fighters League. They kept fans entertained throughout what was often a dreadful 12 months.
Nobody was busier than the UFC. What began with UFC 246 on Jan. 18 at a packed-to-the-gills T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas concluded with UFC Fight Night 183 on Dec. 19 down the road at an empty UFC Apex. In between, the MMA world bore witness to fights that stretched the bound of what was thought possible, historic knockouts, slick submissions, officiating controversies and the rise of new superstars who will carry the combat sports torch into the next decade and beyond.
A complete rundown of Sherdog.com’s 2020 Year-End Awards:
• Fighter of the Year by Josh Gross
• Fight of the Year by Tristen Critchfield
• Knockout of the Year by Jay Pettry
• Submission of the Year by Ben Duffy
• Story of the Year by Tristen Critchfield
• Beatdown of the Year by Ben Duffy
• Event of the Year by Jay Pettry
• Breakthrough Fighter of the Year by Ben Duffy
• Robbery of the Year by Brian Knapp
• Round of the Year by Ben Duffy
• Comeback Fighter of the Year by Tyler Treese
• Upset of the Year by Brian Knapp
• Walkout Song of the Year by Jay Pettry