2020 was a wild yr for MMA, that feels like it lasted a lifetime. With all the motion that took put more than the 12 months, it is tricky to recall what took place. This collection looks to enable out with that, giving an overview on what happened in just about every weight class, and a look at what we can count on to come in 2021.
There is a powerful argument to be built that 2020 was the finest yr ever in the historical past of the flyweight division. That is difficult to imagine with 125 lbs . playing host to one particular of the biggest fighters ever for half a ten years, but it definitely appears to be accurate right now. In 2020, not only did Deiveson Figueiredo believe the mantle of flyweight champion, he turned the first fighter from the division to at any time earn Fighter of the Yr honors. But perhaps the most spectacular accomplishment for Figueiredo this yr is he in some way designed a believer out of Dana White. The person who as a short while ago as last year was prepared to place 125 on the chopping block, is now contacting it just one of the sport’s greatest divisions, which is a minor wonder.
Of class, Figueiredo wasn’t exclusively the rationale for Dana White’s change of heart. In a yr where by issues have been frequently in flux, the flyweight constantly delivered high-octane motion. Askar Askarov, Brandon Royval, and Alex Perez all rose to prominence in the division with a lot of fights and exceptional finishes. And, of training course, there is Brandon Moreno who confirmed out to grow to be the prime contender in the division and then place on a Fight of the Calendar year nominee with Figueiredo at UFC 256. All in all, it was a magnificent 12 months for what at a person time was the UFC’s minimum favored division.
2020 was a yr to neglect for most folks, but in the flyweight division, no one particular would like to wipe their memory much more than Joseph Benavidez. With equally Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo absent from the division, the longtime also-ran to Mighty Mouse seems to eventually be in a place to declare the title that had eluded him for so lengthy. Instead, he was knocked out by Figueiredo – two times. With 4 failed title tries now to his title, and at 36 decades old, it seems Benavidez is doomed to sign up for the ranks of all-time terrific fighters who never ever received the belt.
Though the UFC now appears dedicated to the flyweight division for the foreseeable long term, it nevertheless designed some regrettable choices pertaining to it this year, most notably, releasing Jussier Formiga. Formiga has been a staple of the division’s top-five given that its inception and even has a gain over the present champion, just past year. His recent a few-fight getting rid of skid has arrive in opposition to top-5 opponents and he unquestionably continues to be a person of the most effective flyweights in the entire world, so chopping him, primarily when with a earn or two, they could established up a rematch amongst him and Figueiredo, that would be great business enterprise for developing their champion’s star. It was a puzzling selection.
The MVP of a division is not just a question of “Who is the best fighter in the division?” Alternatively, it seems at who furnished the most amusement in the division over the class of the year, win or eliminate.
Unquestionably, the flyweight MVP for 2020 is Deiveson Figueiredo. Aside from currently being the over-all 2020 Fighter of the Yr, Figueiredo evidently experienced the most significant bouts of the year and offered by far the most leisure to supporters. Figgy Smalls fought 4 instances in 2020, turning in two submissions, one knockout, and a Combat of the 12 months contender. Which is on leading of placing the document for swiftest turnaround for a UFC champion. He also wore this outfit.
2020 was Deiveson Figueiredo’s calendar year, we ended up all just alongside for the trip.
Honorable Mentions: Brandon Moreno, Brandon Royval, Alex Perez
Deiveson Figueiredo struggle to a draw Brandon Moreno, UFC 256.
Deiveson Figueiredo submits Joseph Benavidez with a rear-bare choke, UFC Fight Island 2
Deiveson Figueiredo submits Alex Perez with a guillotine, UFC 255
Alex Perez TKO’s Jussier Formiga with leg kicks, UFC 250
Brandon Royval submits Tim Elliott with an arm-triangle choke, UFC Vegas 1
Brandon Royval submits Kai Kara-France with a guillotine choke, UFC 253
Tatsuki Saomoto KOs Yusaku Nakamura with punches, Rizin 23
As pointed out just before, the flyweight division is presently in the ideal place it has ever been in. It has a fantastic, marketable winner, the UFC is eventually displaying it some love, and most critical, it has the commence of a solid rivalry to develop on. Figueiredo and Moreno are practically guaranteed to rematch early in 2021, and offered how wonderful their initially combat was, the rematch will attract a ton of notice to the division. After that, there are no shortage of younger, interesting contenders creating their way up the ranks. Given Figueiredo’s willingness to fight usually, we could be in store for numerous flyweight title fights subsequent year, and if Figueiredo can preserve his belt via all of that, he’ll be well on his way to obtaining a degree of stardom Demetrious Johnson by no means did. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats and proper now, the water appears to be coming in on the flyweight division.