Israel Adesanya has reacted to being named the 'Fighter of the Year 2020'. He took to Twitter to remind everyone that he said he would win it last year and he did it, again.
Earlier today, Israel Adesanya was named the 2020 Fighter of the Year at the World MMA Awards. Adesanya was named the 2019 Fighter of the Year by several MMA media outlets, and the UFC middleweight champion has once again bagged the prestigious award this year. The voting period for this year's awards lasted from January 2019 to July 2020. Adesanya fought and won a total of four fights inside the Octagon during the period.
Israel Adesanya's journey of becoming 'Fighter of the Year'
Israel Adesanya's first win during the voting period came against his idol and UFC legend, Anderson Silva, at UFC 234. In a beautiful display of striking and distance management skills, Adesanya picked up a lopsided unanimous decision victory against the former middleweight champion. Following his win against Silva, people started taking him as a serious title contender.
Adesanya's next fight came at UFC 236 against Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC middleweight title. The fight turned out to be a back and forth thriller as both guys inflicted some serious damage on each other over the course of five rounds. Adesanya was initially behind in the fight but mounted a stunning late-comeback to pick up a unanimous decision victory and became the interim champ.
Next up was the most important fight in Israel Adesanya's career, against then-champion Robert Whittaker in the headliner of UFC 243. In front of a jam-packed crowd in Melbourne, Australia, Adesanya put up a clinic to destroy Whittaker. The Last Stylebender knocked out The Reaper in the second round of the fight and became the UFC middleweight champion.
Adesanya's first title defense resulted in a rather lackluster unanimous decision win against former title challenger Yoel Romero at UFC 245. Many fans and critics termed the very tactical fight 'boring' due to the frequent periods of inactivity in the fight. The challenger didn't really try to force the issue until the last round and Adesanya was happy to stay on the outside, chop at the legs and pick up the points he needed to win the fight.Published 28 Dec 2020, 16:33 IST