Israel Adesanya wins Fighter of the Year at the World MMA Awards for the second year in a row


Israel Adesanya wins Fighter of the Year at the World MMA Awards for the second year in a row after another successful year for the UFC Middleweight champion… while Jorge Masvidal picks up KO of the year after brutal five-second win against Ben Askren

  • Israel Adesanya picked up the MMA Fighter of the Year Award for 2020 
  • The 31-year-old UFC Middleweight champion won the same award last year
  • Adesanya beat Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa in the Octagon this calendar year
  • The Nigerian-New Zealand fighter also won International Fighter of the year 

Israel Adesanya was named Fighter of the Year for 2020 at the World MMA Awards on Sunday night. 

The UFC Middleweight champion, who now has a 20-0 career record, managed to defend his title on two occasions in the calendar year, beating both Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa in the Octagon.

As well as picking up the Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis Fighter of the Year Award, the Nigerian-New Zealand fighter also picked up the prize for International Fighter of the Year.

Israel Adesanya (above) was named the MMA Fighter of the Year for 2020 on Sunday night

The 31-year-old (left) started the calendar year with a unanimous points win over Yoel Romero

The 31-year-old (left) started the calendar year with a unanimous points win over Yoel Romero

It is the second year in a row that Adesanya has won the award after he won and unified the UFC Middleweight Championship in 2019. 

The 31-year-old also picked up the Breakthrough Fighter of the Year prize in 2018 as Adesanya’s stock continues to rise in the MMA community. 

The Nigerian-New Zealand fighter’s year began with a unanimous decision victory over Romero in Las Vegas’ 248 event – his first fight since unifying the Middleweight Championship in October last year. 

Adesanya then had to wait until September for his next fight but dispatched Brazilian fighter Costa with a second round knockout following a series of punches – a display which won him Performance of the Night. 

Adesanya (right) then beat Brazilian Paulo Costa in September to defend his middleweight title

Adesanya (right) then beat Brazilian Paulo Costa in September to defend his middleweight title

The UFC Middleweight champion also picked up the International Fighter of the Year award

The UFC Middleweight champion also picked up the International Fighter of the Year award

The next calendar year could see Adesanya come up against one of his fiercest rivals in Jon Jones, with UFC president Dana White claiming that ‘Bones’ is ready to come out of retirement to take on the Middleweight champion.  

Speaking about a potential Adesanya vs Jones fight in 2021, White said: ‘That’s the fight I would love to see. 

‘Somebody asked me yesterday, “If you could make one fight in 2021, what would it be?” That’s the fight. That’s my pick.’ 

Jorge Masvidal (left) won the Best Knockout of the Year prize for his victory over Ben Askren

Jorge Masvidal (left) won the Best Knockout of the Year prize for his victory over Ben Askren

American fighter Jorge Masvidal was the only other multiple award winner in Sunday’s virtual awards ceremony, with the 36-year-old collecting the Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Award and the Knockout of the Year for his UFC 239 win over Ben Askren.

Masvidal knocked out fellow countryman Askren in just five seconds in July 2019 though the former lost to Karamu Usman on a unanimous points call earlier this year.

Justin Gaethje’s coach Trevor Wittman was presented with the Shawn Tompkins Coach of the Year honour while Dustin Poirier’s strength and conditioning aid Phil Daru won Trainer of the Year.