Comeback Of The Year – LowKick MMA 2023 Awards


With a year full of fantastic comeback victories, only one could walk away as the favorite among the LowKick MMA crew.

With six different bouts receiving nominations, it was perhaps this year’s closest vote, but in the end, Dan Hooker’s impressive split decision comeback over division standout Jalin Turner at UFC 290 was the victor with three total nominations.

Comeback of the year – dan hooker vs. jalin turner – UFC 290 – (3 Votes)

From the moment the bout was first announced, fight fans pegged Hooker vs. Turner as the Fight of the Night. Needless to say, the contest did not disappoint as the heart of Hooker weathered the incredibly violent storm of Turner to walk away with a split decision.

After a solid first round, ‘The Hangman’ found himself in some serious trouble after eating a nasty head kick from Turner in the second stanza. Biting down on his mouthpiece, Hooker returned fire and forced Turner to retreat and had his opponent dead to rights with a rear-naked choke in the round’s final seconds. The only thing that saved Turner from certain defeat was the bell.

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Honorable Mentions:

C.J. Vergara vs. Daniel da Silva – UFC san Antonio – (1 vote)

C.J. Vergara narrowly survived the first round against Daniel da Silva but proved he had plenty of stamina as he pounded out his opponent en route to scoring one of the biggest comebacks of 2023.

In the opening round, Vergara ate a clean wheel kick from da Silva that had him literally running away from his opponent inside the Octagon. Surviving an early onslaught, Vergara bounced back in the second round, landing a series of ground-and-pound strikes that forced the referee to step in and call for the stoppage with less than a minute to go in the round, giving fans an unforgettable comeback.

Edson Barboza vs. Sodiq Yusuff – UFC Vegas 81 – (1 Vote)

Beloved veteran Edson Barboza got off to a rocky start when he stepped into the main event spotlight for a clash with Sodiq Yusuff. ‘Super’ badly wobbled Barboza in the first exchange of the fight and repeatedly stunned him with a series of boxing combinations. A finish appeared to be imminent, but a takedown by Yusuff slowed the fight and gave Barboza the time he needed to recover.

Barboza found his footing in the second round and officially turned the tide in the third, landing one of his signature spinning wheel kicks. Barboza was unable to capitalize on the moment, but he was able to carry that momentum into the final two rounds, walking away with a unanimous decision after surrendering a 10-8 in the first. It was a comeback for the ages from one of the UFC’s most tenured talents.

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Mike Breeden vs. Anshul Jubli – UFC 294 – (1 vote)

Anshul Jubli came out guns blazing and put on a spirited fight in his promotional debut at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi. After taking the first two rounds with an onslaught of offense, Anshul was seemingly headed for a win. However, Breeden came out for the final round with a vengeance.

Barking like a dog, Breeden amped up the aggression and landed a series of heavy-handed shots that had his opponent backpedaling in an attempt to survive. With two minutes to go in the round, Breeden cracked Jubli with a stiff right hand that sent his opponent crashing to the canvas. Clearly compromised, the referee called for the stoppage, giving fans one of the most exciting come-from-behind victories of the year.

Elves Brener vs. Guram Kutateladze – UFC Vegas 76 – (1 vote)

Elves Brener entered the matchup with Guram Kutateladze as a sizeable underdog, but the Brazilian ended up scoring the most significant victory of his career after a wild back-and-forth scrap.

Brener came out looking to play spoiler with a couple of solid takedowns in the opening round, but it was the chopping leg kicks of Kutateladze followed by a huge flurry of strikes to close out the first. The second frame began with the Georgian opening up a huge cut on the forehead of Brener. Undeterred by the sight of his own blood, Brener continued to walk down Kutateladze with a variety of combinations.

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Brener connected with a big left hook that had his opponent curled up against the fence in the third round before some follow-up punches ended the contest.

Rodolfo Bellato vs. ihor Potieria – UFC Austin (1 vote)

After a fast-paced opening round between the two light heavyweight standouts, Potieria landed some major damage in the early stages of the second round, dropping Bellato and putting the fight on the cusp of being stopped. However, Bellato refused to quit and managed to get back to his feet.

Potieria was understandably exhausted after failing to secure the finish which allowed Bellato to pour on the punishment in the second. Bellato landed a takedown, moved to mount, and unloaded a series of strikes until referee Jacob Montalvo stepped in and stopped the bout at the 4:17 mark of Round 2, paving the way for another epic comeback in 2023.

Which comeback of 2023 was your favorite?

Full List Of The LowKick MMA 2023 Comeback Of The Year Votes:

  • Ross Markey: Dan Hooker
  • Ian Shutts: Dan Hooker
  • Murdo Todd: Elves Brenner
  • Craig Pekios: Edson Barboza
  • Makoa Goble: Rodolfo Bellato
  • Tony King: Dan Hooker
  • Red Pill MMA: Carlston Harris
  • Michael Owens: C.J. Vergara
  • Danny Podolsky: Mike Breedan