Several fighters have enjoyed a hugely successful 2020 but only one can be named Fighter of the Year. Kevin Holland, Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz and Khabib Nurmagomedov are just some of the big names who missed out as our writers voted Deiveson Figueiredo the LowKickMMA Fighter of the Year after he picked up three wins via stoppage and a draw in arguably the greatest UFC flyweight fight of all time.
Jordan Ellis: Deiveson Figueiredo
The last person I expected to be giving this award to in 2020 is the man I simply have to acknowledge as the best this year has had to offer. Deiveson Figueiredo has emerged from a relatively unknown flyweight contender to one of the most exciting champions in MMA. He showed a ruthless streak to twice beat perennial contender Joseph Benavidez before slapping down DWCS alum Alex Perez. He didn’t manage to enjoy a perfect year but his highly exciting five-round war with Brandon Moreno was enough for me. Congrats Deiveson Figueiredo on a stellar 2020.
Alex Lough: Deiveson Figueiredo
When Henry Cejudo announced he would be moving up to bantamweight, flyweight was left without a champion, without a face the fans could rally behind. It seemed like the long-heard rumour that the UFC would be shuttering the division would finally come to fruition. Enter Deiveson Figueiredo. In what seemed to be the divisions last stand, Figueiredo put on a show against Joseph Benavidez, effortlessly dispatching the man that many always viewed as the bridesmaid of the 125-pound class. To silence any doubters because of a missed weight cut, he did it again, somehow in even more emphatic fashion. Suddenly, the division had something it always lacked: a star capable of putting on show-stopping performances. A career best performance in his first title defense solidified him as one of the must-watch names in all of MMA, and as if he didn’t win over enough fans, he stepped up to save the day three-weeks later and put on a Fight of the Year contender. No other fighter had as successful a campaign as Figueiredo, and no other division was in greater need of it.
Ross Markey: Deiveson Figueiredo
3-0-1 over the course of the year. Three finishes. Dominant performance against Joseph Benavidez in both the first and second fight as well as a quickfire win over the touted Alex Perez. Along with Brandon Moreno, produced arguably the greatest flyweight title fight in the promotion’s history. Seems as if the flyweight division finally has a champion that the fans can become invested in.
Karim Nathan: Deiveson Figueiredo
Who would have ever predicted that 2 back to back UFC PPV’s in 2020 would be headlined by flyweights but its all thanks to the god of war himself Figueiredo. When the year began not a lot of people knew who Deiveson was and even in his first title fight it was mostly about how it’s finally time for Benavidez to make the step forward and win the title, but Figueirdo had other plans. Then in their second fight I consider it the best performance ever in a title fight, Deiveson was putting him down with every shot. He ends the year 3-0-1 in what could’ve been 4-0 had it not been for a point deduction but all in all he deserves to be fighter of the year.