At the World MMA Awards on Sunday night, Israel Adesanya was named Warrior of the Year for 2020.
In two occasions in the calendar year, the UFC middleweight champion, who now has a 20-0 career record, continued to retain his title, defeating both Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa in the Octagon.
The Nigerian-New Zealand warrior has picked up the World Fighter of the Year award as well as the Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis Fighter of the Year Award.
Since winning the UFC Middleweight Title in 2019 and unifying it, Israel Adesanya has received the title for the second year in a row.
As Adesanya’s stock continues to grow in the MMA culture, the 31-year-old also picked up the Breakout Fighter of the Year award in 2018.
The year of the Nigerian-New Zealand fighter started with a unanimous decision win over Romero in the 248 Las Vegas event – his first battle since last year’s Middleweight Championship unification in October.
Adesanya then had to wait until September for his next fight, but after a series of punches, he dispatched Brazilian boxer Costa with a second round knockout – a showing that earned him Performance of the Night.
Israel Adesanya could come up against one of his fiercest competitors in Jon Jones the following calendar year, with UFC President Dana White saying that ‘Bones’ is ready to come out of retirement to take on the Middleweight champion.
Speaking of a possible clash between Israel Adesanya and Jones in 2021, White said:’ That’s the fight I’d love to see.
‘Yesterday, someone asked me,’ If you could fight one fight in 2021, what would that be?’ That’s the fight. That’s my range.’
In Sunday’s virtual awards ceremony, American fighter Jorge Masvidal was the only other multiple award recipient, with the 36-year-old collecting the Breakout Fighter of the Year Award and the Knockout of the Year for his UFC 239 victory over Ben Askren.
While the former lost to Karamu Usman on a unanimous points call earlier this year, Masvidal knocked out fellow countryman Askren in just five seconds in July 2019.
Trevor Wittman, coach of Justin Gaethje, was honored with the title of Shawn Tompkins Coach of the Year, while Phil Daru won Trainer of the Year for Dustin Poirier’s strength and conditioning assistance.