There were so many great MMA fights in 2020 and many were overlooked. We all know that Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno, and Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker were among the best fights of the year, and those fights have been getting plenty of love in the year-end awards. But for this article, I want to dig deeper and look into some fights that fans may have overlooked. Presenting 10 of the most overlooked UFC fights during 2020. Here are the only three rules: No UFC main events, no title fights, and nothing that won “Fight of the Night.”
1. Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price, UFC 249
The first event back from the COVID-19 pandemic began was May’s UFC 249. It was a stacked card and the “Fight of the Night” award was well earned by headlines Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson. But one of the best fights on the card took place on the prelims as Vicente Luque and Niko Price went to war in their rematch. Luque won the first fight by submission and in the rematch, he won the fight via third-round doctor stoppage. This was a crazy fight that is well worth another watch.
2. Nate Landwehr vs. Darren Elkins, UFC on ESPN 8
Another fun fight was war overlooked, Nate Landwehr picked up his first Octagon victory when he defeated Darren Elkins by unanimous decision in a bloody fight that went the full 15 minutes.
3. Billy Quarantillo vs. Spike Carlyle, UFC on ESPN 9
If you are into slick ground skills and a crazy pace, check out the featherweight bout between Billy Quarantillo and Spike Carlyle, which Quarantillo won by decision after 15 back-and-forth minutes.
4. Devin Clark vs. Alonzo Menifield UFC 250
I loved this light heavyweight bout between Devin Clark and Alonzo Menifield. It was a gritty fight, and if you like clinch work, Clark’s gameplan to hand Menifield his first pro loss was genius here.
5. Brendan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus, UFC on ESPN 12
Two middleweight prospects put on a show for the fans when Brendan Allen won a hard-fought decision over Kyle Daukaus. Look for both men to take the next step forward in 2021.
6. Tim Elliott vs. Ryan Benoit, UFC on ESPN 13
This flyweight bout between Tim Elliott and Ryan Benoit was a whole lot of fun. Elliott won a close decision at the end of 15 minutes but both men proved they are top-15 flyweights in this bout.
7. Casey Kenney vs. Heili Alateng, UFC on ESPN 16
Casey Kenney had an amazing year in 2020 and one of his best performances was this unanimous decision victory over Heili Alatent where Kenney was able to show off an incredible striking attack.
8. Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Bruno SIlva, UFC on ESPN+ 37
This flyweight bout between Tagir Ulanbkov and Bruno Silva was the curtain jerker for this card, but don’t miss it. Ulanbekov looked great in this one as the flyweight prospect won a spirited decision.
9. Sean Strickland vs. Jack Marshman, UFC on ESPN+ 39
This was a really fun fight between a technician in Sean Strickland and a durable veteran in Jack Marshman. Strickland’s trash-talking during this fight is what made his decision win truly special.
10. Parker Porter vs. Josh Parisian, UFC on ESPN 18
This was a crazy heavyweight slugfest that somehow went the distance. Park Porter landed everything including the kitchen sink on Josh Parisian here en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Five honorable mentions: Andre Fili vs. Charles Jourdain, UFC on ESPN 10; Davey Grant vs. Martin Day, UFC 251; Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, UFC on ESPN 14; Ed Herman vs. Mike Rodriguez, UFC on ESPN+ 35; Alex Morono vs. Rhys McKee, UFC on ESPN+ 40
What fights would be in your top-10 list of the most overlooked fights of 2020?