It’s been a great year despite the pandemic for the UFC. In a year that has seen many businesses struggle to keep their doors open, the promotion has thrived putting on tremendous fights since they returned in May after a brief hiatus.
In addition to putting on some great fight cards this year, the UFC has seen a number of fighters seemingly come out of no where. One of those fighters that came out of no where for the promotion was Khamzat Chimaev (9-0).
Chimaev made his UFC debut during the promotion’s first trip to Fight Island. He ended up fighting three times since July and he finished all three of his opponents inside the octagon.
However, it was the manner in which Chimaev finished his UFC fights that stood out. The guy took no damage whatsoever and did whatever he wanted to his opponents. In his last win over Gerald Meerschaert, he showed that he can knock opponents out on the feet.
Despite the rise to stardom for Chimaev, I can’t make him my Breakout Fighter of the Year. To me, the UFC had one fighter who was already on the roster entering 2020, but this year he came into his own and took his game to another level.
UFC’s Breakout Fighter of the Year
Kevin Holland was submitted in his final UFC fight of 2019. The fighter who was labeled as “Big Mouth” by Dana White was entertaining, but you wondered what his ceiling truly was. We got a glimpse of that in 2020.
Holland fought an astonishing five times since May and he went a perfect 5-0. What’s also impressive is the fact that Holland finished four of his five fights. The most impressive finish coming at UFC 256.
Holland took on legend, Jacare Souza, on the PPV main card. After getting taken down early, Holland was able to knock Jacare out from the bottom to cap off his perfect 2020 inside the octagon.
Holland has gone from an entertaining mid-card level fighter to a serious contender in 2020. Considering where he was to where he is now, Kevin Holland is the clear choice for the UFC‘s Breakout Fighter of the Year in 2020.