Voting is now open for the 12th annual World MMA Awards. Head here to vote for your favourite fighters and MMA personalities.
Fighters Only has extended the nomination period from 12 months to 18 months (1st January 2019 – 30th June 2020) to best account for all global MMA action and performances.
The star-studded, black-tie 2020 World MMA Awards event will be held in October 2020 on a date and location to be announced.
In the lead-up to the big show, we are profiling each of the 12th annual World MMA Awards nominations.
Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum is nominated for the Fight of the Year in the 12th annual World MMA Awards.
On 13 April, 2019, middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum faced off for their division’s interim championship at UFC 236.
As Adesanya and Gastelum embraced each other on the floor of the Octagon to a rapturous crowd, many felt their contest was one of the finest title fights in UFC history.
It was a wild, back and forth war. Gastelum’s punching power was clear to see as he had Adesanya hurt in the first round. A competitive second round saw Adesanya score a knockdown of his own.
One round apiece going into the third, Adesanya looked to have found his groove as he landed punches with accuracy.
Though Gastelum looked tired in the third, he really turned it on in the fourth round and had Adesanya hurt on multiple occasions, landing big shots with his hands and a notable head kick. It was Adesanya who now appeared fatigue.
With the fight hanging in the balance, Adesanya threw everything but the kitchen sink at Gastelum, landing a front kick, crisp punching combinations and more. Gastelum’s grit shone as he he somehow survived two knockdowns and two tight-looking submission attempts – a standing guillotine choke and a triangle choke on the mat – as Adesanya poured it on.
But that was all in vain as the last round earned Adesanya the decision victory.
Both men showed tremendous heart and ability as Gastelum hurt Adesnaya in ways we’ve never seen in an MMA fight before or since, while Adesanya showed just how well-rounded the former kickboxer’s mixed martial arts skills are.
Is Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum your Fight of the Year?
Voting is now open for the 12th annual World MMA Awards.
Head here to vote for your favourite fighters and MMA personalities.