Kevin Holland Believes Deiveson Figueiredo Was 2020 Fighter of the Year

Published 01/10/2021, 9:50 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 11: Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC 256 weigh-in at UFC APEX on December 11, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Kevin Holland went a sensational 5-0 over the course of 2020. He capped off the year with a shot-notice fight against Rolando ‘Jacare’ Souza. He took care of Jacare with a fantastic knockout from a sitting position. His 5-0 record has many people placing him right atop the list for Fighter of the Year for 2020.

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However, many people prefer UFC Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo, who won two fights and drew his third one against Brandon Moreno. Holland also believes Fig should have been considered Fighter of the Year.

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“Diego’s a champ and did something most champs don’t like to do and fought back to back. Stepped up when nobody wanted to step up. I had been saying at the end of the year like, hey, if he wins the fight, then we go.

“We’re both fighting in the same night, but no matter what way he wins. Didn’t matter in what fashion long as he won. I thought he got Fighter if the Year without a doubt. Hats off to that guy you know, it’s different when you’re the champ doing it.”

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Kevin Holland: Poised for another breakout year?

It is hard to say that 2020 was not his breakout year after an undefeated record. However, Holland still has a few fights left to work his way up the crowd. One of those fights is coming up against Derek Brunson soon. Brunson is a long-time Middleweight and will be another veteran challenge for Holland.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 12: Kevin Holland celebrates his KO victory over Jacare Souza of Brazil in their middleweight bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

A few big wins in 2021 would enable Holland to rise to possibly challenge Israel Adesanya. If not that, Holland could get a few more wins and possibly scrap with Robert Whittaker while Izzy is off on his Light Heavyweight adventure. The ceiling is high for him. It only depends on how matchmaking treats him.

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You could say Holland deserved Fighter of the Year over Fig by virtue of having fought more. However, Fig fought in title bouts with success. Either way, both Holland and Figueiredo had great years.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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