Although 2020 was not what anybody expected, ONE Championship still came through with an incredible slate of martial arts bouts.
There was a little something for everybody in the year that was including new champions, breakout performances, and memorable battles. But which ones stand out from the pack?
Take a look at ONE Championship's five best mixed martial arts matches from 2020.
#5 Kiamrian Abbasov vs. James Nakashima
The ONE Welterweight World Championship main event from ONE: Inside The Matrix 2 kicks-off the list by showing what a championship match is supposed to be. The five-round affair showcased the championship mettle of Kiamrian Abbasov as he provided one of the year's top comebacks.
James Nakashima proved his status as the top contender with an impressive showing through the first three rounds. He continued to look strong into the championship rounds, but a well-timed knee changed the course of the action.
Abbasov stunned Nakashima and turned up the heat to get the TKO finish and retain his gold.
#4 Joshua Pacio vs. Alex Silva
Love strawweight action? You'll love this bout from January.
ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio outlasted Alex Silva through five grueling rounds. The former champion came up short but pushed Pacio all the way to show he's still at the top of his game.
Pacio retained the gold and showed why he is one of the most underappreciated athletes in the sport today.
#3 Christian Lee vs. Iuri Lapicus
The bout may have lasted less than 2:30, but it was so full of action it is hard to deny its spot on the list.
Iuri Lapicus started strongly and had the ONE Lightweight World Champion in trouble. However, he got a little over-aggressive and allowed Lee to regain his bearings before the sensational twenty-something was able to turn the tide.
Heavy ground and pound sealed the deal and allowed Lee to get the first official title defense under his belt.
#2 Xiong Jing Nan vs. Tiffany Teo
"The Panda" Xiong Jing Nan and Tiffany "No Chill" Teo met years ago for the inaugural ONE Women's Strawweight World Championship. Xiong won with an impressive finish, but the rematch would prove more difficult.
Teo was able to show how much she had grown from the first outing and came alive as the bout drew to a close. Although the decision would not go her way, it was an inspiring performance that displayed the growth in her game.
It took 25 minutes of hard work, but "The Panda" retained and continued her dominance in the strawweight division.
#1 Martin Nguyen vs. Thanh Le
Unquestionably, this was the Fight of the Year in ONE Championship. The ONE Featherweight World Championship matchup from ONE: Inside The Matrix was electric.
Thanh Le got off to a quick start, but Martin Nguyen was picking up steam in the third round. Both athletes are of Vietnamese descent and made their homeland proud by throwing heat and giving the fans everything they had.
Le clipped Nguyen in the third round setting off a frantic finish. After several clean shots buckled the champion, Le finally found the bout-ending uppercut he was looking for and begun a new era in one of the deepest divisions.
Top 5 MMA Fights Of 2020 | ONE Championship Awards www.youtube.com
- Top 5 Fights by the Stars of ONE: No Surrender II - Black Belt ... ›
- The Best of ONE Championship's Karate Athletes! - Black Belt ... ›
- The BEST ONE Championship Fights of 2021 So Far - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida To Make Long-Awaited MMA Debut At ONE Revolution - Black Belt Magazine ›
- ONE Athlete Rankings Movement For October - Black Belt Magazine ›