2020 has been a tumultuous year for us all – with countless peoples, markets and industries affected – not the least of which is the world of MMA & combat sports. Fortunately enough for fight fans on the Gulf Coast and around the world, combat sports was one of the first to make its return, with organizations such as UFC, ONE FC, Bellator, and Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship at the national and international helm, and Atlas Fights, Empire Fighting Championship, GCMMA, Island Fights and iKon Fighting Federation first bringing shows back to the Coast. Like these promotions, there were several fighters, gyms, coaches and teams that made the most out of a year that many gave up on. Thus, we present the Fight Sport Focus 2020 Gulf Coast MMA & Combat Sports Awards winners to celebrate those persons. We announced the winners on episode 22 of the Fight Sport Focus Podcast, and you can click here to give that a listen.
First up, we have the award for the best gym – which gym had the most dominant fighters representing it in 2020. As votes began pouring in, this race became razor close between two Louisiana gyms – Mid City MMA and Performance Evolution. What’s more, is that if this year hadn’t dealt a big enough blow to gyms in Louisiana and on the Coast, Performance Evolution was devastated by the 2020 hurricane season and was rebuilding as their fighters returned to action in the cage. That being said, we now present to you the 2020 award for best gym:
Next up, we asked which promotion had the best matchups and events of 2020. Atlas Fights was the first promotion that brought MMA back after the Covid-19 lockdowns, and it was a tight race between them, Empire Fighting Championship, and Gulf Coast MMA. We now present you the 2020 award winner for best promotion:
Fighter of the Year
Then, we asked which fighter made the most out of the year of the ‘Rona. Although there were several more-than-deserving candidates, there was only 1 fighter hailing from the Gulf Coast that brought a world championship home in 2020. We present the 2020 award winner for fighter of the year:
Next, we wanted to know which amateur fighter fans thought we should most be looking out for. This was probably the closest out of all of the polls that we had, with Performance Evolution’s Donzeill Marshall, Mid-City MMA & Thanh Le MMA’s Evan Fremin, and Port City Kickboxing Academy’s Cam Teague all neck and neck in the running. But, fight fans have spoken, and we present to you the winner for the 2020 amateur up-and-coming fighter:
Fight of the Year
And lastly, we asked which matchup was the BEST that 2020 had to offer? Although 2020 was an abridged year for mixed martial arts matchups, there were several fights that really stood out. Fight fans voted, and now we present to you the fight of the year:
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