ONE: Inside of the Matrix 1 wins the FanSided MMA Awards for the Best Fight Card of the Year (non-UFC).
The FanSided MMA Awards for best non-UFC fight card of the year was a two-horse race between ONE: Inside of the Matrix 1 and Bellator 238. Both of the promotions stacked their card in an attempt to increase their audience. Ultimately, the four title fights, with three finishes on the ONE: Inside of the Matrix 1 card was the deciding factor, winning the promotion the award.
The Inside of the Matrix 1 card was a six-fight card headlined by Reinier de Ridder knocking out Aung La Nsang to win the middleweight title. The undefeated de Ridder submitted La Nsang, who was making his fourth title defense, in the first round. The finish was the perfect exclamation mark on an excellent card.
In the co-main event, Christian Lee knocked out the previously undefeated Iuri Lapicus to retain his lightweight title. Thanh Le became the featherweight champion after knocking out Martin Nguyen in the third round. The lone title fight to go the distance was the women’s strawweight fight that saw Xiong Jingnan retain her title after rounds of fighting against Tiffany Teo in a rematch of their Jan. 20, 2018 fight at ONE: Kings of Courage.
Bellator 238 deserves some recognition. In the main event, Cris Justino knocked out Julia Budd to win the featherweight title. In the co-main, Darrion Caldwell submitted Adam Borics to advance in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix. Current Bellator bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta defeated Henry Corrales and Sergio Pettis made his Bellator debut, submitting Alfred Khashakyan. In the undercard, Aaron Pico provided a highlight second-round knockout.
Both promotions will try and build upon their successes in 2020 as they look to close the gap on the UFC. After a very difficult 2020, ONE and Bellator can both be optimistic that they are in line for an excellent 2021.