In 2017 Jan lost to Pat Cummins as part of a 1-4 run. Nobody cared about his career in 2018/2019 when he was winning decisions over guys like Krylov and Manuwa and geting finished by Santos.
When he KOed Rockhold in 2019 people just said it meant Rockhold was finished.
Jan won the SD over Jacare in 2019 and ruined Jacare's move to LHW but not a single fan said they enjoyed the fight and most were sad Jacare lost and seemed to be declining.
Everyone still treated Jan like a gatekeeper.
What a difference a year can make in MMA. In 2020 Jan got the two big KOs over Anderson and Reyes and all of a sudden he is this tough champion and everyone agrees Jan vs Adesanya is this great champ vs champ superfight.
Now fans are excited he is a champ in a superfight and I'm sure half of them would have been fine if he was cut after the Cummins fight and fans did not care about him at all as recently as 2019.
Jan sort of reminds me of Masvidal here, Masvidal was another tough LW/WW vet before his wins over Till and Askren. Then all of a sudden he was this media darling and doing a "superfight" vs Diaz.
Jan vs Adesanya is ok and all but this is not that big of a champ vs champ fight.