by Zach Gardiner
Everyone loves a good knockout, and the UFC has a history of giving fans the joy of watching people ending up flat on the canvas. The best thing about a fight is that it can change in the blink of an eye. One punch, kick, elbow, or knee can change history forever.
It’s not easy making a top ten list of the greatest knockouts of all time, but in light of Joaquin Buckley’s electrifying knockout on the 10th of October, it had to be done. There have been countless unforgettable moments with fans favorite fighters over the years, but some just stand out.
#10 Dan Henderson vs. Micheal Bisping
Michael Bisping was no stranger to trash talk, but leading up to UFC 100, Bisping seemed determined to get inside Dan Henderson’s head. In the second round, Dan Henderson delivered his “H-Bomb”, (Henderson’s signature right overhand), and put Bisping to sleep. This was arguably the best moment of Henderson’s career.
#9 Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim
Edson Barboza’s Victory over Terry Etim at UFC 142 had made history, becoming the first ever knockout by way of spinning heel kick. Barboza was climbing the ranks of the lightweight division, and this knockout solidified him as a top contender. The kick seemed to come out of nowhere, and ended Etim’s night rather quickly.
#8 Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo
Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo were the interim Featherweight Champions in 2015. The two best fighters in the UFC. UFC 194 was marketed as the fight of the decade. A ruthless show of determination, heart, and skill – right? Nope. The entire fight lasted thirteen seconds. Aldo pushes forward, and Conor sits him down. Conor is the new unified featherweight champion of the world and becomes the best pound for pound fighter in the UFC.
#7 Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort
UFC 126 gave us one of the best middleweight knockouts of all time. Vitor Belfort, the number one contender, had wanted this fight for a long time, and when he got it, he did his due diligence talking about it. There was a lot of trash talk in the weeks leading up to the fight and Silva certainly returned fire. After toying with the challenger for a while, Silva caught Belfort at the end of the first round, with a picture perfect front kick, ending the fight. This finish solidified him as the best in the UFC at the time.
#6 Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture
Lyoto Machida was the main karate fighter in MMA at the time of UFC 129, which helped him score one of the greatest finishes of all time, over a legend like Randy Couture no less. The two heavyweights met in the octagon, both bringing with them tremendous destructive power. It was a relatively close fight, all the way up until the end of the second round when Machida threw a Crane Kick. It lands right on the jaw and Couture goes down. The fight is over.
#5 Francis Ngannou vs. Alistar Overeem
Until meeting Ngannou in the octagon at UFC 218, Overeem had only lost once in the past three years. Needless to say, Ngannou ended his dominance. Overeem had been turned into a Pez dispenser after he was hit with the “uppercut from hell”. Before these two met, Ngannou was unranked, but after this fight, half of the division had gone down to light heavyweight. Ngannou is here to stay.
#4 “Sugar” Sean O’Malley vs. Eddie Wineland
If “Sugar” Sean O’Malley could be described in one word, it would be electrifying. From spinning kicks, to one punch knockouts, O’Malley does it all. Wineland and O’Malley met at UFC 250 on “Fight Island”, where the UFC has proceeded during the pandemic. After a nine month suspension for failing a USADA drug test, a win over the journeyman, Wineland, would put O’Malley back in the spotlight. He did just that. Late in the first round, O’Malley lands a devastating straight right and Wineland goes to sleep before he even hits the canvas.
#3 Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey
Before UFC 193, Ronda Rousey was seemingly invincible. She had won twelve straight, with her last eleven coming by way of submission and all in the first round. People started to say, “death, taxes, Rousey by armbar”. Holm, on the other hand, was easily the best striker in the bantamweight division. She was a former women’s boxing world champion and had two decision victories in MMA. The fight was going well for Holm, she was landing hard shots and avoiding the clinch and the ground. The beginning of the end for Rousey came at the start of the second round. Holm stumbled rousey with a clean left hand, and put her away with a thunderous head kick. This fight changed women’s MMA forever.
#2 Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren
Jorge Masvidal is a natural born fighter, through and through. He was thought to be the answer to Ben Askren, the decorated All-American wrestler. Askren was undefeated with nineteen wins. The entire fight lasted five seconds, with Masvidal charging at Askren right out of the gates at full speed. Askren tried to duck under the flying knee, but miserably failed. The knee landed square in his temple, and Askren was knocked out cold. Masvidal was able to land two more crushing blows on the ground before the fight was stopped. A proper “baptism” by “street jesus”.
#1 Joaquin Buckley vs. Impa Kasanganay
The best knockout in UFC history came two weeks ago by way of a spectacular jumping spinning heel kick. Buckley’s left body kick was caught by Kasanganay, so Buckley, seemingly with ease, jumped and in mid-air landed a spinning heel kick on the button. Kasanganay goes stiff as a board, and the fight is over. Needless to say Joaquin Buckley was pleased with his performance, and his $50,000 knockout of the night bonus.