Seeing an amazing knockout at a UFC fight is the easy part. The hard part is picking between them.
There were literally dozens of bouts that could be chosen for the 10 best knockouts since UFC 100.
I pared the list down to 25 before making the final 10. Undoubtedly, you’re not going to agree with my picks. That’s fine, because there is an argument to be made for many more other than the ones I chose.
Here are my top 10:
10. Thiago Santos KO1 Steve Bosse, UFC Fight Night 70 – This fight ended in just 29 seconds and was as definitive of a finish as you’ll ever see.
Bosse was moving forward, and preparing to throw a punch. Santos braced on his right leg and caught Bosse with a perfectly placed kick to the head, knocking the Canadian cold. The shin landed right on the jaw and Bosse never knew what hit him.
9. Thomas Almeida KO2 Brad Pickett, UFC 189 – Pickett attempted a flying knee on Almeida, who saw it coming and danced out of the way. Seconds later, Almeida tried his own and the fight soon ended.
Almeida acted as if he were going to throw a right knee and switched to the left. It made a sound that was audible to those at cageside and it put Pickett out flat on his back.
8. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua KO1 James Te Huna, UFC Fight Night 33 – Rua has long been one of the sport’s biggest stars, but there was pressure on him entering this fight to prove he wasn’t finished, as he’d lost two straight and three of four.
The powerful Te Huna moved forward and was stalking. As he prepared to throw a punch, Rua fired a lightning-quick left hook that landed on the chin 63 seconds into the fight and put Te Huna out. Rua fired a vicious right from the top before the referee could get in to stop it.
7. Paul Felder KO2 Danny Castillo, UFC 182 – Felder had a great first round and was picking Castillo apart.
In the second, he changed up a bit to great affect. He caught Castillo with a perfectly timed spinning back fist that sent Castillo out in a hurry.
6. Michael Bisping KO1 Luke Rockhold, UFC 199 – There were many equally as devastating finishes as this, though Bisping’s KO of Rockhold was mighty devastating. This one, though, goes on the list because of its significance.
Bisping had been around the UFC for more than a decade and never sniffed a title shot. Many regarded him as little more than a gatekeeper, and he got this shot at the middleweight title only when Chris Weidman pulled out with injury.
Bisping was a huge underdog, but he unloaded a spectacular combination seemingly out of nowhere to drop Rockhold and claim the title.
It was as shocking of a finish as any on this list.
5. Stipe Miocic KO1 Fabricio Werdum, UFC 198 – Again, the significance of this fight, in which Miocic won the heavyweight title, vaults it over others and puts it in my Top 10.
But you want to talk about power, timing and speed? Watch Miocic’s finish of Werdum.
Werdum was moving forward, pushing Miocic backward. Miocic was backpedaling, trying to create the proper distance, when he threw a short right. The punch connected on the jaw and put Werdum out cold.
4. Dong Hyun Kim KO3 John Hathaway, The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale – The sound of Kim’s elbow catching Hathaway on the chin was like a baseball bat catching up to a 98 mph fastball.
Kim spun and when he faced Hathaway, he unloaded one of the most powerful and perfectly placed elbows ever. Hathaway never saw it coming and he was out cold.
3. Chris Beal KO2 Patrick Williams, UFC 172 – Beal treated those customers who arrived early to watch this fight, the card’s opener, to a great flying knee knockout.
Williams was moving to his left along the cage as Beal gauged the distance. He’d been having success with his hands and perhaps Williams was watching for those.
Whatever, when Williams took a step to his left and dropped his hands, Beal leapt into the air and caught Williams on the chin with a knee.
He just walked away, knowing his work was over.
2. Yair Rodriguez KO2 Andre Fili, UFC 197 – Rodriguez is one of the most creative and innovative fighters in the sport and he showed it against Fili.
As Fili was moving away, Rodriguez leaped and seemed as if he were about to throw a right head kick. He adjusted in air and put Fili completely out with a left that landed with a sickening thud.
1. Edson Barboza KO3 Terry Etim, UFC 142 – Barboza is one of the sport’s finest and most dangerous kickers, but he usually confines his attack to the legs and the body.
He got the finish on Etim with a spinning wheel kick to the jaw that was awe-inspiring to watch.
Barboza was in command of the fight and Etim was trying to make something happen. As Etim attacked, Barboza spun and hit Etim in the face, planting him, with the wheel kick knockout that is my choice as the best KO in the UFC since UFC 100 in 2009.