Conor McGregor’s stunning finish of Jose Aldo, Jorge Masvidal’s flying knee on Ben Askren and magic from Lyoto Machida… Sportsmail’s top 10 KOs in UFC history – but who takes top spot?
- There have been some spectacular knockouts since the UFC’s first event in 1993
- It is almost impossible to agree on a top 10 but the debate is part of the fun
- Conor McGregor’s KO of Jose Aldo in 13 seconds will live long in the memory
- Holly Holm’s devastating head kick on Ronda Rousey was also incredible
- There was a case for Holm to be No 1 but she came up a bit short…
It is almost impossible to find a consensus among fight fans over the top 10 knockouts in UFC history given the vast number of spectacular finishes down the years.
From Conor McGregor’s 13-second KO of Jose Aldo to Holly Holm’s devastating head kick on Ronda Rousey, there have been memorable endings in all weight classes.
Choosing the best is of course completely subjective but here are Sportsmail’s favourites.
10. Yair Rodriguez on Chan Sung Jung – R5, 04:59 (2018)
This was one of the most creative, bizarre and jaw-dropping knockouts in recent memory.
Rodriguez and Jung had fought for 24 minutes and 59 seconds out of the 25-minute main event showdown when the Mexican produced something that had to be watched in slow motion to be believed.
Down on the cards against his featherweight opponent, he spread his arms to invite Sung Jung into one last flurry, then at the last second dropped his head and threw and elbow from beneath himself, catching ‘Korean Zombie’ on the chin and snatching an incredible win.
Yair Rodriguez delivered an improbable KO of Chang Sung Jung in the very last second
9. Francis Ngannou on Alistair Overeem – R1, 01:42 (2017)
This was the moment Ngannou established himself as a heavyweight to be feared, with one of the most cartoon-like knockouts in UFC history.
The ludicrously powerful prospect was on an upward curve but many thought the nous and experience of Overeem could be too much for him.
But in the first round, Ngannou delivered a thunderous left uppercut that sent his opponent’s head flying backwards and knocked him out cold instantly. Few could argue afterwards that the Cameroon-born Frenchman is not the most powerful puncher in the organisation.
Francis Ngannou showed off his devastating power when he knocked out out Alistair Overeem
8. Dan Henderson on Michael Bisping – R2, 3:20 (2009)
I’m loathe to include the first and only British UFC champion among the victims on this list but he later exacted revenge on Henderson so this is acceptable.
Bisping was on the receiving end of the American’s famed ‘H-Bomb’ and there was no coming back.
Henderson set it up perfectly, bringing the Brit’s hands down with a leg kick and shot to the body before winging an overhand right that landed flush on the chin.
Dan Henderson (right) separated Michael Bisping from consciousness with a huge right hand
7. Amanda Nunes on Cris Cyborg – R1, 51 seconds (2018)
This clash between two of the greatest female MMA was highly anticipated but Nunes showed she was a class above.
Cyborg had made a career out of bullying her opponents, landing huge strikes they simply couldn’t withstand but the shoe was on the other foot against the Brazilian.
It took just 51 seconds for the ‘Lioness’ to have the referee step in. Two left-right combinations put Cyborg on the floor and then Nunes finished up with a gigantic overhand right to remove all doubt.
Amanada Nunes (left) demolished Cris Cyborg inside the first minute of their title fight
6. Lyoto Machida on Vitor Belfort – R2, 1:00 (2018)
Almost two years ago, Machida delivered one of the coldest KOs and reactions ever seen.
Belfort, who it has to be said was well past his best, absorbed a front kick to the face that shot out of nowhere, causing him to slump to the canvas.
Where most fighters would have tried to pile on and land a couple more blows, Machida knew the job was done, put his hands on his hips and stared down at his Brazilian compatriot. He then bowed and sunk to his knees.
Lyoto Machida dropped to his knees and did not celebrate his amazing KO of Vitor Belfort
5. Edson Barboza on Terry Etin – R3, 2:02 (2012)
In terms of pure technical beauty, this knockout from Barboza has to make the list.
The former Muay-Thai kickboxer produced one for the highlights reel that you can never tire of watching on loop. It was the first spinning wheel kick KO in the UFC and Etin was the unfortunate recipient.
Barboza had worn his opponent down and was on course for an easy points victory but then threw a video-game move into the mix, connecting his heel with Etin’s chin.
Edson Barboza came up with the first spinning wheel kick knockout in UFC history
4. Anderson Silva on Forrest Griffin – R1, 3:23 (2009)
Silva deserves to feature on this list somewhere given the outrageous skills he used to pick people apart with.
He was never known for massive knockout power but his timing, shot selection and precision were legendary and best demonstrated in this clinic he put on against Griffin.
Having already showboated and dropped the UFC Hall of Fame fighter, he put his hands low, spectacularly evaded two more shots before countering to perfection, leaving Griffin sprawled out with his arms outstretched on the mat.
Anderson Silva showed off everything that made him great when he beat Forrest Griffin (left)
3. Conor McGregor on Jose Aldo – R1, 13 seconds (2015)
McGregor was already a superstar by this point but needed to prove to the world he was as capable as he told everyone he was.
Aldo was at the peak of his powers and regarded as the best featherweight of all time but the Irishman wound him up and managed to get under his skin during the promotional tour.
Given all the hype, what happened next was stunning as Aldo lunged forwards early on, McGregor stepped back and put the Brazilian on his back with that famous left hand. It took just 13 seconds and will be replayed on the big screen at UFC events until the end of time.
Conor McGregor planted his famously powerful left hand on the chin of Jose Aldo (right)
2. Holly Holm on Ronda Rousey – R2, 0:57 (2015)
There is a very strong case to be made for this to be No 1 but it will have to settle for second.
At the time, Rousey was a global superstar, regarded as a pioneer and the athlete who changed Dana White’s mind about having women compete in the UFC.
She had torn through the competition, finding a way to execute her signature arm-bar and Holm was a 20/1 underdog with some bookies.
Then came the kick heard across the world. In front of a massive crowd in Melbourne, ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ disengaged from a tangle with Rousey and threw the head kick before she could react.
The shin connected flush with the champion’s neck and bottom of the chin, wiping Rousey out and marking the beginning of the end for her MMA career.
Holly Holm stunned the world with her head kick knockout of Ronda Rousey in 2015
1. Jorge Masvidal on Ben Askren – R1, five seconds (2019)
Anybody who watched this fight live or even caught a replay will not forget it in a hurry.
Askren had come into the UFC as a much-hyped wrestler and his war of words with Masvidal escalated as their clash edged closer.
There was huge anticipation and tension in the air come fight night. The referee pointed to both men and signalled for the fight to begin as Masvidal hung back with his hands relaxed on the cage behind him.
Suddenly he started moving towards Askren before accelerating into a sprint. The wrestler reverted to instinct and tried to take his man down but Masvidal had planned for that and jumped forwards with a flying knee. Askren was knocked immediately unconscious and it remains the fastest KO is UFC history at just five seconds.
Jorge Masvidal knocked Ben Askren out cold just five seconds into their fight last year
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