The Best UFC Knockouts (Most Explosive UFC Knockouts in History)
Nothing strikes waves of jubilation into the UFC hordes like a brutal UFC knockout. For the fighter delivering it, a knockout is the ultimate prize. Whereas the combatant on the receiving end, the shame of crumbling to the canvass while the finish is added to the highlight reel is a tough pill to swallow. Let’s explore the best UFC knockouts below.
UFC 246: Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
Conor McGregor returned to the octagon in style at UFC 246 as the Irishman tore out of his corner blasting Donal Cerrone with a barrage of shots in the opening round.
Cerrone, a veteran of the sport, struggled to contain McGregor as the damage started to pile up. The former lightweight champion caught Cerrone with a kick to the chin and the gunslinging cowboy’s legs transitioned to jelly.
Cerrone was reduced to his knees while McGregor commenced the onslaught. The Ireland native continued to pour the pressure on as he rained down a flurry of shots until Referee Herb Dean had seen enough recording it as a TKO in the first 40 seconds.
UFC 214: Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier
Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier first locked horns at UFC 182 which sparked one of the biggest rivalries in UFC history. Jones secured victory via unanimous decision setting up another blockbuster rematch two years later.
The pair were evenly matched the first two rounds with Jones landing with more volume while Cormier seemed to be mounting more damage. The stalemate broke emphatically in the third round as Jones charged into the belly of the beast with a huge kick to Cormier’s head.
Cormier swallowed his bitter rival’s foot and started stumbling around the canvass, a left hook and a huge knee securely dumped Cormier on the deck as Jones peppered him with relentless punches. It was too much for the Louisianna-born brawler and the defending champion retained his strap.
UFC 194: Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo
Conor McGregor’s dismantling of Jose Aldo will be documented in history as one of the all-time best knockouts ever in the UFC. Conor possesses dynamite in his left hand and Aldo volunteered to become the unfortunate victim who ate that trademark colossal shot.
McGregor destroyed Aldo at every turn before the bout, meticulously taunting the 6-year champion — even learning a variety of Portuguese to get deeper under the Brazilian’s skin.
After what felt like an exhausting build-up the fight was over in 13 seconds. The Dubliner had fulfilled his prophecy landing a lethal left hand knocking the Brazillian’s chin into orbit — the former-champion lay motionless on the canvass while McGregor claimed lightweight glory.
UFC 100: Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping
With 1.6 million pay-per-views, UFC 100 was the biggest MMA event in the promotion’s history. It was also Bisping’s first title eliminator. The stage could not have been any bigger.
Bisping had recently moved down to middleweight in the UFC and set his eyes immediately on becoming champion. The British fighter went 3–0 and was told he’d be given a shot at the title if he could steamroll his way through a battle-hardened Dan Henderson.
The two already shared bad blood during their time as opposing coaches on season nine of The Ultimate Fighter. But Henderson was the one to have the last laugh.
Henderson thundered out of his corner and caught Bisping with his trademark, explosive right hand — a punch nicknamed the “H Bomb” sending the challenger to the canvas. Henderson added one more venomous punch to make sure the Brit was finished before the referee jumped in.
UFC 88: Rashad Evans vs. Chuck Liddell
Although Evans had never lost a professional fight heading into UFC 88, the New York-born fighter was considered an underdog against an experienced and ageing Chuck Liddell.
The first round was exclusively fought on foot, with both fighters willing to stand and trade blows in the centre of the octagon. Evans demonstrated his superior footwork to evade and throw faints at a weathered Liddell. Although little damage was done, Liddell was throwing cleaner shots forcing the younger Evas to retreat.
The second round began much like the first, although Evans had grown increasingly confident finding ways inside to pepper the veteran fighter. Finally, as Liddell responded with more aggression, Evans landed a crushing overhand right that sent Liddell tumbling down to the canvass.
The Liddell victory would elevate Evans to new heights eventually winning the Light Heavyweight Championship in December of 2008.
UFC 239: Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren
On the evening of 6 July, in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, undefeated Ben Askren stood across in the cage from a sinisterly smiling Jorge Masvidal. Askren raised his hands and got ready for a five-round rumble.
Askren was a rising star — state wrestling champion, Olympian and undefeated UFC fighter. The Iowa-born Askren had 19 wins in 19 fights, he was sipping from the chalice of success.
At the time, Masvidal had been considered a fringe top-10 athlete. A fighter with a plethora of potential, and yet one who never quite earned elite status. That all changed after his lightening quick demolishment of a bedazzled Askren.
Askren came exploding out of his corner at breakneck speed at the fight’s opening bell, searching for the takedown. By the time the two fighters collided, Masvidal’s knee had connected with Askren’s head. The impact was immediate and Askren slumped into a heap. Masvidal had secured a seat at the UFC table.
UFC 250: Sean O’Malley vs. Eddie Wineland
Sean O’Malley, undefeated at the time, delivered a superlative performance against a sturdy and experienced Eddie Wineland in a dusty Las Vegas Apex Centre.
The rising star O’Malley threw a nail-biting punch that connected with Wineland’s face folding the veteran to the canvas. Wineland was the man who exercised his dominance early on, throwing some dangerous fists at O’Malley. But the colourful-haired fighter ate every shot replying with shots of his own.
The retaliation was a sign of things to come as O’Malley landed a clean right hand knocking Wineland down and out. Herb Dean did not require any more punishment on Wineland’s account raising Sean O’Malley’s hand.
UFC 250: Cody Garbrandt vs. Raphael Assuncao
Former Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt made an emphatic return to the winner’s circle at UFC 250 with a fist that landed in devastatingly fashion.
The Ohio-born brawler snapped a three-fight losing skid as he employed a disciplined, technical attack in the opening frame, with an array of powerful leg kicks as Assuncao absorbed the damage.
Assuncao did get in his shots, but Garbrandt proved to have a far-superior speed advantage toying with the Brazilian mixed martial artist.
The battle remained close until Garbrandt fired a shot in the final moments of the second round which should have taken Assuncao’s head from his torso. The knockout fight was concluded and Garbrandt had yielded a memorable cage moment for the ages.