Fighters must hone a collection of skills in order to contend in the Octagon. But some fighters are gifted with the inherent ability to crumple their foe with a single smack.
At any time, fighters with knockout power can turn the tide of a fight. They can seize victory from looming defeat. Their opponents must be mindful of their power, lest their minds be turned off.
Many brawlers have built reputations for their devastating power, but a select few have stratified themselves as accredited “knockout artists.”
Take a look: here’s a list of the fighters with the most KO power in each UFC division (flyweights excluded).
Bantams aren’t expected to possess raw KO power. Brian Bowles defies that expectation.
During Bowles’ WEC tenure, Marcos Galvao and, to everyone’s shock, Miguel Torres, were toppled by the Georgian’s punches.
They were both out cold—it only took a single punch from Bowles to shut off Galvao’s senses.
Bowles is well-rounded; he doesn't merely brawl. He's a tactician with slick ground skills. If not for that, he may have more knockouts to his name.
Despite his tininess, Jose Aldo’s power precedes him. He even launches his leg kicks with the intent to break bones.
Each of Aldo’s limbs are weapons, even his knees. The mousey Brazilian used them to vanquish hardened wrestlers Chad Mendes and Cub Swanson.
His punches carry might, too—they gave Mark Hominick a second head. They’ve rocked practically every man to oppose them.
Aldo's combinations bring fury that's nary been seen in the UFC.
During his Pride heyday, “The Fireball Kid” wrought havoc with his hands. That power still serves him today, despite his overall decline.
When Gomi throws leather, he’s trying to kill his opponent. His punches resemble a baseball pitcher’s delivery—he’s throwing a fastball right at your chin. Gomi’s cinematic brawl with Nick Diaz showcases this visceral style.
Gomi has amassed 13 (T)KO wins in his legendary career.
Jake Ellenberger is a “Juggernaut” indeed.
Like many strong wrestlers, Ellenberger owns explosive hands. Even in his losses, he’s crumpled his foes with booming punches. Ask Martin Kampmann and Carlos Condit.
Ellenberger has harnessed his power to good affect: he’s finished 17 of his 33 wins by T(KO), all via punches. His punches aren't his sole power source, though—the Nebraskan throws all of his strikes with ill intent.
No, it’s not Anderson Silva. “The Spider” unleashes a barrage of clever strikes upon his challengers, but he doesn’t really possess one-punch KO ability.
Brian Stann does.
In recent memory, Alessio Sakara, Chris Leben and Jorge Santiago were all sunk by Stann’s electrifying displays of power.
The American Hero is a brawler. He knows his power is an asset so he throws down.
Oh, if only his fight with fellow powerhouse Hector Lombard hadn't fallen through…
The “H-Bomb” needs no explanation. I mean, his monstrous power warranted a nickname already.
Dan Henderson has long been feared for his right hand, and the “H-Bomb” hasn’t decayed with age—“Hendo” has rattled the brain of four of his last six opponents.
Among those four victims, Michael Bisping was knocked out in spectacular fashion, with an “H-Bomb” that nearly decapitated the Brit. I could almost see Bisping’s soul leave his body.
By nature, big men have knockout power. Lavar Johnson is a bigger man who has bigger power.
In fact, knockout power is Johnson’s most valuable asset—15 of his 17 career victories have come by way of knockout.
Conversely, if he hits the ground, he’s screwed.
The giant’s recent barrage on Pat Barry and preceding knockout of Joey Beltran each earned him “Knockout of The Night” bonuses.