The Best Knockouts of 2013 so Far
We’re approximately five weeks deep into 2013, and we’ve already seen some remarkable knockout finishes. If 2013 continues the early-established theme of severely violent finishes, we could be in store for one wild year.
When you examine some of the immediate upcoming events, it’s not hard to imagine a roller-coaster of a year crammed full of highlight-reel material.
The second World Series of Fighting event gets under way on March 23, and with Andrei Arlovski battling Anthony Johnson (in Johnson’s first heavyweight fight) and Tyson Nam toeing the line with Marlon Moraes, a spectacular knockout certainly isn’t out of the question.
The same could be said of UFC on Fuel TV 7, which features bouts Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald, Cub Swanson vs. Dustin Poirier, Jimi Manuwa vs. Cyrille Diabate and James Te Huna vs. Ryan Jimmo. All of those men possess the kind of power to bring conclusion to a fight in the blink of an eye.
UFC 157 will feature a fight between known finishers Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson. UFC on Fuel TV 8 is headlined by a collision of power punchers in Brian Stann and Wanderlei Silva. These are men known for the dynamite in their fists.
Bellator 88 unravels on Feb. 7 from Duluth, Ga., and guess who fronts the show? Known finishers Alexander Shlemenko and Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves. These dudes throw in sinister fashion, in constant pursuit of a dramatic finish.
The point is, the next month or so could produce a wealth of jaw-dropping knockouts. The fact that we’ve already got a solid handful of amazing stoppages to revisit after only 38 of 365 days having passed in 2013, is a wonder to behold.
I’d say the future looks bright for the sport, but those destined to wake in a murky darkness, unaware of their surroundings, confused by the multitude of voices raining down on them, would probably disagree.
Belfort’s High Kick from Hell (UFC on FX 7)
Technically speaking, the high-kick that Vitor Belfort landed on the temple of Michael Bisping didn’t result in complete unconsciousness. It came awfully close, however, as Bisping, always a threat, was quite suddenly left with no legs.
The Brit crashed to the canvas, half conscious and frozen by the oncoming barrage of strikes.
Flatliner or not, Belfort’s kick signaled an instant end to Bisping’s evening at UFC on FX 7. It also obliterated any talk of a potential title fight with Anderson Silva.
Woodley Starches Hieron (UFC 156)
Heading into this intriguing welterweight clash at UFC 156, I had Hieron pegged as a winner due to a more versatile game and a major experience advantage.
Tyron Woodley ran right over that idea and showcased further elevation as a professional mixed martial arts practitioner.
With less than 30 seconds having ticked off the clock, Woodley hurled a Hail Mary overhand at the former Bellator standout, taking his legs right out from under him. Woodley swarmed, and the fight was waved off at the 36-second mark.
Now that’s a promotional debut!
Bigfoot Crushes The Reem (UFC 156)
For 10 minutes, it looked as though Alistair Overeem would make a complete and total mockery of Antonio Silva’s existence in the fight business. He taunted, showed amusement and smirked his way through full dominance for two rounds. But Round 3 told a different tale.
These men met in the center of the cage as the bell sounded to signal the beginning of Round 3. Just 25 seconds later, “The Reem” was sprawled against the cage, a motionless mess.
Silva’s near 10-punch combo that resulted in a shocking conclusion to the evening’s marquee heavyweight collision was the thing of myth.
Silva executed his best Rocky Balboa impersonation, rallying in astonishing fashion to piece together one of the most memorable offensive onslaughts we’ve ever seen from a heavyweight.
It was mind blowing, it was remarkable, it was a piece of immediate immortalization; that one’s hitting highlight reels until the end of time.
Uriah Hall Nearly Kills Adam Cella (The Ultimate Fighter)
Leading up to the television debut of the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Dana White, Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen had difficulty in holding back their excitement for one particular cast member.
White seemed giddy over this mystery man who’d managed to send multiple cast-mates to the hospital. Jones and Sonnen echoed similar excitement.
As it turned out, TUF 17‘s killer ended up being Uriah Hall, an athletic machine with amazing dexterity, a sound fight IQ and the power of a freight train.
Hall was drawn to meet Team Jones’ Adam Cella in this season’s third episode. Not many afforded Cella the benefit of the doubt, and it turns out their hesitation to pick him over Hall was completely justified.
Cella showed no fear in the face of Hall, pressing the action and launching plenty of powerful shots in Hall’s direction. For a few minutes it looked as though Cella might just be the season surprise.
An amazing spinning heel-kick (which required positional adjustment mid-kick, making the maneuver all the more mind-boggling) from Hall erased any doubts. The shot connected flush on the chin of Cella, the impact reverberated through the room and Jones’ man crashed to the canvas in brutal fashion.
The room was silent, shock and concern overriding all other thoughts. It was one of the standout moments in TUF history, and the nastiest knockout we’ve seen this year.
Honorable Mention: Pettis Rearranges the Cowboy’s Insides (UFC on Fox 6)
Anthony Pettis didn’t bring Donald Cerrone’s evening to a halt by turning his lights out at UFC on Fox 6. He simply shut the man’s entire body down, after landing one of the meanest liver kicks seen in years.
Cerrone had no choice but to collapse to the mat. It’s highly likely that Cerrone had a strong desire to continue fighting, but that was a paralyzing kick and “Cowboy” simply could not recover in time to prevent a stoppage.
That, my friends, was an amazing kick!
Follow me on Twitter.