UFC 158: Power Ranking the Stoppage Victories
Although Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks earned enthralling decision wins in the card's main and co-main events, UFC 158 wouldn't have been deemed such a success without the five fights that ended via knockout.
Truth be told, any UFC card that includes no submissions better have at least a handful of memorable KO's.
After patiently sitting through back-to-back decisions on the main card, over 20,000 fans at Montreal's Bell Centre were brought to their feet when Jake Ellenberger brutally KO'd Nate Marquardt to garner "Knockout of the Night" honors.
Here's a ranked list of the best stoppages from UFC 158.
5. Darren Elkins
Darren Elkins didn't render Antonio Carvalho unconscious in the first round of their featherweight clash, but referee Yves Lavigne apparently thought he did enough to warrant a stoppage.
Elkins first put Carvalho on rubber legs with a solid right hand to the jawline. He then cracked the Canadian with a one-two combination that prompted Lavigne to step in.
A dazed Carvalho briefly disputed the ruling, but then congratulated the surging Elkins, who had just won his fifth straight fight at 145 pounds.
Elkins may have found himself higher on this list had Lavigne not jumped in to spare Carvalho of a brutal knockout.
4. Rick Story
With his job clearly on the line, Rick Story made the UFC debut of former King of the Cage champ Quinn Mulhern a miserable one.
Story wobbled Mulhern with a flurry of punches and nearly finished the 28-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt less than a minute into the fight.
Mulhern survived long enough to wear a brutal left hook from Story that dropped him to the mat. Story capped the onslaught with a series of body shots that prompted a referee's stoppage at the 3:05 mark of Round 1.
A loser of three of his last four bouts heading into the contest, Story managed to finish an opponent for the first time since TKO'ing Dustin Hazelett at UFC 117.
3. T.J. Dillashaw
T.J. Dillashaw continued his ascent up the bantamweight ladder and notched his third straight win by KO'ing Issei Tamura with a vicious second-round knee.
Neither fighter wowed the crowd in the first round, although Dillashaw needed just 26 seconds to end the fight in the second.
In an unusual finish reminiscent of James Vick's knockout of Daron Cruickshank on The Ultimate Fighter: Live, Dillashaw attempted to fire a high kick, only to land a flush knee when Tamura ducked into the kick's path.
Dillashaw pounced on Tamura and using a rape choke, delivered several fight-ending punches.
Three wins in a row, including two finishes, should merit at least a fight on the main card for Dillashaw in his next outing.
2. Jordan Mein
Jordan Mein could have easily nabbed the top spot on this list based solely on the fact that he became the first fighter to finish Dan Miller in 22 pro tilts.
Mein first escaped a deep armbar attempt from Miller before unleashing a sequence of heavy strikes that left the 31-year-old New Jersey native dazed and bleeding on the canvas.
Unlike Marquardt, Miller knew the stoppage was merited, and quickly congratulated the younger Mein.
At just 23 years old, Mein violently illustrated why he's one of the most feared and talented Strikeforce transplants.
1. Jake Ellenberger
Ellenberger looked hungrier than ever to get his first shot at UFC gold in this matchup against former middleweight title challenger Marquardt.
In the first fight of his second stint with the company, the volatile Marquardt attempted to score with counters in the standup game, only to get stalked and dropped by Ellenberger with 3:00 left in the first round.
The explosive Ellenberger backed "Nate The Great" up against the cage and then landed a ferocious three-punch combination that temporarily put Marquardt's lights out.
Any of the top three selections could have plucked the top spot on this list. However, "The Juggernaut" got the nod on account of his ability to score a swift knockout on a decorated opponent like Marquardt.