Ranking Every MMA Knockout of 2013 So Far

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2013

Ranking Every MMA Knockout of 2013 So Far

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    From the UFC to Bellator, World Series of Fighting to amateur Alaskan bouts, the MMA world has witnessed a variety of knockouts thus far in 2013.

    Whether it was a head kick in the first round or a powerful barrage of punches in the eyes of defeat, different fighters have put forth their own effort to provide spine-tingling finishes.

    Here are the best knockouts of 2013 so far.  Enjoy.

30. Jacob Noe vs. Seth Petruzelli

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    Bellator 85

    Even though Seth Petruzelli is well known for his knockout finish over Kimbo Slice back in the day, he's not really a top-notch fighter nowadays.

    Jacob Noe's natural abilities to sling leather proved that very thing.

29. Shawn Jordan vs. Mike Russow

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    UFC on Fox 6

    Shawn Jordan versus Mike Russow may have turned into an Octagon exchange better suited for a lazy river, but in the end, the better athlete won.

    Jordan must now build on this finish and live up to his hype.

28. Mike Richman vs. Mitch Jackson

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    Bellator 88

    In what was one of the more devastating kicks thrown inside of a cage so far in 2013, Mike Richman made quick work of Mitch Jackson at Bellator 88.

    Stating that Jackson didn't even deserve to be in the promotion after the fight was just icing on the cake.

27. Marlon Moraes vs. Tyson Nam

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    WSOF 2

    Now a winner of four straight, including a promotional debut victory over veteran Miguel Torres at WSOF 1, Florida's own Marlon Moraes recently ran through Tyson Nam with relative ease.

    It was an impressive finish, and one that should make Moraes a rising star heading into the company's bright future.

26. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Thiago Tavares

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    UFC on FX 7

    After punishing Thiago Tavares with literally 20-straight short elbows to earn his third victory in the UFC, Khabib Nurmagomedov's career record now sits at 19-0.

    That's a number that should earn him a top opponent in his next fight, and a total that makes sense considering his finishing abilities inside the cage.

25. Alexander Shlemenko vs. Maiquel Falcao

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    Bellator 88

    Currently recognizable as one of the better athletes fighting under the Bellator banner, Russian Alexander Shlemenko added to an already impressive resume after finishing Maiquel Falcao by strikes to the body.

    Not too many guys can do that and make it look easy.

24. Tom Watson vs. Stanislav Nedkov

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    UFC on Fuel TV 7

    England's own Tom Watson made his hometown crowd proud after capping off a back-and-forth battle opposite Stanislav Nedkov with a finish.

    It was a testament to Watson's ability to absorb damage, sling power shots and make the referee step in.

23. T.J. Dillashaw vs. Issei Tamura

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    UFC 158

    T.J. Dillashaw finally looks like he's coming into his own.  His second-round finish of Issei Tamura is evidence of just that.

    As long as the wrestler can out-power and out-hustle his opponents, chances are he's going to win.  This high-level head kick is proof.

22. Shahbulat Shamhalaev vs. Rad Martinez

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    Bellator 90

    Some finishes speak for themselves.  When a guy wings a looping right hand and it lands flush, it speaks wonders to his ability.

    Shahbulat Shamhalaev is one of those special talents.  It was his fifth finish in a row. 

21. Doug Marshall vs. Andreas Spang

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    Bellator 89

    Doug Marshall is experienced, powerful, gritty and always willing to exchange.

    His first-round finish of Andreas Spang made those attributes realities and consequently propelled him into the Bellator Season 8 Middleweight Tournament championship.

20. Douglas Lima vs. Bryan Baker

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    Bellator 90

    Douglas Lima has never been better.  He's peppering opponents with devastating leg kicks then moving in with crisp strikes.

    That's exactly what he did to Bryan Baker in just a matter of minutes.

    Unfortunately, he broke his hand and has to wait for his rematch with Ben Saunders.

19. Josh Burkman vs. Aaron Simpson

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    WSOF 2

    In what was one of the more prolific knockouts by a knee in the past few years, Josh Burkman absolutely leveled Aaron Simpson in the first round of their showdown at WSOF 2.

    Burkman will get Jon Fitch next and will have to do way more against the ex-UFC vet to secure another highlight-reel knockout.

18. Ricardo Lamas vs. Erik Koch

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    UFC on Fox 6

    Now a winner of four straight, Ricardo Lamas has never looked better inside of the Octagon.

    He was able to beat Erik Koch to every punch at UFC on Fox 6 and efficiently dropped elbow after elbow to his bloodied face.

    It was one of the more barbaric displays of a perfected ground-and-pound game in the last few years.

17. Brett Cooper vs. Dan Cramer

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    Bellator 92

    Dan Cramer is one tough dude.  He never seems to get rocked and never stops swinging.

    Brett Cooper needed every second of their fight and every ounce of will to stop the veteran in his tracks, and he did just that.

    It was one of the more impressive stoppages thus far in 2013.

16. T.J. Grant vs. Matt Wiman

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    UFC on Fox 6

    If anybody deserves a step up in competition in their next fight, it's T.J. Grant.

    Grant worked Matt Wiman over in their bout two months ago with standing elbows and crisp boxing.  It was the best he looked, and the most outmatched Wiman has looked in a while.

15. Eduardo Dantas vs. Marcos Galvao

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    Bellator 89

    There's no reason why Eduardo Dantas shouldn't be considered a top-five bantamweight fighter in the world.

    His length is always dangerous, his technique is flawless and his athleticism is rarely mirrored.  All of that culminated into a nasty uppercut finish of ex-mentor, ex-friend Marcos Galvao back in February.

    It was proof that the 24-year-old is most certainly one of MMA's fastest rising stars.

14. Ben Saunders vs. Raul Amaya

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    Bellator 90

    Sorry for the lackluster video, but it should be ample enough to show exactly how awe-inspiring Ben Saunders' knockout of Raul Amaya truly was.

    It was Saunders' second career win over Amaya and one that will pit him opposite Douglas Lima later this year.

13. Tyron Woodley vs. Jay Hieron

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    UFC 156

    Is there any other way to impress the UFC brass in your promotional debut?

    Probably not. 

    Tyron Woodley's knockout of veteran Jay Hieron showcased his true athletic abilities inside the cage and his promise within the welterweight division since surviving Strikeforce's sinking ship.

12. Savant Young vs. Mike Guymon

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    Bellator 85

    With a Dan Henderson-versus-Michael Bisping-esque finish over Mike Guymon earlier this year, Savant Young has opened the eyes of many fight fans.

    He isn't young by any means, but if his power continues to be displayed at this level, Bellator's rising platform will make him a household name sooner rather than later.

11. Saad Awad vs. Will Brooks

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    Bellator 91

    Saad Awad does make this list for his knockout over Will Brooks, but even more so because it was his second straight first-round finish under a minute this year.

    That's rarely something seen in such a short amount of time, and one that has has truly made Awad a name to follow.

    Brooks didn't make it easy by running around the cage like a chicken without its head, but the composed Awad made him pay fairly quickly.

10. Jake Ellenberger vs. Nate Marquardt

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    UFC 158

    Welcome back, Nate Marquardt!

    Well, not really.

    In what was supposed to be his momentous return to the Octagon, Marquardt couldn't withstand the devastating punching power of UFC top welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger for more than three minutes.

    Ellenberger's efforts should earn him a shot at the title after Johny Hendricks gets his shot, and landed him Knockout of the Night honors.

9. Mikhail Zayats vs. Renato Sobral

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    Bellator 85

    One spinning back fist was all it took to ruin Renato Sobral's Bellator debut back in January.

    It came on behalf of Mikhail Zayats' relentless pursuit of an upset.

    The Russian has since finished Jacob Noe via submission and has earned the right to face Emanuel Newton for the Bellator Season 8 Heavyweight Tournament crown later this year.

8. Robbie Lawler vs. Josh Koscheck

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    UFC 157

    Both Josh Koscheck and Robbie Lawler were making their return to the Octagon after significant time off.

    Koscheck was coming back from injury, and Lawler from a stint in Strikeforce.

    In what was one of the more surprising finishes of the year thus far, Lawler shrugged off a Koscheck takedown and utilized devastatingly raw power to finish one of the UFC's most proven welterweights.

7. Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve

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    UFC on Fuel TV 8

    It isn't all that hard to knock out the gumby-esque Stefan Struve, but it was the Dutchman's broken jaw that lands Mark Hunt's left hand at No. 7 on this list.

    Hunt's third-round spectacle has earned him the right to fight Junior dos Santos for No. 1 contender rights later in May.

    It was also one of the coolest knockouts ever captured by a ringside photographer.

6. Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann

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    UFC on Fuel TV 8

    Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann were matched up for one reason: to sling leather and knock each other's heads off.

    Well, someone had to win, and someone had to be put to sleep.

    Silva proved victorious on the back of more violently potent punches.  The finish earned him a double bonus for Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night.

5. Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone

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    UFC on FOX 6

    Not too many guys can finish Donald Cerrone, let alone do it with a single kick to the liver.

    It must have been Cerrone's trash-talking leading up to their bout, because Anthony Pettis was all business when the two finally met inside the Octagon back in January.

    The highly skilled finish proved that Pettis is not only one of the best pound-for-pound strikers in the world today, but one that truly deserves his upcoming title shot opposite featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

4. Emanuel Newton vs. Muhammed Lawal

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    Bellator 90

    Easily considered the biggest upset finish of the year so far, Emanuel Newton shocked everybody when he knocked out knockout artist Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal with an unorthodox spinning back hand in the very first round.

    The victory has earned Newton a spot in Bellator's heavyweight tournament finale and a nomination for Knockout of the Year.

3. Antonio Silva vs. Alistair Overeem

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    UFC 156

    Like stopping a Mack truck without brakes, Antonio "Big Foot" Silva shocked the UFC world when he absolutely obliterated the willpower of Alistair Overeem back in January.

    It was one of the most vicious finishes in recent heavyweight history and instantly earned Silva another shot at Cain Velasquez.

    Not to mention it finally shut up the always cocky Overeem.

2. Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping

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    UFC on FX 7

    Michael Bisping was fighting toward a long-awaited title shot for Anderson Silva's elusive UFC middleweight championship.

    He was fighting to prove he can now stand with more powerful strikers after being put into a coma by Dan Henderson back at UFC 100.

    Well, considering the circumstances at hand, it didn't turn out all that well for Bisping.  Vitor Belfort stopped the Brit in his tracks in the second round with his very first career finish by way of a head kick.

1. Collin Reuter vs. Gerald Fike

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    When can you ever see a fighter turn from an A to a U?

    Not too often.  So when it happens, paying respect is really the only thing you can do.

    That and screaming, "OMG, DID YOU SEE THAT KNOCKOUT?"

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