The UFC 162 card is stacked on paper. A few memorable knockouts would help make Saturday night in Las Vegas epic. As always, there are bouts that seem more prone to finish with a vicious strike, but some unexpected matchups could produce the thunder.
The Knockout of the Night bonus can lead to immense popularity and a healthy monetary prize. It is no wonder many fighters with the requisite physical capabilities come out looking to make their mark this way.
Here's a look at the fights most likely to end with an award-winning KO.
Dave Herman vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Whenever two big, powerful heavyweights like Herman and Gonzaga clash, there's always a good chance we'll see fireworks. Gonzaga's epic KO of Mirko Filipovic is one of the most brutal and famous head-kick finishes in MMA history.
Gonzaga has been on the losing end of some brutal KOs as well. Most recently, he was stopped by Travis Browne at the Ultimate Fighter 17 finale.
Herman has lost three fights in a row, with two of them coming by KO/TKO. Even though both men have a history of being stopped, Herman may have the edge if the bout is fought in a stand-up capacity.
Gonzaga had issues with Browne's size and reach. Browne is 6'7" and Herman's not far off at 6'5"—that length may be the difference in this potentially explosive heavyweight encounter.
Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson
These two powerfully built featherweights could produce a good scrap. Siver's chances of stopping Swanson are almost entirely linked to his spinning back kicks. The man that looks like Daniel Craig of James Bond fame can pack a wallop when he lands the kick.
If he can use it to set up a spinning back fist or elbow, he could surprise Swanson.
Truthfully, that scenario isn't the reason this bout is listed as having KO of the Night potential. It is here because of Swanson's chances to drop Siver.
The former has won three of his last four fights by KO/TKO and Siver doesn't have the height or reach to get the best of Swanson while standing. Swanson's aggression and power could lead to a big finish.
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman
Weidman would be best-served to smother Silva, much like Chael Sonnen did in his first fight with The Spider. If he does employ that strategy, he could become a victim of a lethal knee from Silva, which could set up a spectacular finish.
Which fight is more apt to produce KO of the Night?
If Weidman decides to give Silva space to operate, things will end badly for him. The last thing anyone should do against Silva is give him the room to employ his full array of striking techniques.
There is, however, the possibility that Weidman catches the Spider with a big shot.
The challenger is strong and a more coordinated athlete than Sonnen. This could make him more effective in this type of fight. The UFC 162 main event could very well end with a KO, but who will the victim be?
Conventional wisdom seems to suggest Silva will retain his title, but Weidman presents a serious challenge.
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