There are few more pleasing sights in MMA than a picture-perfect, one-punch knockout.
Why do we derive so much pleasure from watching an individual being separated from his senses?
Whether fight fans are simply a bunch of sadists or there is something more profound underlying our bloodlust, knockouts are a major selling point of combat sports.
With that in mind, this list is a celebration of the most potent right hands in MMA today. Read on for my top 10 and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section.
Some might question Rashad Evans’ place on this list, given his penchant for grinding out decisions.
However, I’m giving him the 10th spot based almost entirely on the skull-shattering overhand right that almost sent Chuck Liddell’s head into the front row at UFC 88.
Even if he never lands another right hand in his career, the memory of that night serves as a reminder of how deadly Evans’ right hand can be.
Josh Koscheck belongs in the same category as Evans, in that he is a wrestler who has developed an explosive right hand.
Unfortunately for Kos, his stand-up game is so predictable and overly reliant on his fastball-like right hand that he lands it only once in a blue moon.
But when it does land, be sure to check the opponent for a pulse. Don’t believe me? Just ask Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
The power of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is frequently overlooked. For some reason, the former UFC light heavyweight champion seems to be viewed as more of a volume striker.
Perhaps that has something to do with the rawness of his style. Shogun’s technique isn’t likely to be featured in any striking manuals, but he makes up for it with his natural power.
One need only look at his wins over Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin and Liddell to appreciate the Brazilian’s prohibitive power.
Heck, his right hand even had the notoriously durable Dan Henderson stumbling around like the town drunk in the fifth round of their memorable 2011 clash.
Melvin Manhoef may be about as one-dimensional as a mixed martial artist can possibly be—one wonders whether we should omit the “mixed” part—but it’s a destructive dimension nevertheless.
The Dutchman is a supremely talented kickboxer, boasting the kind of boundless aggression that makes one question whether he is at all invested in his own well-being.
Despite the truck-sized holes in his game, Manhoef’s right hand—and everything else, really—is so overwhelmingly lethal that one can almost understand why he doesn’t think he needs anything else.
He may not possess the quality he once did as a fighter, but Quinton “Rampage” Jackson still boasts one of the fiercest right hands in MMA.
Jackson has become an annoying character over the past couple of years, seemingly whingeing about any and all perceived slights. In addition to his recent lack of in-cage success, it’s almost enough to make you forget how devastating the UFC’s former 205-pound king can be.
If you need to have your memory refreshed, seek out his knockout of Liddell (there’s a pattern emerging here) and marvel at the ferocity of his right hand.
Mark Hunt may look like the bloke next door, but the New Zealander has a right hand that hits like a mule kick.
Hunt has the kind of natural power that you can’t teach.
He's not particularly fast, and his technique doesn't put Floyd Mayweather to shame, but his right hand is like a diamond tip. Even when it doesn’t look forceful, it tends to break what it touches.
Junior dos Santos possesses an irresistible combination of power, technique, speed and athleticism.
But his power first brought the Brazilian to our attention, when he uppercut Fabricio Werdum so hard that his ears performed a little jig for the audience.
“Cigano” hasn’t looked back since, with his success being based largely on the potency of his right hand.
For Roy Nelson, I could essentially rewrite the slide for Mark Hunt and add some additional hyperbole.
Nelson looks even more out of shape than Hunt, is slower and has inferior striking technique, yet he owns one of the greatest right hands in the history of combat sports.
Even when it doesn’t land flush—as was the case against Cheick Kongo—opponents still seem unable to recover from the force of the impact.
I suppose it’s sort of like being hit by a baseball bat. Even if it doesn’t hit you square on the chin, you’re probably still going to the hospital.
No list of this sort would be complete without Dan Henderson.
"Hendo" is another wrestler who, as it turns out, owns a concussive right hand. The difference between him and Evans? Henderson has made a career out of landing the so-called “H-Bomb.”
Indeed, the right hand that the former Pride two-weight champ landed on Michael Bisping at UFC 100 would have felled an elephant—or possibly several.
Anderson Silva has so many weapons that his power is often overlooked.
We tend to focus on “The Spider’s” other qualities, such as his athleticism and the creativity of his striking. However, he also possesses arguably the most powerful right hand in MMA.
Silva is in some ways similar to the boxer “Prince” Naseem Hamed, who appeared to knock out his opponents with minimal effort.
His right hand rarely looked like it carried fight-ending power, yet it would detonate on his foe’s chin upon impact.
Like Naseem Hamed, Silva has effortless, easy power. His combination of perfect technique and natural punching power means that even the most innocuous-looking right hand carries concussive potential.