UFC 168: Top Candidates for Knockout of the Night

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIDecember 25, 2013

Aug 16, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Uriah Hall poses during the weigh-in for his UFC fight at TD Garden tomorrow night. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Any fight in the UFC can end in a knockout, but certain matchups carry a higher probability that the loser will be leveled by a strike. 

When taking a look at the UFC 168 card, three fights immediately jump out as top candidates for knockout finishes—and where there's a KO finish in a UFC event, there's also a chance for bonus money. 

Here's a look at three bouts with the best chance to produce the KO of the Night.


Uriah Hall vs. Chris "The Crippler" Leben


Leben is long on heart, but short on defense and speed. Some would argue Hall is the exact opposite. In any case, he's a dynamic striker set to face a fighter who has never been hard to hit.

Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Chris Leben and Andrew Craig during their Middleweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

In Leben's career, he's absorbed 2.84 strikes per minute. That's fairly high. It is even more concerning when you consider the power Hall can generate.

Add on the fact that Hall will enjoy a 6.5" reach advantage, and The Crippler may be going night-night in Vegas.


Travis "Hapa" Browne vs. Josh "Warmaster" Barnett


Whenever two huge heavyweights are in the Octagon together, the possibilities of a brutal KO are heightened. In my preview, I picked Browne to come out victorious. However, if this was a confidence pool, that prediction would be rated in the single digits.

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 17: Travis Browne kicks Alistair Overeem in their heavyweight bout at TD Garden on August 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

There's going to be over 500 pounds of relentless, blood-thirsty combatants aiming for each other's chins. That generally means someone is going to get knocked out.

Browne and Barnett have a combined 19 wins by KO in their 56 bouts. 

Aug 31, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Frank Mir (left) fights Josh Barnett during the UFC-164 bout at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The winner will likely be the next serious challenger to Cain Velasquez's heavyweight title.

With so much at stake, there will be fireworks.


Anderson "The Spider" Silva vs. "All-American" Chris Weidman


There are plenty of reasons to believe this fight will end in KO again. Weidman knocked Silva out in the first fight. It was his second straight win by KO. The loss not only stopped Silva's 17-fight win streak, it also halted his string of four consecutive KO victories.

Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Chris Weidman, blue shorts, defeated Anderson Silva (yellow shorts) in their Middleweight Chamionship Bout in the second round with a TKO at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Neither man's average fight time is even 10 minutes. In fact, Silva's is 9:01 and Weidman's is 8:19.

Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Anderson Silva (left) watches as Chael Sonnen falls to the ground during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Long story short, these guys fight to finish their opponents. The Spider is my pick to win the fight, and though he could submit Weidman, a well-placed knee or head kick is the more likely weapon to get the legend his belt back.


Stats per FightMetric.com

Follow me. I go back like Bas Rutten and Patrick Smith.