It's a good thing the UFC changed its Fight Night bonus structure to reward Performance of the Night as opposed to specifically recognizing dynamic knockouts.
The action from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Saturday at UFC 170 just might be short on KO finishes.
Mixed martial arts fans who love a good knockout may want to tune in to the early action. The highest probabilities for KO seem to be in the preliminary bouts. Here's a look at the fights that have the best chance to end brutally and abruptly.
Ernest "The Mad Titan" Chavez vs. Yosdenis "The Pink Panther" Cedeno
This is the first fight scheduled for the UFC Fight Pass portion of the show, and it may not last long. Both Chavez and Cedeno have finished at least half of their wins by KO or TKO.
The men have nearly identical frames and are making their UFC debuts. There will be pressure to make a splash, and nothing makes a statement like a KO win. Look for both men to come out throwing bombs to end things quickly.
Cedeno is the smart pick if you're looking for a winner. He's quick, explosive and dangerous.
Take a look at what Zane Simon of Bloody Elbow said about "The Pink Panther":
Watching him fight is all about thrilling entertainment, 'The Pink Panther' as he styles himself, is very much a panther in the cage. He has quick movement and solid footwork and is constantly looking for opportunities to pounce on opponent's mistakes.
This highlight and feature on Cedeno shows off a bit of the aforementioned explosiveness:
It seems hard to imagine him not at least delivering an exciting bout.
Rafaello "Tractor" Oliveira vs. Erik "New Breed" Koch
Koch has run into two straight buzzsaws in his MMA career. He was brutally finished by Ricardo Lamas in January 2013. He then lost a unanimous decision to Dustin Poirier in August 2013.
While those two losses were undoubtedly tough for Koch, let's not forget how dynamic New Breed is. His submission game is spectacular, but his striking is also formidable.
Raphael Assuncao learned that the hard way when Koch knocked him out in the first round back in March 2011.
Coming off consecutive losses, Koch has a lot to prove. For this fight, he has moved up to 155 pounds and appears to be in fantastic shape without the worries of trying to cut weight.
As he says in this tweet, he's happy and looks ready to go:
Guess who's happy right now? This guy :) pic.twitter.com/Q8nlTGxYKz— Erik Jon Koch (@NEWBREED04) February 22, 2014
His opponent is a skilled and experienced jiu-jitsu artist, but he's shown a weakness to the KO finish in his career.
Edson Barboza stopped Oliveira in his last fight in July 2013, and Yves Edwards scored a spectacular finish against him in October 2011. A motivated and desperate Koch will hand him another KO defeat on Saturday.
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