Out Cold: MMA's Top-10 KO's of All Time

Kevin CurranSenior Analyst ISeptember 27, 2008

In the history of MMA, there have been many amazing moments, whether it be submissions, crazy five-round wars, or even a fluke injury that changes a man's career forever.

However, none of these seem as appealing as that one special moment when a punch lands perfectly and sends a fighter to the canvas. This is the discernment between those moments that are perfect and those that are close. This article only takes the best of the best. Here they are.


10. Frank Shamrock vs. Igor Zinoviev

Frank Shamrock was the middleweight champion at the time and was one of the more dominating forces in MMA at the time. His wrestling was on display for sure in this match against the overmatched Zinoviev.

This match was the first instance of a slam knockout in the UFC, and it was an amazing one. Shamrock cinched up a bodylock on Zinoviev and thrust Zinoviev into the air. He then twisted him in the air and put him down on his back, leaving him limp. Frank, realizing this left him on the ground to celebrate as the crowd went wild.


9. Phil Baroni vs. Dave Menne

Dave Menne is no stiff; he was a former UFC champ and had dispatched some serious opponents in his day. Phil Baroni was not one of these men. Phil landed some of his famous power punches and backed Menne against the cage, putting about five or six punches against his skull.

This put Menne down in one of the more fantastic finishes in history. This left Baroni enough energy to jump up on the cage and yell, "I'm the f****in' greatest evah...evah, I'm the f****in' man!"

While he's still the egotistical Phil, he is pretty damn good.


8. Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Ricardo Morais

Aleksander was one of the more feared strikers and big men in PRIDE at the time and had big hands to go along with his tattoos. Ricardo Morals was somewhat unheralded, but Bas Rutten touted him as "one scary dude." This wasn't enough, as early in the first round, Emelianenko hit him with punch after punch in the center of the ring, which stunned and then knocked out Morals in stunning fashion.


7. Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz

As Chuck Liddell gains more and more mainstream fame, I begin to devalue his wins. This is also because Dana inflates his record a lot. However, this one can be called nothing less than one of the better knockouts of all time.

As Chuck backed Tito against the cage, he unleashed one of the more scintillating combos of all time. With lefts and rights coming from all angles, Tito dropped and Big John stepped in. The crowd erupted into chaos. Absolutely insane.


6. Rampage Jackson vs. Ricardo Arona

Rampage was one of the more exciting fighters in PRIDE, with his unpredictable style. Whether it be knockouts with his hands or his world famous knockout slams, he had it all for the people buying the tickets.

In this match, he faced off with one of the best of all time in Ricardo Arona. A jiu-jitsu specialist, Rampage did not want to go to the ground. Unfortunateley, this is what happened.

As Arona cinched up a triangle choke, Rampage lifted Arona up over his head and slammed him down to the canvas. Arona's head bounced off of the canvas like a basketball, and he was instantly knocked out. Greatest KO slam of all time, period.


5. Mirko Cro Cop vs. Aleksander Emelianenko

Mirko came out shaky, as Emelianenko rushed him and put a lot of pressure on him. Many a Cro Cop fan thought Mirko may be in trouble, but this was not to be. Mirko was backed into a corner quickly, but he fired a strong left hand and connected.

As Emelianenko backed on his feet in a semi-daze, he was caught with a perfect signature high kick and fell with a thud to the canvas. Then he was pounded with hammerfists across the throat until the ref finally stepped in. One for the history books for sure.


4. Wanderlei Silva vs. Rampage Jackson 2

This one will be remembered by PRIDE fans forever. As Wanderlei started to hurt Rampage with knees, he unloaded with a right that really hurt Rampage. He pulled down Rampage's head with little resistance and pumped a hard knee on Rampage's nose which left his body limp between the ropes bleeding from the mouth. Brutal.


3. Igor Vovchanchyn vs. Francisco Bueno

In this one, kickboxer Vovchanchyn was supposed to have an advantage, but due to his small stature, some doubted him. Those naysayers were set to be proven wrong in astounding fashion. Vovchanchyn landed a powerful right, this probably put Bueno out already, but he reset his stance and unloaded three more power punches as Bueno fell face first to the canvas, out cold. Hands of lightning for sure.


2. Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva

At ultimate Brazil in the early days of the UFC, the fans all clamored around the cage to see two top Brazilian stars go at it. Vitor being the elder statesman, was already a star in the U.S. and was one of the more explosive strikers seen at that time.

Wanderlei, was the young up and comer and the most promising of the new crop of Brazilian MMA stars. This bout was to determine both fighters' worth and how explosive these two combustible elements were together.

They didn't disappoint. In 43 seconds, Vitor demolished Wanderlei with too many unanswered strikes to count. If you have not seen this KO, it is a must see on YouTube for any MMA fan.


1. Mirko Cro Cop vs. Igor Vovchanchyn

This one was an obvious choice. Have you ever heard a crack of a leg that hard? Igor's entire face rippled and he was completely out cold even before he hit the ground. This was by far the most famous knockout in PRIDE history.


In MMA history there have been many unforgettable moments, but few were as memorable as these amazing feats of fists and feet.


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