Crushing Blows: The 7 Best Uppercuts in UFC History
There are a lot of ways to do a list of knockouts, but generally these lists are of knockouts as a whole. I have always been a fan of a perfectly timed uppercut.
When I was a young boy I remember watching Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. deliver powerful uppercuts that ended fights, and sometimes careers.
The impact of a precise upward moving fist and a human chin is devastating.
Therefore I compiled this list of my seven favorite UFC uppercuts and the memories I have of when I saw them for the first time.
No. 7: Houston Alexander vs. Keith Jardine, UFC 71, May 2007
Alexander was an unknown fighter from nowhere, Nebraska. Jardine was fresh off of a knockout of highly touted Forrest Griffin.
Jardine clearly did not respect the power and tenacity of Houston Alexander. Alexander was tagged with one right hand and Jardine attempted to swarm.
Alexander reversed his movement, landed a punch and then clinched.
He then landed a barrage that started with strong overhand rights that wobbled the “Dean of Mean,” and a crushing right uppercut sent Jardine down with his mouth guard streaking across the mat.
Alexander made his UFC debut with fireworks!
No. 6: Jeremy Stephens vs. Raphael Dos Anjos, UFC 91, November 2008
Stephens was having difficulty with the ground game of Dos Anjos and he was down two rounds to none.
In Round 3 he uncorked a viscous right uppercut that knocked Dos Anjos into next week. It was an amazing come-from-behind finish.
To celebrate he sprinted across the Octagon and slammed himself into the cage in celebration right in front of the broadcast team.
No. 5: Andrei Arlovski vs. Vladimir Matyushenko, UFC 44, September 2003
Andrei Arlovski and Vladimir Matyushenko entered the Octagon on similar paths. Each was working his way up to a world title shot.
It was clear from the early seconds of the fight that Arlovski would dominate on the feet.
Mayushenko was never able to get it to the ground and Arlovski ended his night with an expertly timed uppercut that sent him crashing to the canvas.
No. 4: B.J. Penn vs. Georges St-Pierre, UFC 58, March 2006
This monstrous uppercut was thrown by B.J. Penn.
In their first encounter, GSP had not quite developed into the monster that he is now. Penn was able to baffle, frustrate and repeatedly land power shots on St.-Pierre.
The most effective was a quick uppercut that caught GSP on the nose and spewed blood all over his face.
While St-Pierre controlled most of the final two rounds and won a split decision, the uppercut by Penn in the first round that broke St-Pierre’s nose was the best strike of the fight.
No. 3: Shane Carwin vs. Frank Mir, UFC 113, March 2010
Frank Mir and Shane Carwin locked horns in New Jersey to determine the Interim Heavyweight Championship.
Mir bulked up to over 270 pounds to help compensate for the size advantage that heavyweights such as Lesnar and Carwin had over him. The size wasn’t really Mir’s problem.
His problem was that he thought his chin was strong enough to stand up against Carwin.
It was in a clinch against the fence that Mir was hit by a devastating barrage of uppercuts that took him down and lead to an ending that should have come even sooner.
You cannot stand in front of Shane Carwin.
No. 2: Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Chuck Liddell II, UFC 62, August 2006
Many UFC fans remember Chuck Liddell’s head kick knockout over Sobral in their first encounter.
Following that loss in 2002, Babalu won 10 straight fights and Chuck Liddell became the UFC light heavyweight champion in 2005.
Both men were on a roll and both had an agenda. Liddell was determined to defend his title again and Sobral wanted revenge.
Somewhere in Round 1 Sobral decided to try and pressure Liddell by rushing at him.
I guess he forgot Chuck is a counter puncher and he caught a quick inside uppercut to the jaw and that was all it took. The second fight ended in a spectacular knockout for Liddell once again.
No. 1: Junior Dos Santos vs. Fabricio Werdum, UFC 90, October 2008
It was a cold and windy day in Rosemont, Illinois. It was October yet it was already very chilly in Chicago.
I stood outside with my cousin for 45 minutes and waited. I had showed up to see Anderson Silva defend his middleweight championship against Patrick Cote, but someone else stole the show that night.
Junior dos Santos was making his UFC debut against highly regarded heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum. Werdum was the heavy favorite.
Dos Santos shocked the world with one vicious uppercut that looked like a video game punch from “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.”
Werdum crumpled to the canvas and was knocked cold by the punch.
It was the most impressive uppercut I had ever seen and it launched the UFC career of the dominant Junior dos Santos. Werdum, on the other hand, was out of UFC soon after.