Over the past several years, mixed martial arts has rapidly become the world's fastest growing sport.
A major reason for this growth can be credited to the world-class fighters who dedicated their lives to the sport they truly love.
And, because of these fighters' dedication, mixed martial arts fans across the globe have had the opportunity of seeing some of the greatest fights of all time.
Not only have fans seen some of the greatest brawls, but knockouts as well.
While there are many great knockout artists still fighting today, there are some who have stepped away from the sport.
So, the following slides display the 25 greatest knockout artists in MMA history.
Let's take a look.
It was June 1999 when Rich "Ace" Franklin entered the sport of mixed martial arts to take on Michael Martin as he was declared victorious via TKO.
Since then, Franklin has totaled 15 knockout victories as he continues to fight inside the Octagon.
Franklin has defeated some greats in his UFC stint, including Chuck Liddell, Matt Hamill and Ken Shamrock.
Due to his well-rounded skill set, many mixed martial arts fans fail to realize just how exceptional of a knockout artist BJ Penn was.
And, despite announcing his retirement, Penn has totaled seven knockouts over the course of his historic career.
Penn has knocked out notable opponents such as Caol Uno, Matt Hughes, Diego Sanchez and Sean Sherk.
Despite his career being on a slippery downward spiral, Takanori Gomi has done enough to establish himself as an elite knockout artist.
However, it wasn't until Gomi joined the organization of Pride that he entered this elite category.
Over his long-lived career, the Japan legend has knocked out Tyson Griffin, Jens Pulver and Ralph Gracie.
Not only is Matt Hughes considered one of the greatest welterweights of all time, but a knockout artist as well.
Hughes, another exceptional well-rounded fighter, has totaled 15 knockouts up until this point in his career.
Hughes has finished off BJ Penn, Royce Gracie and Carlos Newton by way of knockout.
Nearly half the time Nick Diaz is declared victorious, it is by way of knockout, as he has established himself as arguably the best boxer in mixed martial arts today.
The outspoken Diaz has knocked out 13 opponents during his days in mixed martial arts and continues to climb up the welterweight rankings.
Diaz has knocked out Paul Daley, Robbie Lawler and Frank Shamrock.
While Melvin Guillard may be disliked by many mixed martial arts fans, it's hard to deny just how dangerous he is inside the Octagon.
The Young Assassin has knocked out an eye-opening 19 opponents in 29 career wins.
Guillard has finished off his opponents consisting of Marcus Davis, Dennis Siver and Shane Roller.
While Junior Dos Santos has always been considered one of the better knockout artists in mixed martial arts, he became one of the best ever when he joined forces with the UFC in 2008.
Since entering the UFC, Dos Santos has knocked out five opponents in just eight outings.
In fact, the biggest knockout of Dos Santos' career came in his victory over Cain Velasquez at UFC on FOX where he was declared the new UFC heavyweight champion.
While Pedro Rizzo is no longer fighting for any organization, he will be remembered as a knockout force during his spectacular career.
Rizzo ended his career with 11 knockout victories as he TKO'd the final two opponents of his career.
Rizzo has also knocked out some of the greatest fighters of all-time in Jeff Monson, Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett.
Cain Velasquez recently suffered the first loss of his mixed martial arts career when he was defeated by Junior Dos Santos at UFC on FOX.
However, Velasquez is a knockout powerhouse, as eight of his 10 fights have been finished through the powering punch.
Velasquez's most memorable finishes came against Brock Lesnar, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Ben Rothwell.
While Andrei Arlovski is no longer fighting at the highest stage of mixed martial arts, he is still considered one of the greatest knockout artists of all time.
And, nearly every time Arlovski was declared victorious, it was by way of knockout.
Arlovski has knocked out Vladimir Matyushenko, Roy Nelson and Ben Rothwell.
During his mixed martial arts career, Bas Rutten was recognized as one of the most well-rounded fighters in the history of the sport.
While Rutten posted 13 wins by submission, he also demonstrated striking power as he finished 12 opponents by way of knockout.
Rutten will be remembered as one of the greatest knockout artists of all time.
Alistair Overeem may be the most well-known mixed martial artist on the face of planet as he recently signed with the UFC.
Over the years, Overeem has established himself as one of the greatest knockout artists of all time.
Overeem has knocked out 14 opponents on his way to the top of the MMA heavyweight division including Brett Rogers, Todd Duffee and Kazuyuki Fujita.
Jose Aldo may very well be the best knockout artist in the history of the 145-pound division.
In June 2006, Aldo made the transition to the WEC, where he posted a perfect 8-0 record, knocking out seven of his opponents.
Over the course of his career, Aldo has totaled 13 knockouts, including an eight-second win over Cub Swanson.
Since entering the sport of mixed martial arts in May 2000, Fedor Emelianenko has been considered one of the most dangerous strikers in the world.
And, while Fedor has been known as a world-class submission artist, he's also one of the greatest knockout artists of all time.
Over the course of his career, Fedor has knocked out the likes of Brett Rogers, Andrei Arlovski and Heath Herring.
Similar to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Dan Henderson is most recognized for his historical bout at UFC 139 where he was declared victorious via Unanimous Decision.
However, Henderson is the definition of a knockout artist, as he's knocked out 13 opponents and has never been knocked out himself.
The biggest knockout of his legendary career came in a victory over Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson in July 2011.
While Robbie Lawler's career hasn't lived up to expectations as of late, he remains one of the greatest knockout artists in mixed martial arts history.
At just 29 years of age, Lawler has knocked out an eye-opening 15 opponents in 18 career victories.
Lawler has knocked out many notable opponents over his career, including Frank Trigg, Melvin Manhoef and Matt Lindland.
While Quinton "Rampage" Jackson hasn't demonstrated his past knockout abilities lately, he remains one of the greatest strikers of all time.
Specifically, during Jackson's Pride days, he was considered by many to be the most dangerous knockout artist on the planet.
Over the course of his career, Jackson has knocked out UFC legend Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva and Ricardo Arona.
Vitor Belfort currently fights for the UFC and is considered one of the most dangerous strikers in the middleweight division.
However, Belfort is also one of the best knockout artists in the history of mixed martial arts, as he's combined for 14 knockout wins in just 29 fights.
Belfort's knockout victims include Tank Abbott, Rich Franklin and Matt Lindland.
While Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is recently recognized for one of the greatest bouts of all time against Dan Henderson at UFC 139, he is also a world-class knockout artist.
Rua, a former Pride superstar, made the transition to the UFC in September 2007 and has won four fights, all by way of knockout.
Shogun's victims include Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida and Forrest Griffin.
Melvin Manhoef is certainly on the down slope of his mixed martial arts career, as he's won just two fights since the midpoint of 2008.
However, during the early stages of his career, Manhoef was one of the most feared strikers in the world.
In 24 career victories, Manhoef knocked out his opponent a stunning 23 times.
Not many mixed martial artists have had the experience Igor Vovchanchyn has had as he's fought in a rare 66 career bouts.
And, of his 66 career fights, Vovchanchyn has knocked out an electrifying 29 opponents.
While Vovchanchyn is far removed from his time inside the ring, one of his most memorable knockouts came against Kazushi Sakuraba.
Following his defeat to Roy Nelson at UFC 137, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic announced that he would be stepping away from the sport he once dominated.
And, while Cro Cop may never step foot inside the Octagon again, he'll be remembered as one of the best knockout artists of all time.
Cro Cop posted an amazing 20 knockouts over his long-lived career, including victories over Wanderlei Silva, Mark Coleman and Igor Vovchanchyn.
Wanderlei Silva entered UFC 139 in what many thought to be the last fight of his mixed martial arts career.
In an upset victory, Silva knocked out UFC newcomer Cung Le with just 11 seconds remaining in the second round.
Silva has an amazing 24 knockout victories over the course of his career, which include opponents such as Quinton Rampage Jackson on two occasions and Keith Jardine.
Chuck Liddell may very well be the greatest knockout artist in mixed martial arts history.
From the end of 2003 until the beginning of 2007, Liddell went on a seven-fight winning streak where he finished his opponent off six times via knockout.
The Iceman has totaled 13 career knockouts in just 21 career victories and will always be remembered as the most dangerous knockout artist of his era.
Anderson Silva is considered by many fans to be the greatest fighter to have ever stepped foot inside the Octagon.
In fact, Silva has never lost a bout since joining the UFC, as he's posted a perfect 14-0 record.
Silva is also arguably the greatest knockout artist in the entire sport of mixed martial arts, as he's finished his opponent via KO 18 different times in 31 career victories.
"The Spider" has knocked out Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin and Yushin Okami.