The Top 10 Knockouts You’ve Never Seen

For every one of Chuck Liddell’s and Mirko Crocop’s main-event knockouts, there are 10 standout mid-card knockouts like Matt Hamill’s decapitating head kick of Mark Munoz at UFC 96. And for every 10 of those, there are 100 knockouts that may never see the light of day. From Japan to England to middle America, knockouts are the home run of mixed martial arts. After sifting through every secondhand VHS or DVD and pixelated web video, FIGHT! found the best knockouts available in a sport so rapid and concussive we’re bound to have missed a few.

JAMES IRVIN VS. DOUG MARSHALL WEC 15

Irvin’s famed flying knee over Terry Martin at UFC 54 nearly came a fight earlier when he attempted it against Marshall. It narrowly missed, but was perhaps the only strike that didn’t stun “Rhino.” Marshall came forward anyway. That is, until a fiercely understated knee in Irvin’s Thai clinch ended it. Exhausted and battered, Marshall rolled to his side, writhing in pain. watch it now at: http://tinyurl.com/koirvin

RENATO SOBRAL VS. BRAD KOHLER WEF 8

It’s possible that Sobral’s sprawl — his body weight dropping onto Kohler’s head — turned out Kohler’s lights during a lazy takedown. Just to be sure it was Kohler’s checkout time, Sobral pinned Kohler’s neck down, stood up, and kicked him in the temple. Sobral looked like the angry kid playing kickball — indifferent but still powerful. Oh, yeah he was wearing shoes, too. watch it now at: http://tinyurl.com/kobabalu

ABDUL MOHAMED VS. ROSS POINTON CAGE RAGE 21

“The Fight Professor,” Stephen Quadros, remarked that Mohamed and Pointon were throwing single shots. Then came the single shot. A spinning back fist with downward trajectory by Mohamed fed “The Gladiator” to the lions. The larger man is supposed to have a power advantage, but that wasn’t the case when Mohamed moved up in weight with Pointon coming down to welterweight, leaving Pointon unconscious in the center cage. watch it now at: http://tinyurl.com/komohamed

RENZO GRACIE VS. OLEG TAKTAROV MARS

This fight finish is the reason up-kicks are feared. Taktarov has a reputation for being as tough as the Russian winter, but leaning over Gracie right into his foot’s range left the Sambo master helpless. If the brutality of the short up-kick that sent Taktarov backward wasn’t enough, Gracie added a malicious, skirting right hand. Vale tudo at its best. watch it now at: http://tinyurl.com/korenzo

HIROYUKI TAKAYA VS. STEPHEN PALLING SHOOTO 2004 5/3 IN KORAKEUN HALL

Proper kicks have snap to them. The kick that Takaya landed on Palling had two snaps — the snap on the kick and the snap of Palling’s head whipping backward. The left high kick landed square on Palling’s face, sending him to the ground stiffer than Nate Quarry after Rich Franklin’s famous punch at UFC 56. Palling’s body was so affected it even rotated in rigor mortis. watch it now at: http://tinyurl.com/kotakaya

JENS PULVER VS. STEPHEN PALLING SHOOTO HAWAII SOLJAH FIGHT NIGHT

Palling makes the list twice, but for this war of attrition, it’s actually a good thing. Pulver — a future hall of famer — credits Palling as one his toughest opponents. Each punch was a coin flip, alternating which fighter scored the winning side. Pulver’s famous left hand finally broke Palling away from consciousness in the third round. That’s what it took to win that fight. watch it now at: http://tinyurl.com/kopulver

MARIUS ZAROMSKIS VS. ROSS MASON CAGE RAGE 22

Zaromskis ended 12 minutes of exhausting kickboxing with a flying knee that cut Mason’s defense down the middle. Mason was out before being revived by Zaromskis’ follow-up strikes, forcing him to cover up. Zaromskis has spinning roundhouse KOs under his belt, but the back-and-forth action of this classic has an exclamation point just too good to pass up. watch it now at: http://tinyurl.com/kozaromski

JUSTIN LEVENS VS. JORGE OLIVEIRA WEC 17

Levens finished this bout with a KO slam that would make Quinton Jackson proud. The rough-and-tumble first round was fueled by a Chute Boxe-Ruas Vale Tudo rivalry. As Oliveira threatened to finish in the second round via triangle, Levens countered with a game changer of his own, slamming the Brazilian in a diving motion and pounding the unconscious fighter out from guard. video unavailable

JON FITCH VS. WILSON GOUVEIA HOOKNSHOOT, ABSOLUTE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP 1

Gouveia was able to do what Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre couldn’t: finish Fitch. He landed a Thai clinch knee, then another, as Fitch — dubbed a “blood and guts fighter” by the UFC— shot for a takedown. Gouveia dropped his weight on top of the lifeless fighter with a sprawl. A big right to the side of Fitch’s head turned the scene uglier. watch it now at: http://tinyurl.com/kofitch

TOM WATSON VS. PIERRE GUILLET CAGE RAGE 25

Some knockouts are so fast they are hard to comprehend. This is one of them. And after slowing it down, you wish you never processed what happened. Guillet dove into Watson’s open guard but was halted by an up-kick that diagonally struck Guillet’s face. Clashing momentum caused Guillet to nearly complete a 360 degree fall. The kick was lightning in a bottle — and Watson broke that bottle, unleashing that lightning on Guillet’s face. video unavailable

Copyright © 2013 FIGHT! Magazine | Contact Us