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The Top 10 Most Brutal UFC Knockouts Of All Time

The Top 10 Most Brutal UFC Knockouts Of All Time

Love a technical ground battle as much as you can - but a destructive, devastating stoppage remains the most electrifying sight in MMA.

Since the UFC started in 1993, there's been numerous fight-ending sequences that caused live crowds to gasp, viewers at home to stand bolt upright and fighters to drop flat on their backs.

These are 10 so violent that the Octagon mat had to have counselling afterwards.

10. Francis Ngannou vs Alistair Overeem (UFC 218)

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The blow that turned Alistair Overeem into a human Pez dispenser. Ngannou's "uppercut from hell" snapped back his rival's head, rendering him instantly unconscious, before the 'Predator' pounced to add a bonus hammerfist.

Total pulverisation in only the second minute of the fight.

9. Lyoto Machida vs Vitor Belfort (UFC 224)

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What kick is so hard it leaves the fighter who delivered it bowing and praying for the soul of the man he's laid out? Ask Machida, who dispatched his fellow Brazilian with a crunching front snap kick, then dropped to his knees.

Anderson Silva downed Belfort with a similar effort in 2011 but this one was even cleaner (yet filthier).

8. Tank Abbott vs Steve Nelmark (Ultimate Ultimate 1996)

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Yeah! Before UFC was full of honed super-athletes, it was sometimes just a couple of slobby tough guys slugging it out. Glorious to see.

Cult hero Tank's slow-mo haymakers bludgeon Nelmark, who ends up slumped against the cage with his neck and legs folded in directions we wouldn't recommend. He remains there to this day.

7. Holly Holm vs Ronda Rousey (UFC 193)

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The kick heard around the world. Rousey was already busted up when Holm swung her foot violently into the champ's neck, at which point Ronda decided it was time for a nice lie down.

Holm fired down blows to confirm the upset. But at least Rousey learned not to stand and trade with a striker, a lesson she took into her fight with Amanda Nunes. Right? Oh.

6. Kevin Lee vs Gregor Gillespie (UFC 244)

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A perfect two-strike combo, unless your name is Gregor Gillespie. Lee's overhand right to the temple, then kick to the jaw, left Gillespie falling backwards like he wanted to sit on an invisible chair.

A final fist to the chest helped nail the case shut: this November 2019 KO belongs in the hall of fame.

5. Gary Goodridge vs Paul Herrera (UFC 8)

Old school! Herrera's unique skill of getting himself stuck in a crucifix position in just 10 seconds was remarkable. 'Big Daddy' Goodridge needed no invite and rained down approx 800 consecutive elbows.

Herrera, out of it from elbow one, woke up with a broken cheekbone and a concussion. Ouch.

4. Jorge Masvidal vs Ben Askren (UFC 239)

Five seconds. That's all it took for Masvidal to saunter across the mat, launch a flying knee into Ben Askren's invitingly bowed head and leave 'Funky' asleep like a curly-haired baby in the Octagon.

Two follow-up strikes were unnecessary. Askren was out cold for the fastest ever UFC KO - one Masvidal celebrated by impersonating his foe's collapse. Just cruel.

3. Gabriel Gonzaga vs Mirko Cro Cop (UFC 70)

Cro Cop was supposed to be the first-round specialist, but Gonazaga sprung one of the GOAT out-of-nowhere upsets when the Brazilian unleashed a vicious head kick.

The sound of the connection is sickening before Mirko crumples to the mat, totally unconscious, having swallowed a mean taste of his own medicine.

2. Edson Barboza vs Terry Etim (UFC 142)

Achievement unlocked! Soul taken. Somehow Barboza's spinning wheel kick was so powerful it didn't make Etim's body flop to the canvas, it made it go stiff as wood and fall like a tree.

We're just grateful the fight was stopped instantly before Britain's Etim had to face any further punishment from Barboza's adamantium heel.

1. Dan Henderson vs Michael Bisping (UFC 100)

Dangerous Dan's titanic right hand would have flattened a bison, let alone a wild Bisping. But it's the sight of the Brit's head bouncing off the mat, then Hendo's flying forearm to his jaw, that makes this the most savage UFC finish ever.

We're just glad Bisping came out of it OK - even if he doesn't remember a second of it. Probably for the best.

Topics: Jorge Masvidal, UFC, Francis Ngannou, Holly Holm

Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.

 

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