In boxing, knockout artists like Mike Tyson have always fascinated fans and pundits alike. In MMA, there are also strikers who can end in a fight in the blink of the eye, but just as satisfying is the submission artist, the master of human chess. Who tied their opponents into pretzels better than any other master grappler? Who threw the hardest punches and kicks? Heavy.com asked their panel of experts…
Adam Morgan: Dan Henderson KOs Michael Bisping (right hand)
This one is, hands down, the easiest category to pick. Dan Henderson’s brutal knockout of Michael Bisping will be on highlight reels for years to come. Not only was it knockout of the year but it may very well be one of the best knockouts ever in the Octagon. There’s not much you can do in the way of describing it, you just have to see it for yourself. Downright brutal.
Jeremy Botter: Dan Henderson
It was the shot heard around the world. Dan Henderson’s brutal one-shot knockout of hated Brit Michael Bisping (and subsequent diving forearm) turned Henderson into an instant star and satisfied millions of Americans who grew to hate Bisping during the ninth installment of The Ultimate Fighter. Henderson departed for Strikeforce after this bout, but it will remain the highlight of his UFC and American career.
Brett Jones: Jose Aldo KOs Cub Swanson (flying knee)
The flying knee is the most spectacular striking maneuver in MMA as far as I’m concerned. Aldo’s flying knee, in particular, highlights Aldo’s dominance in 2009. Not only was it a fight-ending maneuver, but it ended the fight (along with a few punches to follow up) in just eight seconds. While great knockouts don’t need to be both quick and spectacular, it’s difficult to think of a quick and spectacular knockout that isn’t great. Aldo’s flying knee TKO against Cub Swanson was all three.
Spencer Kyte: Dan Henderson
This might be a runaway winner. Great on a technical level because it was such a clean punch and no doubt shot, but equally great on a “that’ll shut Bisping up for a while” level as well. Bisping may have earned a Pyrrhic victory with his boys being crowned TUF Champions, but he lost the most important fight… bad.
(Tiebreaker) Jonathan Snowden: Jose Aldo
Henderson knocking out Bisping was particularly satisfying from a karmic standpoint, but the most spectacular blow of the year came from the knee of Jose Aldo. Hendersons right hand made him a star in America; Aldos knee was the opening chapter of a potentially legendary career.
Heavy.com Knockout of the Year: Jose Aldo