Which fantastic finish will land at #1?
Saturday night at the UFC 131 post-fight press conference, Dana White called Sam Stout’s knockout of Yves Edwards “one of the most brutal — if not the most brutal — knockouts in the history of the UFC.”
That got me to thinking: where does Stout’s pinpoint left hook land on a list of the best knockouts of all-time?
Does it really top every other knockout in UFC history? Does it even make the top 10?
How do you judge these things anyway?
The last question I can answer up front by saying a list like this is completely subjective. The knockouts that knock my socks off may be hum-drum to someone else and vice versa. Just like divisional rankings and the mythical pound-for-pound debate, there really is no right answer.
Note: that doesn’t mean there aren’t wrong answers. No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to convince me that Harold Howard’s knockout of Roland Payne at UFC 3 is the best knockout ever. It’s not. Accept it.
As for the rest of the questions, looks like you’ll have to keep reading to find out those answers.
These are the Top 10 Knockouts in UFC history… in my opinion.
This one had historical significance as well as being a brutal knockout.
For me, this is one fight that really signalled a changing of the guard in the UFC. Liddell was one of the fighters who carried the sport to new heights and became a star in the process, but when Jackson dropped him, there was a pause.
You had to wonder whether Liddell would rise again, and how good guys like Jackson, Dan Henderson and other Pride refugees really were. Not only did it end Liddell’s reign as the top light heavyweight in the world, it started the game of “Hot Potato” that has been played with the 205 pound belt ever since.
Beyond all that, it was a perfectly placed punch, well-timed and right on the button. This punch started to rewrite the way we remember Liddell’s career.
9. Rashad Evans vs. Chuck Liddell – UFC 88
No, I’m not trying to pick on Chuck. I love the guy. He’s one of the reasons I started getting back into this sport after spending “The Dark Ages” in the dark.
That being said, there is no denying this is a nasty knockout. Evans beat Liddell at his own game at UFC 88, pulling the trigger and connecting quicker than “The Iceman” could, the same tactic that carried Liddell to the lofty heights he once called home.
If the knockout loss to “Rampage” was the start of a change, this was the knockout that signaled the next generation had officially taken over. This loss told you Liddell’s days as an elite competitor were over, and that guys like Evans were ushering in a new era in the division and sport.
8. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva – UFC 92
Silva owned a pair of savage knockout victories over Jackson from their days in Pride, and the rivalry remained heated heading into their third meeting. Though “The Axe Murderer” may forever own a 2-1 edge over “Rampage,” Jackson got the last laugh by delivering this crushing knockout to Silva at UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008.
Jackson took advantage of Silva’s penchant for throwing wide hooks, blistering his chin with a compact left hook of his own. BOOM! It was over in an instant. Silva was starched and static on the way to the ground, out before his body hit the canvas.
As much as the Liddell knockout had greater historical significance, this one stands as the most devastating of all the knockouts in Jackson’s illustrious career.