Its only 8 months into the year and MMA fans have been treated to hundreds of bouts, but amongst the boring wrestle-fests and shocking decisions, there have already been a plethora of incredible knockouts staking their claim to gain the coveted mythical prize: "Knockout of the Year".
For a bit of fun, I that I would list a summary of the 'greatest' KO's so far, and give you all the chance to participate and help me decide which one you lot think is best. Wherever possible, I will try to provide a link so you can all watch the said unconscious-removing strike in action, but please don't be angry if the best I can find is a shitty YouTube link. (If the Zuffa brass has enforced it's anti-piracy clampdown and the video cannot be found, you'll have to make-do with my 'detailed descriptions' and your own vivid memories). Without further ado, here is the list:
Any strike with the term "spinning" as a prefix is automatically presumed to be impressive. The whole idea of twirling 360 degrees to land a blow is ridiculous; if you don't pull it off, it is possible to look like a poor ballet dancer participating in the wrong sport. However, if it does go to plan, you can generate enough power to temporarily remove someone from consciousness and make them forget the past 15 minutes.
John Makdessi's spinning back fist was one of those 'WTF' moments. If Anderson Silva had pulled it off, you'd all be creaming that it was the 'BEST STRIKE EVAAAAAA'. Anyway, watch as Makdessi feints a right kick only to spin a full 360 degrees to smash the backside of his left fist right into Watson's face.
If you haven't watched this fight, I suggest that you go do it now. It's less than 1 round, and unlike watching Rebecca Black, it won't be 5 minutes wasted of your life.
As everyone knows, Daley's left hand is like the 170lb version of Hendo's "H-Bomb", only "Semtex" doesn't possess
any high class wrestling if the striking plan goes down the drain. And Diaz? Well, he's just one tough S.O.B., and if any fight proved that to be true, it was this one.
Daley landed the "L-Bomb" twice onto Diaz's jaw, and as expected, Diaz crumpled to the mat. What was unusual though was that unlike the other Daley victims, Diaz still retained some degree of consciousness and despite being dazed, he dug deep into his Kung-Fu knowledge and utilised the ancient Snake Technique, which consists of moving your head side to side whilst flat on the ground in order to avoid further incoming strikes.
After 4.30 on the clock, and having been knocked down twice, Diaz was stood up and the two engaged again, this time with Diaz pushing Daley back against the cage. Diaz then lands some vicious shots to the body, and just when it looks like Daley is about to push Diaz off and survive the round, he instead pushes Diaz away only to collapse straight on his face. The mean mugging representative from the 209 then rushes in and finishes with strikes for the referee stoppage.
Anderson Silva will be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Vitor Belfort will be remembered as the one who could have been one of the greatest fighters of all time. For reasons unknown, the UFC decided that after only 1 fight upon his return (at a catchweight of 195lb), his victory against Rich Franklin was enough to have earned Belfort a Middleweight title shot against the Spider.
Well, the fight itself? Nothing happened for about 3 minutes. Then this happened.
4. LYOTO MACHIDA v Randy Couture, UFC 129
Remember that song that you used to sing as a kid to your mate who you beat at everything you did in life?
"Anything you can do, I can do better? I can do anything better than you"
That must have been going through Machida's head when he landed the sole of his foot in Randy's face at UFC 129. "The Dragon", obviously inspired by Silva, took his friend's move and made it one step better by executing it with a jump.
The only downside to the entire thing was that 30 minutes after the event finished, a fat Matrix fan wearing tinted glasses was recorded in the post-fight press conference as claiming to have invented and perfected the art of striking with the feet, and he revealed that he only shared this knowledge with two people in the entire world, Silva and Machida - despite the fact that he was apparently proficient in a martial art that relies very little on striking.
Superman punch. Struve's lanky frame toppling over in an arc. I'm surprised that the commentators didn't shout 'TIMBERRRRRRRR' as he went down.
6. CHEICK KONGO v Pat Barry, UFC Live: Kongo v Barry
The problem that I have with both of these fighters is that they both frustrate the hell out of me. Kongo is big. And black. He has a physique that makes Hercules jealous. Yet, for some reason, he has never quite been able to exit the 'gatekeeper' role, always failing when he tries to make the step up to join the division's elite.
Barry is fun to watch, but one can't help but think he lacks basic fight IQ. If he didn't spend to much time hugging Cro-Cop and trying to be his best friend, he could have won that fight. If he realised that he possesses some of the most vicious kicks in the entire organisation, he would win alot more fights alot easier. Just look at the Beltran fight - it took 2 rounds before he realised that he could effectively temporarily cripple the Mexicutioner with repeated leg kicks.
Regardless, the knockout in this fight is probably still vividly in most fan's minds: Barry clouts Kongo with a right hand, which results in Kongo dropping like a sack of shit. As Barry swarms in, a dazed Kongo hangs on and uses his non-existent wrestling to get back on his feet - which results in Barry promptly dropping him like a sack of shit for the second time. Again, Kongo's non-wrestling abilities allows him to get back to his feet and retreat to the cage fence.
As Barry approaches Kongo like a school bully cornering the librarian nerd, Kongo unleashes a right hook and right uppercut combo out of nowhere which results in Barry dropping like a sack of shit. Kongo then literally falls on top of Barry and lands a couple of strikes before Dan Miragliotta, who was still momentarily relishing touching Barry's broad shoulders a couple minutes ago, comes in to end the fight.
The two met in the semi-finals of the Bellator Lightweight tournament. Watch as Imada, famous for "that submission", gets knocked out on his feet from a flying knee by one of the two "Pitbull" brothers. If you turn up the volume, you can actually hear the noise as Freire's knee connects with Imada's skull.
On paper, this looked like a mismatch. Entering the fight, Hunt sported a 5-7 record and had lost his last 6 MMA bouts, whilst on the other hand, Tuchsherer held a 21-3-1 record and was 1-1 in his last 2 fights. Hunt obviously decided that the only way he could win a UFC fight was to fight someone just as fat and less skilled in striking - fortunately for him, both of those boxes were ticked by Tuchscherer.
What made this great was the celebration. Watch as Hunt lands an uppercut which topples Tuchscherer, before waddling off to eat a celebratory pizza before his lard-ass opponent finishes wobbling on the ground.
Up until the 11th June 2011, I had always thought Stout's nickname to be some sort of ironic piss-take. Why the fuck was he called 'Hands of Stone' when he hadn't had a single KO victory in 10 UFC fights? It was like calling Melvin Manhoef "Mr. Pillow Hands", or Alistair Overeem "The Weed".
Then, at UFC 131, he delivered one of the most perfect knockouts of the year by removing Edwards clean from consciousness with this left hook.
10. CARLOS CONDIT v Dong Hyun Kim
Going into this bout, Condit had all but erased the memories of his 2-round thrashing at the hands of Rory Macdonald (before he turned up the heat to finish his 20-year old opponent) with a picture perfect left hook KO of Dan Hardy. "Stungun", on the other hand, was known for being a tough, strong undefeated fighter who had a tendency to gas later in the rounds.
Unfortunately for Kim, his gas tank didnt need to be tested as Condit delivered a flying knee, followed by strikes to warrant a referee stoppage - all in the time of under 3 minutes.
Well, that is the short-list for KO of 2011 (so far!). Vote for your favourite to see who eventually ends up winning the mythical award of KO of (Up to August) 2011!