This year was chock-full of memorable Octagon performances that will reverberate for years to come, but none were more exhilarating than the three last-second finishes that saw UFC gold change hands.
As a nice end-of-year tribute to one of the more memorable 12-month spans in UFC history the promotion has released a compilation of the fifth-round finishes that set the Octagon ablaze in 2022. Each stoppage was unique in its own right and instantly changed divisional landscapes heading into the new year.
The first last-minute title stoppage came in a matchup between Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 back in June. It was Teixeira’s first official UFC title defense and he had no trouble putting a hurting on Prochazka early on. Prochazka battled back, but he needed a stoppage in the final round to walk away with the UFC light heavyweight title. He did exactly that by choking Teixeira out with 28 seconds left on the clock.
The second last-minute title stoppage came in a welterweight pairing between then pound-for-pound great Kamaru Usman and streaking contender Leon Edwards at UFC 278 this past August. This was a rematch from their first meeting back in 2015 in which Usman won via unanimous decision. Usman looked to be well on his way to another decision win over Edwards at UFC 278 before “Rocky” launched a final head kick that landed flush and sent Usman into the shadow realm.
Finally, the last fifth-round title finish of the year came at UFC 282 in a middleweight grudge match between then champion Israel Adesanya and the menacing Alex Pereira. Adesanya was able to mix up his entire game to take a commanding lead over the Brazilian over the first four rounds. Pereira needed a finish in the fifth, went for broke, and ended up stopping “Last Stylebender” with a late TKO.
All of these stoppages can be seen above courtesy of UFC. Which one stood out the most to you?
Let’s hear it!