In the sport of mixed martial arts, you can quickly become a star. All it takes is that single memorable victory over a legend or something that makes you stand out. Some people use hair dye to stand out while others let their talents inside the Octagon prove their legacy. When it comes to competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, there is no greater achievement than winning inside the Octagon. Throughout the history of the sport, we have seen several amazing submission wins and more importantly in the eyes of many fans, we have seen countless incredible knockouts. What are five of the most amazing knockouts in UFC history and why are they so special?
The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale: Pete Sell vs. Scott Smith
The fourth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” was all about the comeback. It was the season that saw the UFC give 16 fighters a second chance to compete in the promotion. All fighters in the house had been in the UFC before and for one reason or another, were unable to be successful. During the show, Sell made it to the middleweight semifinals, losing to eventual middleweight winner, Travis Lutter. In the quarterfinal round, Smith was also defeated by Lutter.
For the finale, the UFC decided to pit many of the competitors from the show on the event and one of the fights was a showdown between these two tough fighters. In a fight that wasn’t originally expected to air on the telecast, these two men went into the second round where Sell had the advantage. Sell rocked Smith with a shot to the rib cage. With Smith clearly in pain and backing away from Sell, Sell ran in for the finish and was caught with a single right hand to end the fight and get his comeback.
UFC 126: Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort for UFC Middleweight Title
Coming into this fight, all the talk was about how Silva was upset with Belfort for taking the fight because they used to train together. This is something that Silva takes very seriously, but Belfort knew going in what it was all about to compete in the UFC. To be the best fighter in the world, you need to own a title and need to have knocked off someone as good as Silva.
Coming into the fight, Silva was coming off his comeback win against Chael Sonnen and needed a good showing to keep his pound for pound title. Just 3:25 into the first round, Silva did just that by landing an amazing front kick to the chin of Belfort to knock out his fellow Brazilian. It was the best knockout of Silva’s career and one of the best in UFC history.
UFC 98: Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans for UFC Light Heavyweight Title
Coming into this fight, Evans, the undefeated champion was taking on Machida, the undefeated challenger. Together, these two men were 27-0-1 but at the end of the night, one man needed to have a loss on their record.
When these two men stepped into the Octagon, Machida was considered a guy that was impossible to hit and Evans was a guy that many thought could be the face of the light heavyweight division. When the Octagon door closed and these men squared off, it was Machida who controlled the action. In the second round, Machida rocked Evans with a beautiful combination while the champion was pressed against the cage and took over the crown as the best fighter in the division. For those who create gif images, Evan’s face as he was being knocked out became an easy to do image.
UFC 84: B.J. Penn vs. Sean Sherk for UFC Lightweight Championship
In his second fight after returning to the lightweight division, Penn won the vacant title against Joe Stevenson. In his first defense of the title, he took on Sherk, who was once a lightweight champion in the promotion, but was stripped of the title for a failed drug test. In the buildup to this fight, Penn and Sherk played the hype game and everyone watching knew something was going to give.
The fight was back and forth for the first 10 minutes. In the third round, it was Penn who began to erase any chance of Sherk walking away with the title. Near the end of the third round, Sherk was beginning to break down and Penn knew he had him on the ropes. With Sherk backing away from the contact, he wound up with his back to the fence and was met with a beautiful jumping knee from Penn. Penn landed a couple of punches before the referee stepped in, but the fight was over.
UFC 100: Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping
These two men coached opposite of each other on “The Ultimate Fighter” and it was easy to see that they had no good feelings for each other. In the buildup to the fight, fans were able to see Bisping as the talker, while Henderson was ready to rely on his ability to do his talking.
When they met at the historic UFC 100 event, a shot at Anderson Silva and the UFC middleweight title was on the line. When they stepped into the Octagon, the talking was done and it was Henderson who controlled the fight. It didn’t last long as Henderson picked up the amazing knockout at 3:20 of the second round. With Bisping down after a beautiful right hand, Henderson jumped in and gave Bisping a couple of more punches before the referee jumped in to end it.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson knocked out Chuck “Iceman” Liddell at UFC 71 for UFC light heavyweight title. Rampage was competing in his second UFC fight and shocked the world with the huge KO win to win the title.
Chuck Liddell knocked out Randy “The Natural” Couture at UFC 52 and UFC 57 for UFC light heavyweight title. In the UFC 52 contest, Liddell won the title and redeemed an earlier loss to Couture and in the UFC 57 fight, Liddell won the trilogy with another memorable knockout.