Deadly Beauty: Top 10 Rare MMA Knockouts

Alisa Barladyan
22 Feb 2023

Mixed martial arts have a lot of combat techniques that professional fighters combine successfully. Unorthodox athletes' solutions are often a deciding factor. This material will tell you about ten rare knockouts after defeated opponents got to the hospital.

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We cannot discuss rare knockouts without the brilliant Edson Barboza. He has delivered knockout blows in every part of the body (head, torso, legs), but on January 14, 2012, the kickboxer made a miracle at UFC 142.

Barboza faced Terry Etim, who had had a 6-3 record and was ready to fight. The perky guy from Liverpool was pretty good for two rounds, but he still missed a crazy wheel kick in the third one. It was so powerful and accurate that Etim was already unconscious when he fell on the canvas, and his whole life flashed before his eyes.

On February 4, 2012, the unknown Michael "Venom" Page had his first professional MMA bout at UCMMA 26. He fought against another unknown athlete, Ben Dishman (his record was 0-0).

The difference in class was too big. Dancing Page mocked his opponent showing his invincibility and top-notch skills. Michael left no chance for Dishman. Venom demonstrated his superiority for a minute until he knocked Ben out with a splendid tornado kick. After this humiliation, Dishman never took part in MMA events.

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On March 1, 2014, the Korean Dong Hyun Kim and the Brit John Hathaway faced each other in The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale. The fighters headlined the tournament. The UFC obviously believed in the guys who were supposed to promote Dana White's promotion in the promising Asian market. And the guys didn't disappoint us.

The fight was more or less equal in the first two rounds (27-27 if we count only significant blows) until Kim began to use his sharp and quick elbows. The Korean fighter landed a deadly spinning back elbow at the beginning of the third round.

On March 23, 2019, Anthony Pettis and Stephen Thompson faced each other in the main UFC Fight Night 148 bout. The karate master seemed to be a favorite, as Pettis returned after a bloody fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 229.

In the first minutes of the battle, all the predictions came true. Thomspon fought as usual, and Showtime tried to bare teeth. Everything turned 180 degrees five seconds before the second round ended. Anthony pushed off sharply and delivered a Superman punch to Wonderboy's head.

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On October 12, 2019, two welterweights sorted things out in the UFC Fight Night 161 main card: Niko Price and James Vick. Both fighters were far from championship level but demonstrated a good head-to-head bout.

The athletes started a real fight in the second minute. Vick tried to apply a guillotine choke but made a mistake and ended up at the bottom position. Niko didn't have much success on the canvas, either. Then Vick took a dominant position and started pushing Niko's face to the canvas. Price didn't tolerate this and suddenly kicked James from the bottom. It was a mind-blowing upkick.

Beautiful knockouts occur not only in the UFC, Bellator, or PFL. On November 16, 2019, the Frenchman Davy Gallon dealt with former UFC fighter Ross Pearson at MTK MMA Probellum London. Although the Brit hadn't set the Thames on fire in the best MMA league of the world, he had fought against Paul Felder, Diego Sanchez, Jorge Masvidal, and Dan Hooker. But he had had 5 losses in the last 6 UFC bouts and had been fired.

In November 2019, the British fighter was shocked once again. It took quite a while before Gallon, with forty seconds left in the third round, decided to perform one of the top 2019 highlights. Pearson didn't even realize where the blow came from because he lost consciousness before falling on the canvas.

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On October 10, 2020, two unknown athletes — Joaquin Buckley and Impa Kasanganay — fought at UFC Fight Night 179. The covid season prelims didn't attract much attention; therefore, the battle between two guys with just two UFC fights went unnoticed. And that's a shame.

Kasanganay caught Buckley's leg in the second round and almost took him down. But Joaquin quickly assessed the situation and, with a thunderous punch, performed the main highlight of 2020.

A video with Buckley's knockout became Twitter's most viewed UFC video. Joaquin's creative kick was watched over 60 million times.

On February 6, 2021, ambitious American Cory Sandhagen was finishing the career of Frankie Edgar, a former UFC champion and veteran. The Answer was no longer answering any questions: the time of the spectacular and resilient fighter was over.

Cory didn't venerate the veteran. In the 28th second, the Sandman jumped and landed a flying knee to the weakening champion's chin.

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On May 7, 2022, two bright and spectacular lightweights — Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson — fought at UFC 274. Iron had lost to Justin Gaethje in the main bout of 2022, while El Cucuy had a losing streak of three fights.

Tony looked quite vigorous in the first round and even dropped Michael down when they exchanged blows. Did the formidable Ferguson come back, and was there nothing Chandler could do about El Cucuy's power? But the second round was a fiasco for poor Tony. Michael Chandler rarely kicks. That's why his front kick is in our rating. We could expect such a powerful kick from Anderson Silva or Lyoto Machida, not Iron Michael. Chandler didn't forgive Ferguson for his mistake, and his mind-boggling front kick destroyed Tony turning his face into a meme.

Female MMA also has prominent bouts and rare knockouts. On September 10, 2022, two top female bantamweight fighters, Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson, faced each other at UFC 279.

The girls had no sympathy for each other from the start (76 significant blows in 12 minutes). There was clinch, stand-up, and ground fighting. In the third round, Aldana found herself at the bottom position, while Chiasson tried to ground and pound but failed. Macy missed a powerful kick to her liver and went out like a light. No one in the women's division had ever won with an upkick to the liver.

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