Unofficial Half-Year Awards: The Knockouts

We’re only in July, but here are five decisive finishes that should find favor with even the pickiest MMA fan.

If there’s one thing that’s never in short supply in the UFC, it’s a wide array of spectacular knockouts. Of course, that makes this usually the toughest category to come up with a top five list, and we’re only in July. But here are five decisive finishes that should find favor with even the pickiest MMA fan.

ufc115_11_franklin_vs_liddell_0155 – Rich Franklin Halts the Comeback of Chuck Liddell
The main event of UFC 115 was one of those tough fights for diehard fans to watch, mainly because it pitted two longtime fan favorites against each other, making it nearly impossible to pick just one fighter to root for. But as long as it lasted, former champions Franklin and Liddell went to war, with Franklin battling through an arm broken by a Liddell kick to ice ‘The Iceman’ with a flush right hand late in the opening round. See UFC 115

UFC 108 Paul Daley vs Dustin Hazelett4 – Paul Daley’s Left Hook Finishes Dustin Hazelett
Former UFC welterweight Paul Daley goes by the nickname “Semtex”, and he certainly lived up to his explosive moniker at 108 in January, blasting out jiu-jitsu ace Dustin Hazelett with a single frightening left hook. It looked like the start of a good year for the Brit, but unfortunately his next big punch came after his three round loss to Josh Koscheck in May, earning him an ouster from the organization. See UFC 108

ufc113_11_shogun_vs_machida_0143 – Shogun Rua gets his Title with Finish of Lyoto Machida
The oft-repeated mantra in combat sports is ‘don’t leave it up to the judges.’ Well, after a controversial five round loss in his first title bout against Lyoto Machida last October, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua took those words to heart at UFC 113 in May and separated ‘The Dragon’ from his championship belt and the ranks of the unbeaten with a first round right hand followed by a furious barrage of ground strikes. See UFC 113

ufc110_09_velasquez_vs_nogueira_0122 – Cain Velasquez KO’s Minotauro Nogueira
It was a changing of the guard of sorts at UFC 110 in February, as unbeaten heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez defeated MMA legend ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira in the first round. What was truly impressive about the win was not just that Velasquez took out the durable former PRIDE and UFC champ in a single round, but that he did it with a crisp standup attack punctuated by a thudding three punch combination that was audible throughout Acer Arena. See UFC 110

ufc114_09_russow_vs_duffee_0161 – Mike Russow Stuns Todd Duffee
It wasn’t a seven second blitz like he scored in his UFC debut against Tim Hague, but Todd Duffee was on his way to another Octagon victory when he took on Mike Russow at UFC 114 in May. But nothing’s guaranteed in this game until the fight is over, and Duffee learned that lesson the hard way, as Russow pulled out a right hand from nowhere in the final round that starched Duffee at the 2:35 mark, stunning all in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. See UFC 114

Honorable Mention: Harris-Branch, Serra-Trigg, Howard-Roberts, Jones-Vera, Johnson-Blackburn, Davis-Goulet, Diabate-Cane, Leben-Simpson, Guillard-Lowe


Open workout for fans and media during UFC Fight Night Open Workouts at Times Square on November 25, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu / Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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