AS THE CURTAIN fell on 2013 and given the relatively slow start to 2014 the UFC is making, now seems to be the perfect time to look back on some of the most brutal KOs and exquisite submissions of the past 12 months.
Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz – UFC Fight Night 30
After suffering a disappointing split decision loss at the hands of Phil Davis in August, Machida’s decision to drop to middleweight was validated with a devastating head kick KO over his friend Mark Munoz.
The Brazilian yet again demonstrated his ability to find a KO from anywhere with his perfectly-timed kick that turned the lights out on Munoz. He also demonstrated his class by holding back on unnecessary punches once his opponent had been floored and the ref had stepped in.
YouTube credit: KingOfGaming
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann – UFC on Fuel TV 8
When this fight was announced it was fully expected that one man would go out on his sword but many believed that it was Wanderlei who would be knocked into retirement.
Instead, after a barnstormer of a first round where both men traded serious shots with each other, it was Brian Stann who buckled first and this win gave Silva a whole new lease of life in the UFC.
YouTube credit: Wellington Lisboa
Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson – UFC Fight Night 32
In all honesty, any of Belfort’s three KO victories this year could have made the list but this one has been chosen because he was the first man to truly break the durability of Dan Henderson.
Yes, his spinning back kick over Luke Rockhold was technically perfect and spectacular and yes his finish of Michael Bisping was a sweet end to a bitter feud but the uppercut that actually lifted “Hendo” off the ground at the start of this KO really was a thing to behold.
YouTube credit: Aaron Fahr
Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva – UFC 162
They say anything can happen in MMA but for as long as he was in the UFC Anderson Silva was as close to a sure thing as you could get. That was until he met a determined and unafraid Chris Weidman at UFC 162.
The American nearly took Silva’s head off his shoulders and the KO sent shockwaves around the world, teaching thousands of up-and-comers that taunting and faux injury should never happen inside the Octagon, even if you are Anderson Silva.
YouTube credit: Jason Hall
Tyron Woodley vs. Josh Koscheck – UFC 167
When this fight was announced it was expected that the two men from strong wrestling backgrounds would do battle for position on the floor. How wrong could you be?
Instead, fans were treated to an epic back and forth battle where both men were badly hurt at some stage before the younger, stronger Woodley knocked Koscheck stiff with a perfectly-timed right hand combination.
YouTube credit: German Perez
Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche – UFC 157
Liz Carmouche entered this fight as a big underdog but she had the reputation for toughness and durability that led many to believe that the potential for an upset was on the cards.
The first round started well for Carmouche and she had Rousey in trouble for the first time in her career but the former Olympian produced another slick and deadly armbar to retain her bantamweight title.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Minotauro Nogueira – UFC on Fuel TV 10
This event in Brazil had its fair share of submissions and Fabricio Werdum’s over Minotauro Nogueira just about topped the eight that were on the card.
It might not have been the flashiest but was very significant given his opponent and he said afterwards that he was overwhelmed with the win as he had just submitted his idol.
YouTube credit: UFC on FOX
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Chris Camozzi – UFC on FX 8
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza entered the UFC in 2013 with a catalogue of BJJ records and medals. The highly decorated practitioner had a slow start in the organisation but proved he was one of the most lethal fighters in the world on the ground with his impressive triangle over a hapless Chris Camozzi.
YouTube credit: Cristian David
Anthony Pettis vs. Benson Henderson – UFC 164
The first time these two fighters met, it was a spectacular off the fence kick that stole all the headlines. This time out it was a brutal armbar from Pettis that caught everyone’s attention.
The ease and speed of it was made all the more impressive due to the fact that it was arguably the biggest fight of Pettis’ career as he became the UFC lightweight champion in less than 30 seconds.
YouTube credit: Frederick Carter