The knockout, it’s a fan favorite and something every fighter loves to do yet doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of it as the same time. A knockout is a violent thing of beauty for one fighter but an ungraceful disappointment for the one lying on the canvas wondering what just happened. Lucky for them there is that little thing called replay and they’ll be seeing it over and over again.
The knockout is an art form and while many focus on the strike that renders one unconscious, there is an art to being knocked out as well. Ultimately they all fall but some will flop, others will even stumble but a select few have taken being knocked out to new heights. You might not want to be on this list but as you read below you’ll find two former champions, two Ultimate Fighters winners and a Hall of Famer.
Keith Jardine – It all started at UFC 71 against Houston Alexander as the relatively unknown fighter landed multiple heavy strikes that detached Jardine’s brain from his control of his legs. In a comedic dance, the legs of Jardine would turn to Jell-O with every punch from Alexander but the will of Jardine would bounce him right back up. Aside from being an instant classic, what made this “jack in the box” type maneuver #1 on the list is Jardine repeated the dance against Wanderlei Silva, Ryan Bader and most recently Luke Rockhold.
Chuck Liddell – The “iceman” knocked out a lot of fighters inside the Octagon during his Hall of Fame career. Far more than he was dropped but as his career neared its end Liddell’s chin failed him and a string of brutal knockouts followed. The one punch knockout artist had the roles reversed on him and was getting knocked out as if a light was being switched off, literally. One second Liddell would be pushing forward, the next he was face first on the canvas waiting for the lights to be turned back on. Liddell ended his illustrious career with three consecutive knockout defeats against Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua and Rich Franklin.
Stefan Struve – A wise man once said “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” and the 6’11 Stefan Struve is living proof. The spectacle of watching a man of Struve’s size crumble upon himself is something a fight fan doesn’t often see. If you’ve not seen it, picture a thin tower of cards and what would happen when the bottom card was pulled.
One Hit Wonders! The next two on the list have only been knocked out once but that one time has earned them a special place in KO history.
Rashad Evans – The former light heavyweight champion will fight for the title once again at next month’s UFC 145 but that’s a different story. Evans lost the title against Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 with a brutal knockout that handed him the only loss of his career thus far. Machida had Evans wounded and smelling the blood in the water unleashed a flurry that ended with a short left hand that folded Evans backwards against the cage. To make matters worse, the punched locked the face of Evans in quite possibly the worst KO face ever.
Michael Bisping – It was the shot heard around the world when Dan Henderson knocked out Michael Bisping at UFC 100. The two were coming off coaching the Ultimate Fighter, where Bisping didn’t exactly make a lifelong friend in Henderson. Henderson has always had a powerful right hand yet for some reason Bisping was moving to that side during the fight and the veteran made him pay. The right hand landed right on the button of Bisping’s chin, popping the Brit right off the canvas with a look that can only be described as “doh!” And to add the cherry on top, Henderson added one more for good measure as Bisping hit the canvas.
As these fighters are more modern Mixed Martial Artist, we shouldn’t forget the fighters of the past that paved the way for the above mentioned warriors.