17 January 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld
Top 10 UFC Knockouts of 2019
Pumped for Saturday’s showdown between the returning Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas? Then check out our picks for the top 10 UFC knockouts in 2019.
The world’s pre-eminent mixed martial arts pugilists ended the decade with record-breaking and unforgettable finishes.
The modern-day version of Rome’s Colisseum, the UFC Octagon is the ultimate battleground. It’s been the stage for some of the most spectacular, vicious and jaw-dropping knockouts in all of combat sports since it changed the fight game back in 1993, and this year was no different.
In fact, fighters ensured that 2019 will be remembered as one of the most memorable years yet and capped off the decade with devastating displays of destruction.
There are showmen and then there’s Michel Pereira. An absolute wild man and a monstrous welterweight, Pereira produced possibly the craziest UFC debut of all time when he went up against Danny Roberts at UFC Rochester. The personification of unpredictable, “Demolidor” jerked and jived, tried two springboard attacks off the fence and an audacious rolling kick before exploding with a flying flee and crushing straight right to finish the fight in the first round.
What a debut that was! ??
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 19, 2019
Jorge Masvidal’s game-changing year, which he capped off by beating Nate Diaz for the BMF belt at UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden, started on the other side of the globe, at the O2 Arena, where he met Darren Till in the main event of UFC Fight Night London. “Gamebred”, on a two-fight losing streak, was largely written off against the face of UK MMA but picked himself up after being dropped in the first round to silence the crowd in the second, separating “The Gorilla” from his senses with a wicked left hand. His breakthrough night didn’t end there, as he cut a post-fight interview short to give another English ace, Leon Edwards – who’d talked trash about him – a “three-piece with a soda”.
— JAKE BUCKLEY ???? (@TheMasterBucks) March 17, 2019
When facing a foe with proven one-punch knockout power, one has to be switched on every second of the fight or run the risk of getting your lights turned off. Michael Johnson learned that the hard way at UFC Philadelphia, where he was 46 seconds away from a decisive decision victory before Josh Emmett uncorked an overhand right from hell that put “The Menace” out on his feet.
After knocking out dominant champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk to capture the strawweight strap and beating the feared volume striker again in the rematch, Rose Namajunas faced a different challenge in the main event of UFC 237 in power puncher Jessica Andrade. A complete fighter, the champion dominated the Brazilian in her backyard before the stronger Andrade hoisted Namajunas high into the air and slammed her down at an awful angle, knocking “Thug Rose” unconscious in the second round to claim the crown.
— Bleacher Preacher / Sports (@BleachrPreachr) May 12, 2019
Having destroyed three of the all-time greats in Miesha Tate (to win the bantamweight belt), Ronda Rousey (in her first title defence) and Chris Cyborg (to capture the featherweight title), Amanda Nunes entered her co-main event bout at UFC 239 as the first and only women’s double champ and looking to claim the scalp of another former champ. Putting her bantamweight belt on the line against Holly Holm, “The Lioness” stopped the Australian in the first round, with one of her own signature weapons no less, a thunderous head kick.
— World of MMA (@CM_fights) July 7, 2019
After outpointing Jedrzejczyk for the vacant flyweight title, Valentina Shevchenko made the first defence of her crown against Jessica Eye in the co-main event of UFC 238 and sent a scary message to the rest of the division. “Bullet”, a multi-time kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion, connected with the proverbial kill-shot early in the second round when she flat-lined Eye with one of the most horrifying head kicks in UFC history.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Eye. One of the most horrifying head kicks you’ll ever see. pic.twitter.com/Fw00860TRz
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) June 9, 2019
Heading into UFC Fight Night Philadelphia, Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje – as he uncannily does – lived up to his nickname once again when he starched Edson Barboza in the first round. Equally exciting but contrasting strikers, Gaethje was the harder hitter while Barboza was a far more technical buzzsaw with some of the most feared kicks in the game. In a wild slugfest and true kill-or-be-killed fashion, Gaethje walked the Brazilian down and knocked him out with a hellacious right hook.
Are you an MMA fan? McGregor and Khabib getting you down?
Why not give yourself a little pick-me-up by rewatching Justin Gaethje vs Edson Barboza ??????pic.twitter.com/p6q6PRyYby
— Andy Stevenson (@andyste123) April 3, 2019
In opposite hemispheres of their career trajectories, Kevin Lee headed into this contest at UFC 244 on a two-fight losing streak while his opponent, fellow wrestling standout Gregor Gillespie, held a perfect 13-0 record. “The Motown Phenom”, a former interim lightweight title challenger, had acknowledged he needed to make a statement to get his career back on track and he did exactly that with a lethal left head kick that sent Gillespie into orbit in the first round.
Kevin Lee: HEY ANDY’S COMING!
Gregor Gillespie: pic.twitter.com/kSGhwHVy5j
— Natasha Del Riego (@natashaaa__) November 3, 2019
One of the most exciting, unpredictable and creative strikers in UFC history, former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis moved up to welterweight for the first time for a dream match of sorts against five-time kickboxing world champion Stephen Thompson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 148. Thompson, the fourth-ranked welterweight at the time, lit Pettis up from the bell but dropped his guard with five seconds left in the second round, just enough time for “Showtime” to unleash a unique superman hook to clean his clock.
Anthony Pettis vs Wonderboy pic.twitter.com/JWwyOeSaDJ
— MMA Gone Wild ? (@MMAgonewild) August 12, 2019