2022 has seen incredible UFC action. From Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno’s razor-thin classic at UFC 270, to an intense clash between Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson at UFC 274, big-time bouts have not disappointed.
Although 25-minute rollercoasters, back-and-forth ground battles, and ruthless submission holds are compelling facets of ultimate fighting, there is nothing more awe-inspiring than the knockout.
A knockout is always lurking, and that is what makes them so special. They can happen at any moment, and when they do, a sharp numbness falls over the octagon.
Let’s take a look at some of the best finishing swings of the year.
Tai Tuivasa vs. Derrick Lewis – UFC 271
Tai Tuivasa is one of the most unstoppable forces in a Heavyweight division full of beasts and brutes. Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis simply wanted to hurt each other in the co-main event of UFC 271 in Houston. “Bam Bam” took shot after shot from Lewis, but he displayed next-level resilience and delivered a pounding of his own.
The hometown hero Lewis got it from Tuivasa in the second round. Tuivasa tagged the former title contender and then dropped him with a mighty elbow to the side of the head, cementing himself as a premier knockout specialist.
The infectious Tuivasa will challenge former interim champion Cyril Gane at UFC Fight Night Paris on September 3.
Jai Herbet vs. Ilia Topuria – UFC Fight Night 204
Young sensation Ilia Topuria defeated Jai Herbet with a devastating punch in the second round at UFC Fight Night in London back in March.
Herbert utilized his size and length early on, and eventually found an opening and tagged Topuria with a leg kick to the head.
Topuria got Herbert up against the cage in the second, and returned with a beautiful right-hand to the head, knocking down the “Black Country Banger” ice-cold to the mat.
Molly McCann vs. Luana Carolina – UFC Fight Night 204
The London fight night was one of the most exciting events on the UFC calendar this year. A record nine $50,000 post-fight bonuses were handed out.
Molly McCann is not known as a knockout artist. The flyweight never stopped anyone before her fight with Luana Carolina, but this time, she finally landed the finishing touch.
The Liverpool native stunned Carolina with a spinning back elbow in round three, and later earned the Performance of the Night award.
Jamahal Hill vs. Johnny Walker – UFC Fight Night 201
Jamahal Hill and Johnny Walker throw haymakers. The intriguing lightweights have seven knockdowns between them in the UFC, but none of them compared to the overhand right that “Sweet Dreams” threw to create an everlasting nightmare for Walker.
The two men bruised and battered each other very early on in the fight. When they threw a punch at the same time, Hill’s right hand landed first, smacking Walker in the head. Walker was left in a trance with arms raised upward, and then fell lifelessly toward the fence, generating a most memorable image.
Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson – UFC 274
This showstopper featured two seasoned fighters with diverging career paths leading up to their bout at the May pay-per-view. Tony Ferguson, a homegrown UFC star, and Michael Chandler, the formidable former Bellator champion.
“El Cucuy” has been through so many hard-fought battles in his career, and it looked like the torment from his 15 years in MMA was beginning to slow him down. But Ferguson recaptured his greatness against Chandler in the first round, proving to the “Blessed” warrior that he is nothing to be messed with.
Chandler connected with an earth-shattering front kick to Ferguson’s mouth in the second, dropping everyone’s jaws in the Footprint Center.
Read more about UFC 274.
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