Head Kick Knockouts: One of the most fascinating features of mixed martial arts is knockouts. They frequently appear out of nowhere; one minute you’re witnessing an exciting battle, and the next a boxer is unconscious on the ground.
Head kicks are possibly the simplest method of knocking someone unconscious. Because your legs are much stronger than your arms because they support your weight all day, kicks have substantially more force than fists. However, there is a catch: throwing kicks requires more energy than firing a punch.
10 Best MMA Head Kick Knockouts in The History
Let’s look at some of the best head-kick knockouts in MMA history and dissect any lessons that can be drawn from them.
1) Georges St. Pierre Vs. Matt Hughes II
Hughes gave GSP his first professional MMA loss the first time the two met in a cage. GSP attributes the result to being star-struck when he met Hughes, one of the most dominant champions in the UFC welterweight division ever.
GSP, on the other hand, avenged his defeat to Hughes when the two men met for the second fight at UFC 50. He brushed off a couple of takedown attempts before hitting a flawless switch kick on Hughes’ head. He then landed some academic punches to become the first Canadian UFC champion and won the Knockout of the Night award.
2) Aung La N Sang Vs. Alexandre Machado
Aung La showcased his amazing power during his ONE Championship bout against Machado for the vacant light-heavyweight championship. He took control of the fight early on by setting the tempo with his jab, which was followed by a devastating head kick.
Machado was able to raise his arm in time to deflect the strike, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from being thrown. N Sang then landed more ground and pound until the referee intervened to save Machado 56 seconds into the match.
3) Anderson Silva Vs. Vitor Belfort
Vitor Belfort has a number of great knockouts under his credit, but he was the victim of a head kick during his UFC 126 match against Anderson Silva. MMA fans expected an epic clash between the two titans, but Silva ended the show early with a picture-perfect front kick to Belfort’s face. Silva was named Knockout of the Night for the kick, and the picture was eventually featured as the cover photo for the UFC 3 Undisputed game.
4) Edson Barboza Vs. Terry Etim
Barboza is one of MMA’s most underappreciated fighters, despite being one of the finest kickboxers to ever foot inside a cage. His spectacular knockout of Etim demonstrates why MMA fans hold Barboza in such high regard.
Barboza executed one of the finest spinning heel kicks ever landed in MMA history two minutes into their UFC 142 battle. It was lightning fast, and Etim didn’t even have time to respond. It landed cleanly, knocking Etim to the ground. Barboza won Knockout of the Night, Fight of the Night, and Knockout of the Year for his performance. That’s right, the kick was that excellent.
5) Brandon Vera Vs. Paul Cheng
These two faced up for the first heavyweight title at ONE: Spirit of Champions. Vera won in 26 seconds.
Cheng fought fiercely, and Vera countered a lunging right cross with a quick left hook that knocked Cheng to the ground. Vera then timed a high kick that connected as Cheng struggled to get back to his feet. He was thrown to the canvas for his troubles, and Vera finished the match with several ground strikes.
6) Uriah Hall Vs. Adam Cella
Uriah Hall may not have lived up to the expectations surrounding him during the 17th season finale of The Ultimate Fighter reality TV series. Nonetheless, Hall was the most feared striker on that season’s middleweight roster, and Cella may have allowed that get to him.
Cella was unable to create much offence during the match, and Hall delivered a devastating wheel kick to Cella’s face that left the audience as silent as a library. Because of how hard the kick hit, everyone was afraid for Cella’s safety for a brief period.
7) Mirko Cro Cop Vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Gonzaga’s head kick knockout of Cro Cop was hardly the most technically sound kick ever thrown, but given who threw it and who it landed on, it took everyone by surprise. Gonzaga, a notable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, was expected to employ a grappling-heavy game plan.
Instead, the Brazilian opted to outwit Cro Cop by knocking him out with a head kick. Cro Cop, strangely, was known for his head kicks, and many anticipated him to finish Gonzaga with them.
8) Lyoto Machida Vs. Randy Couture
Machida has several head kick finishes to his credit, but his front kick finish of Couture was the most remarkable. Some feel that his front kick finish was even better than Anderson Silva’s front kick finish of Vitor Belfort.
While Silva hit a standing front kick, Machida went the extra mile, delivering a karate-kid-style leaping front kick.
9) Joshua Pacio Vs. Yosuke Saruta II
When Joshua Pacio and Yosuke Saruta battled for the first fight, it was Saruta who won a split decision after 5 gruelling rounds, winning him the ONE Strawweight World Title.
When the two met again three months later, there was no dispute about who had won. Instead of leaving it up to the judges this time, Pacio took matters into his own hands (legs) and finished Saruta in the fourth round with a superbly timed head kick. Pacio avenged his first loss and regained the belt from the man who had taken it away from him with this victory.
10) Yves Edwards Vs. Josh Thomson
During their UFC 49 fight, both men had their moments, but it was Edwards who ended up with what is possibly the most stunning head kick knockouts in MMA history. Late in the first round, Edwards gained standing-back control and exploited it to send Thomson to the ground. Thomson regained control as he rose to his feet and delivered a head kick from behind. It was a stunning move that had never been seen before in MMA.
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