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The House of Pain: The Greatest Knockouts in the History of MMA; Volume 1

I have a confession to make. Hello, my name is Cory Brady and I am addicted to violence.

Ever since I was a child, just a third grader cruising around my neighborhood on my bike without supervision looking for trouble, I have had an unexplainable and uncontrollable passion for watching men knock each other senseless. Call me a barbarian, call me a fight fan, bearing witness to sanctioned violence has been one of my favorite pastime’s since as far back as I can remember. Whether I was pouring over a number of boxing magazines I had subscriptions to for the most up to date news on who was beating the living crap out of who, compiling VHS knockout compilations from boxing tapes rented from Blockbuster or just obsessing and mimicking my favorite boxer Iron Mike Tyson every time he would annihilate some poor sap on HBO, beatdowns were my business.

Fast forward to the advertisements for the first UFC that left me and my childhood buddies sceptical, the first live UFC we watched on my best friend’s father’s black box, and most importantly, the tooth that Gerard Gordeau forced to rocket out of Teila Tuli‘s head at that inaugural event, and you have my new lifelong obsession and source of knockout depravity, mixed martial arts.

There have been so many amazing beatdowns in my history of following the sport that it’s so very easy to forget many of them. This is a new series on where we will take a closer look at some of the very best knockouts in the history of the sport, so without further ado, let’s get this party started. Let us celebrate the knockoout!

One Hitter Quitter

Wanderlei Silva vs. Kasushi Sakuraba III

Pride Total Elimination 2003, August 10, 2003

As I have already expressed, I am a huge fan of the knockout from way back, with that being said it should come as no surprise that Wanderlei has long been of of my absolute favorite fighters to watch. His entire career is like one long highlight reel of concussions and blunt force trauma. I am well aware that there are countless Axe Murderer knockout’s that belong on this list but the sleep inducing right hand that Silva placed on Sakuraba’s chin in 2003 shines just a little brighter than the rest in my heart.

Midway though the first round of the third and final match-up between the two, Silva checked a Sakuraba leg kick an fired off the most beautiful 1-2 I have ever witnessed in my entire life. The Japanese grappling legend’s head bounced back with the impact of the quick Siva jab, and before he had the chance to regather his bearings, a punishing right hand from The Axe Murderer crashed onto Sakuraba’s jaw with the type of impact you would have to see to believe. The Asian sensation was sent crashing to the canvas like a six foot tall slab of concrete.

This knockout simply has lasting value. There are a ton of knockouts that I get tired of watching after a few times, but you can splice this devastating finish over and over as many times as you would like, I’ll never get tired of watching it.

Merciless Beatdown

Houston Alexander vs. Keith Jardine

UFC 71, May 26, 2007

This was one of the most brutal knockouts I have ever seen in my life. This was one of those knockouts that have you screaming at the television set for the referee to just stop the fight already. The type of beatdown that has you seriously worried about the victims well being at the conclusion of the bout.

It was six times in less than twenty seconds that Keith Jardine went limp before the ultimate conclusion of the mauling. To put the scale of the beating in perspective, The Dean of Mean was blasted with twenty five adrenaline filled power shots from Houston Alexander before his unconsciousness brought an end to the bout. Twenty five clean, hard power shots to the dome from someone as brutally strong as Alexander. Combined with the previously noted fact that Jardine’s legs went completely limp six different times during the mugging, one doesn’t need to be a brain specialist to know that the potential consequences from a pummeling of that scale can never be good.

Jardine rushed in at Alexander after briefly wobbling the UFC newcomer in the opening moments of round one only to have the imposing Nebraska native completely freak out on him, clinching him up and savaging him a series of punishment that was almost hard to watch. When it was all said and done, Jardine lay face first on the canvas next to his displaced mouthpiece with a blood thirsty Alexander screaming down at him while he struggled to get to his feet like an infant child just learning how to walk. How incredibly lame of an experience would that be to wake up to?

Head Kick of the Week

Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon

UFC Fight Night 8, January 25, 2007

I, along with a whole lot of other people, thought I knew Rashad Evans going into this bout with Sean Salmon. A former wrestler out of Michigan State University, Rashad was the guy that won a split decision over Brad Imes to be crowned the heavyweight Ultimate Fighter on the second season of the show. He was the same guy that grinded out Stephan Bonnar and Sam Hoger for close decisions in two of his previous bouts leading up to his fight with Salmon. Sure, Evans had knocked out Jason Lambert in his previous bout, but he took advantage of his superior wrestling to capitalize on that ground and pound stoppage. A far cry from the dynamic finish that he brought to his bout with Salmon, and an even further cry from the well rounded, explosive champion Evans has evolved into today.

Surprisingly, the first round of the bout saw Salmon establish top control on two separate occasions in between brief exchanges on the feet. Less than a minute into round two, Evans shattered any preconceived misconceptions about him possibly being a one dimensional fighter when he launched a paralyzing right high kick that smashed into the skull of Salmon. It sounded as if a watermelon had been crushed with a baseball bat and Salmon fell stiff to the octagon canvas in an unconscious heap.

Since then, Rashad has gone on to show that he is without a doubt one of the most complete mixed martial artists today, knocking out Chuck Liddell with a terrifying right hand before pounding out Forrest Griffin to become the UFC’s current light heavyweight champion.

Do you remember when…….

Tank Abbott almost killed John Matua at UFC 6 back in July of 1995?

Man, I’m not going to lie, back in the days Tank was my hero. I was in eighth grade when he sent John Matua to the Emergency Room in his octagon debut, and to my sadistic eyes it was man-love at first sight. Wow, how times have changed since then, and the sport along with it. Thank goodness!

Be that as it may, I would very likely not be as interested, or should I say obsessed with mixed martial arts today if it wasn’t for this brutally beautiful knockout the Tank bestowed upon Matua back at UFC 6.

I had grown up completely enthralled with boxing since I could walk so it’s not as if I hadn’t seen a man sprawled out flat on his back before, but this was different. This was the first time I had seen someone attack a man that seemed to be completely out of it after being dropped to the ground. I don’t know what this has to say about my warped thirteen year old brain at the time, but I absolutely loved it.

The fight was pretty much over as soon as it began. Tank charged across the cage at Matua before “Big” John McCarthy had the chance to finish yelling ‘Let’s get it on!’. The first thundering right hand thrown by Abbott dropped Matua to his knees just seconds into the bout. Scrambling back to his feet, Matua found there was no place of escape as Tank proceeded to batter his face with right hand after punishing right hand. It didn’t take long for one of the vicious haymakers to find their mark, and as Matua went crashing to the canvas in the classic “Frankensteiner” position, the pot bellied pit fighter from Huntington Beach unloaded with a merciless right forearm to the unconscious mouth of his foe, splintering many of his teeth into virtual tic tacs across the blood spattered canvas before McCarthy could rush in and save Matua’s life.

Abbott mocked his convulsing victim by raising his arms and mimicking the fallen fighter’s uncontrollable muscle spasms immediately following the bout’s dreadful conclusion. Undoubtedly one of the most horrific beatdowns in the history of mixed martial arts.

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