The reasons why so many people are interested in MMA these days vary depending on who is asked. The various techniques, skills, and fight types produce memorable surprises and knockouts.
The knockout is especially noteworthy. Grappling appreciation necessitates a certain level of training and analysis, as a knockout is the universal sign of victory or defeat, depending on which side the fighter is on. A quick and devastating knockout is one of the few events in sports that can turn a room full of men from silence to screams in just 3 seconds.
The history of the UFC, the world's largest MMA competition, is littered with spectacular, devastating knockouts, but some inevitably have a greater impact than others. Check out this list compiled by the organization itself, which includes the best knockouts in UFC history.
10. Rich Franklin vs Nate Quarry - UFC 56
Rich Franklin was the middleweight champion at the time, and he allegedly defended his title against Riggs, but his opponent did not beat the division weight. Nate Quarry was summoned for this difficult task, which turned out to be the most painful of his career. Rich ended the fight with a left punch to Quarry's face at 2:32 in the first round. A year later, Franklin was killed by Anderson Silva.
9. Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture - UFC 129
Machida earned a Knockout of the Night bonus after dropping Couture to the canvas with a karate kid-inspired front kick in round two. With this Knockout of the Year 2011 kick, Machida became the man who caused Randy Couture to retire.
8. Mauritius Rua Shogun v. Lyoto Machida - UFC 113
Rua dodged Machida's left and returned with a right that knocked him off balance with less than 4 minutes remaining in the first round. Rua dove behind him and punched him until the fight was stopped by the referee. Lyoto Machida suffered his first defeat in the UFC at that time, and Mauricio Rua won the light heavyweight title.
7. Matt Hughes versus Carlos Newton - UFC 34
When they fought, Canadian Newton pinned Hughes with a triangular choke, but Hughes was able to get up while Newton's legs were still wrapped around his neck.
Hughes dragged Newton and then threw him onto the octagon floor, where he immediately passed out. Hughes became the UFC's middleweight champion for the first time with the victory.
6. Chuck Liddell versus Randy Couture II - UFC 52
The second fight between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture took place at UFC 52. Liddell would not leave without the belt this time. Couture's direct punch exposed him to The Iceman's devastating right hand, which went straight to Couture's temple. As Liddell and his fans celebrated, the legend descended on the Octagon.
5. Dan Henderson vs Michael Bisping - UFC 100
In the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping were opposing coaches. When the two met in the octagon, Hendo grabbed the cheeky Brit with a powerful right hand just as Bisping circled towards his right side.
4. Gabriel Gonzaga (Napao) vs. Mirko Cro Cop - UFC 70
Contrary to popular belief, it was Brazilian Gabriel Napo who took the lead that night. After being severely punished for his elbows on the ground in the first round, Napo stunned him with an incredible head kick of legend Cro Cop - the true master of KO with a kick to the head - as he stood up.
Napo was chosen as the night's knockout, allowing him to fight for the belt against Couture, but this time the Brazilian was defeated, and his dream of becoming champion was vanishing.
3. Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim - UFC 142
Edson Barboza caught Etim with a kick that burned him in the face after two competitive rounds. As Barboza began walking calmly to his corner, he collapsed and fell to the ground. Their fight was named Fight of the Night, while Barboza's kick was named Knockout of the Night, and later Knockout of the Year 2012.
2. Anderson Silva versus Chris Weidman - UFC 162
Chris Weidman stunned the world when he caught Spider with a second left hook, effectively ending the king's reign. Silva engaged in his usual antics, mocking his opponent. Weidman, unconcerned about his role, fired shots in Silva's head.
The first struck him lightly, and while Silva pretended to be hurt, the second struck him in the jaw. To the delight of everyone in the MGM Grand Arena, Silva's body went limp and her eyes rolled.
1. Anderson Silva v Vitor Belfort - UFC 126
Spider, one of the UFC's wealthiest fighters, demonstrated once again why he is one of the best in the sport with a first-round knockout on the kickoff. After avoiding some of Belfort's punches, the two were cautious and kept their distance.
Then Silva kicks in front of Vitor's face with his left leg, closing the gap. He collapsed to the ground as Silva delivered some light punches, but the fight was over. It was the evening's knockout.