The Best UFC/MMA Knockouts Of 2022 Are…

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The Best UFC/MMA Knockouts Of 2022 Are…

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

No matter how the MMA meta develops, you can be confident that any given year will see an extraordinarily high number of people get separated from their consciousness in brutal and unexpected ways. 2022 may not have been the return to joy we needed after all these years of misery, but it certainly delivered on the violence front. Here are MMA Mania’s 2022 Knockouts of the Year.

5. (TIE) Ilia Topuria and Josh Quinlan Turn Out the Lights

I like to reserve a spot on these lists for knockouts that may not have been the most creative or technically proficient, but definitely made me worry that I may have just watched someone die. Ilia Topuria bouncing back from a head kick knockdown to literally send Jai Herbert flying and Josh Quinlan check-hooking Jason Witt into another dimension certainly qualify.

4. Andrey Koreshkov Breaks Chance Rencountre in Half

Just being a spinning back kick knockout to the body would have been enough to earn this finish some consideration; you just don’t see a ton of them at the highest level these days. What puts it on the podium is the sheer damage it inflicted. Koreshkov, a favorite of mine since way back in the day, hit Rencountre so hard it broke five of his ribs and punctured his lung.

I think that merits some recognition.

3. Molly McCann Spins to Win

Spinning back elbows don’t get much cleaner than this. Molly McCann used the same “attack a leg to set up the elbow” trick that Jon Jones used to faceplant Stephan Bonnar back in the day, and unlike Bonnar, Carolina couldn’t tank it.

2. Michael Chandler Knocks Tony Ferguson Down the Evolutionary Line

UFC 274: Oliveira vs Gaethje at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona
Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

First Frankie Edgar, now Tony Ferguson. Front kicks square to the chin produce some of the most grimly hilarious photos in all of MMA, transforming peak athletes into octogenarian neanderthals for one awful moment.

There is, admittedly, some tragedy in this one. Ferguson was in some of the best form we’ve seen in years, only to get poleaxed out of nowhere. Them’s the breaks.

1, Leon Edwards Shocks the World

UFC 278: Usman v Edwards 2
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Yeah, no question as to what would top the list. Even if it wasn’t a literal last-minute knockout in a fight Edwards was losing badly, it was a flush, out-on-impact left high kick landed on one of the best fighters in the sport. You’d be hard-pressed to find a metric by which this doesn’t excel.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jamahal Hill (overhand right) Johnny Walker
  • Marlon Vera (head kick) Dominick Cruz
  • Zhang Weili (spinning back fist) Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  • Azamat Murzakanov (flying knee) Tafon Nchukwi
  • Alex Pereira (left hook) Sean Strickland

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