Thanksgiving is a day of reflection, a day to appreciate what we have and look forward to the days to come. Since I can’t predict the future, much, lets take a look back at the best finishes of 2013 so far. We’ll start with the knockouts.
Junior Dos Santos ruins Mark Hunt at UFC 160.
Mark Hunt earned his high level bout with Junior Dos Santos through an incredible series of brutal knockouts, swiftly followed by a fan appeal to replace the sidelined Alistair Overeem. The moment Hunt and JDS entered the cage it was clear we were in for a great fight.
After three rounds of explosive combat, Dos Santos threw an incredible spinning heel kick that clipped Hunt on the temple. He went down like a sack of spuds and was swiftly finished after a few ground strikes. Hunt’s granite chin and the difficulty of the kick add to the gravity of the finish itself. Video courtesy of UFC.com
Vitor Belfort crushes Luke Rockhold in Brazil
Vitor Belfort was coming off an impressive KO of Michael Bisping in Brazil at UFC on FX; displaying a new found talent for devastating head kicks. The lead up to the fight between Belfort and Rockhold was dominated by talk of Rockhold being a tough Strikeforce champ and ‘The Phenom’ possibly being in the twilight of his career. Things couldn’t have gone better for Belfort on fight night.
The two circled from the opening bell, with Belfort testing his range with high kicks. Rockhold left an opening for Belfort, who capitalized with a beautiful spinning heel kick. The force of the blow rolled Rockhold’s eyes in their sockets, and dropped him like a whore’s drawers. A few elementary punches and Belfort proved there is still life in the old T(RT) Rex in spectacular fashion. Video courtesy of ESPN:
Reuter makes a Matrix style finish
The last, but by no means least impressive KO of 2013 comes in the form of a bizarrely awesome knockout by Colin Reuter. He met Gerald Fike at ‘Solid as a Rock FC 2’ back in February with an amazingly unique finish.
The method used was a pretty basic, but effective punch to the chin. But the question mark style KO that ensued was like none I’ve seen before. Check out the video below and judge it for yourself, video courtesy of Wonderfuleverything
Josh Burkman kills Jon Fitch’s hype
On to the submissions and firstly we have Josh Burkman’s 41 second choke out of former UFC mainstay Jon Fitch. Fitch had exited the UFC on a bad note, but still carried a fair amount of hype when he signed to WSOF. He was quickly thrown in to the mix with the company’s top contender in his debut bout at WSOF 3, which took place on June 14 in Las Vegas.
In what turned out to be one of the more shocking fights of the year, Burkman handled Fitch with ease. Fitch was caught early on in a tight guillotine choke and his lights went out shortly after. Video courtesy of Shogun MMA:
Fabricio Werdum submits his old foe
Fabricio Werdum went up against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC on FX in June, in a rematch of two of the best grapplers in modern MMA. The two had met in Pride FC in 2006, with ‘Big Nog’ walking away the winner by decision and the rematch was billed as a possible changing of the guard.
As expected, Werdum got the fight down early and things went from bad to worse for Nogueira. ‘Vai Cavalo’ switched position with astonishing ease and ended up locking a tight Kimura in the opening stanza. Werdum was the first man to make Nogueira submit (Mir was a technical sub) and has landed himself right in the title mix at HW. Video courtesy of UFC on Fox:
Kenny Robertson and his ham ripper
Kenny Robertson went up against Brock Jardine at UFC 157 with his career likely on the line, having experienced his first two losses as a pro in his last three outings. I admit I didn’t really know of Robertson before that night in California, but I’ll remember it every time I hear the word ‘hamstring’.
Robertson took Jardine’s back in the first round and sunk in his hooks, Jardine tried to buck his man over the top, causing Robertson’s hips to go higher on his back, thus minimizing the risk of a RNC. K-Rob grabbed at Jardine’s outstretched leg and cranked it, pulling off the first ever Suloev stretch/Ham ripper in UFC history.
I know I missed a lot of shocking and amazing finishes, but if you feel so strongly about it post the links to pictures or videos of your favorites and I’ll whack them up for you. OUTER PHOTO COURTESY OF USA TODAY SPORTS