Knockout of the Year – LowKick MMA 2023 Awards

LowKick MMA Awards Knockout of the Year 2023 Israel Adesanya

Stunning knockouts proved aplenty this year in massive title fights as well as clashes between up and coming contenders, with this year’s category for Knockout of the Year for the staff at LowKick MMA proving one of the most diverse and divisive award to throw out nominations for.

From the likes of massive one-punch finishes, high-kick phenomenons and star-making performances, as well as career-ending successes, it’s former middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya’s spectacular rallying KO over fierce rival, Alex Pereira back in April to stop the Brazil — which has taken the Knockout of the Year award for 2023.

Knockout of the Year – Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya 2 – UFC 287 – KO (punches) (3 votes)

Turning in a highlight-reel finish accompanied by one of the more memorable celebrations in recent Octagon history, Israel Adesanya briefly reclaimed the undisputed middleweight championship back in April in a rematch against prior kickboxing rival, Alex Pereira — landing flush on the Brazilian with a massive counter right hand knockout in emphatic fashion.

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Losing his belt to the Sao Paulo native back in November of last year, who has since clinched undisputed light heavyweight gold, Adesanya managed to land the 185 pound title for the second time in his Octagon tenure in Miami, Florida — launching from the fence in the second round, when seemingly on the brink of another finish loss.

Cannoning home with a huge right hook counter strike, City Kickboxing staple, Adesanya flattened Pereira before following up with a slew of ground strikes — before mimicking Pereira’s bow and arrow pre-fight taunt, before snapping said bow over his knee.

Honorable Mentions –

Josh Emmett vs. Bryce Mitchell – UFC 296 – KO (punch) (2 votes)

Turning in a late contender for Knockout of the Year before Christmas, featherweight staple and former interim title challenger, Josh Emmett landed a cataclysmic knockout at UFC 296 over Bryce Mitchell — felling the outspoken contender with a brutal right hook, resulting in a flattening KO and subsequent Performance of the Night bonus.

Meeting The Ultimate Fighter alum on short-notice at UFC 296, Emmett who was reportedly weighing up retirement following UFC 296, has since staked his claim for a title-eliminator against Max Holloway — after his stunning win over Mitchell.

Colliding with the Arkansas native in the Octagon, Emmett unleashed a nuclear right hand flush on Mitchell’s chin, felling him straight to the Octagon canvas in a brutal walk-off display, as the former worryingly began wincing on the bottom.

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Robbie Lawler vs. Niko Price – UFC 290 – KO (punches) (1 vote)

In typical Robbie Lawler fashion, an aggressive start led to an eventual devastating finish in the form of a 38-second KO win over Niko Price at UFC 290 earlier this summer — coming in what came as his final walk in mixed martial arts competition to date.

Bouncing back to the winner’s enclosure after a TKO blemish against Bryan Barberena, Lawler, a former undisputed welterweight champion and subsequent Hall of Fame inductee into the promotion’s Fight Wing, stopped opponent Price in the clinch with a vicious barrage in just 38-seconds, before bowing out and calling time on his storied professional mixed martial arts career during International Fight Week.

Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley – UFC 292 – TKO (punches) (1 vote)

In one of the most memorable — and ultimately star-making performances of the year, newly-minted undisputed bantamweight champion, Sean O’Malley picked the perfect opportunity to turn in such a performance, in the form of his highly-anticipated grudge match with Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 back in August.

Denying the Uniondale native’s takedown attempts in a tentative back-and-forth opening round, early in the second frame, landing a massive pull-counter shot, O’Malley sent and on-rushing Sterling to the canvas before finding home with a series of well-placed ground strikes, bringing a crashing end to Sterling’s record-setting title run — and minting himself as undisputed champion.

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Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez – UFC 287 – TKO (punches) (1 vote)

Electing to largely slug it out with the highly-touted Adrian Yanez at UFC 287 back in April on the same card as Adesanya’s award-winning knockout of Pereira, bantamweight staple, Rob Font momentarily prevented the changing of the guard, courtesy of a massive right hand knockdown and follow-up strikes for a first round TKO win.

Sharing his own moments in an out-and-out firefight with Yanez in ‘The Sunshine State’ — Font crashed home with a massive right hand against the former, sending him flying to the canvas to the Octagon, before following up with a series of ground strikes for a TKO success.

Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski II – UFC 294 – KO (high-kick and punches) (1 vote)

Sharing the Octagon twice with featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski this year, pound-for-pound number one, Islam Makhachev put talk of their close February matchup firmly behind him come October — ending their rivalry with brutal fashion with a vicious opening round high-kick KO win in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Full list of the LowKick MMA 2023 Knockout of the Year votes:

  • Ross Markey: Israel Adesanya
  • Ian Shutts: Israel Adesanya
  • Murdo Todd: Josh Emmett
  • Craig Pekios: Robbie Lawler
  • Makoa Goble: Josh Emmett
  • Tony King: Islam Makhachev
  • Red Pill MMA: Sean O’Malley
  • Michael Owens: Rob Font
  • Danny Podolsky: Israel Adesanya