The 411 MMA Year-End Awards 1.13.14: Part Six – The Best Knockouts of 2013
Posted by Larry Csonka on 01.13.2014
From Chris Weidman knocking out Anderson Silva and Emanuel Newton’s spinning backfist KO of King Mo to Vitor Belfort taking out Luke Rockhold and more, the 411 staff continues their year-end awards by breaking down the top 5 knockouts of the year!
Welcome back to the MMA Top 5, year-end awards edition! What we are going to is take a topic and all the writers here on 411 MMA will have the ability to give us their Top 5 on said topic, and the end, based on where all of these topics rank on people's list, we will create an overall Top 5 list. It looks a little like this…
1st - 5
2nd - 4
3rd - 3
4th - 2
5th - 1
At the end we tally the scores and get our overall top 5! It's highly non-official and final, like WAMMA. What we are going to do over the next few weeks is run the column twice a week to crown our best of 2012. From best and worst fight to best fighter and KO of the year, the staff will come together to share out best. Thanks for joining us, and lets get down to work.
THE BEST KOs of 2013!
5. Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32
4. Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve at UFC on Fuel TV 8
3. Emanuel Newton vs. King Mo at Bellator 90
2. Travis Browne vs. Alistair Overeem at UFC Fight Night 26
1. Shogun Rua vs. James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33 - I, along with some of the other writers, joke when someone like Shogun or Vitor comes out and destroys a fool, because Joe Rogan will undoubtedly pull his, "THE REAL INSERT FIGHTER HERE IS BACK!" It's always fun, and we always get a good laugh. But let me say, Shogun Rua destroying James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33 was a thing of beauty. Now let me be clear, Shogun is NOT back. Shogun can never put together his mental game, his physical game and everything in between for long enough to be back. But you give him Mr. Tuna and he'll knock his dick stick right quick and in a hurry. Shogun destroyed the man and it looked brutal and awesome. There were a ton of good knockouts to select from this year, and my list probably changed 4 or 5 times, but I finally decided on this to top the list.
5. Vitor Belfort KO's Dan Henderson: Fight Night 32
4. Vitor Belfort KO's Luke Rockhold: UFC on FX 8
3. Travis Browne KO's Alistair Overeem: Fight Night 26
2. Uriah Hall KO's Adam Cella: TUF 17
1. Chris Weidman KO's Anderson Silva: UFC 162 - Chris Weidman took advantage of Anderson Silva's taunting antics and made him pay for it, giving us a moment that will never be forgotten.
5. Emanuel Newton, Bellator 90
4. Uriah Hall, The Ultimate Fighter 17
3. Vitor Belfort, UFC on FX 8
2. Demetrious Johnson, UFC on Fox 9
1. Chris Weidman, UFC 162 - It was essentially the beginning of the end of the Anderson Silva Era. Weidman looked like a strong prospect and potential contender in 2012, but it still seemed like downright fiction to imagine that he could be the guy to end Anderson Silva's incredible, legendary, and epic run as champion. Silva was getting earlier and only seemed to be getting better if that was at all possible. Plus he had laid waste to all his potential strongest challenges on paper such as Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. No matter what anyone says, no one saw what happened at UFC 162 coming. Call it a fluke if you want, but Silva did what he often does in his fights. He showboats, he dances around, and he makes his opponents look like hot garbage. Fortunately for Weidman, he was not intimidated. He kept moving forward and made Silva pay for abandoning his defense and trying to play mental games with him. Weidman became the new UFC champion before going on to beat Silva again, cementing his title reign as the new king of the middleweight division. Winter came to the UFC. Just call him Tywin Lannister.
5. Emanuel Newton KO's King Mo - Bellator 90
4. Travis Browne KO's Alistair Overeem - UFC Fight Night 26
3. Vitor Belfort KO's Dan Henderson - UFC Fight Night 32
2. Demetrious Johnson KO's Joseph Benavidez - UFC on FOX 9
1. Chris Weidman KO's Anderson Silva - UFC 162 - This wasn't the flashiest KO this year, that might be Belfort's spinning heel kick on Luke Rockhold, but this one had the greatest impact. Anderson Silva was untouchable, especially in the realm of striking. The thought of him being knocked unconscious with one punch while on the feet was almost laughable prior to UFC 162. Then Chris Weidman stayed calm as Silva danced and taunted, aimed where he knew Silva's head would end up, and landed a left hook that finished the then champion in the second round. Silva lost the rematch due to injury, but Weidman was winning that fight as well. This is the finish we'll be talking about for a long time.
5. Emmanuel Newton vs. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (Bellator 90)
4. Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt (UFC 160)
3. Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez (UFC on FOX 9)
2. Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold (UFC on FX 8)
1. Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva (UFC 162) - There were flashier knockouts this year but none were as shocking or as significant as the moment Weidman's left fist brought a crushing end to Anderson Silva's record breaking 16-fight undefeated UFC run. Prior to UFC 162, it was unthinkable that the iron jaw and flashy movement of the champion could ever be broken. Most felt that Weidman's key to victory would be using his grappling skills to dominate Silva on the mat; the blueprint that Chael Sonnen had laid out at UFC 117. The thought of the greatest striker in the history of MMA being defeated by knockout was considered laughable prior to July 6th 2013.
There was, however, something strangely poetic about the fact that it was Silva's taunting and dancing – something which had brought him so much success and highlight reel victories – which proved to be his ultimate undoing. As "The Spider" continually dropped his hands and goaded his foe, Weidman persevered where so many others had broken mentally and, undeterred, he remained calm and kept pressing forward. The decisive moment early in that second round was surreal. As Silva tried to elude Weidman's fists by sheer head movement alone, Weidman threw a combination, the final punch of which – a left hook – caught Silva flush on the chin. A few follow up punches bounced Silva's head off the canvas and Chris Weidman walked away as the new UFC Middleweight Champion, rendering viewers around the world speechless.
For sheer importance and shock value Weidman's KO of Silva is not just the best knockout of 2013 but one of the best in the UFC's history.
5. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. James Te Huna
4. Antonio Silva vs. Alistair Overeem
3. Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
2. Vitor Belfort vs. Everyone He Fought
1. Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva - By now, we all realize that "KO of the year" is not merely about style or aesthetics. The events leading up to the knockout as well as the action of the fight itself can be pretty influential (which is why some of my above choices made the list). Of course, what is even more influential is the importance of the fight, which can add greatly to the KO's significance. So when the greatest fighter of all time, and a man who's made a career out of producing breathtaking knockouts gets separated from consciousnesses for the first time in his career, it's a pretty big deal. While Anderson Silva's antics may have taken away some of the magnitude of the moment, you could argue that they made it all the more surreal. For KO'ing the great Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman should be the deserving winner of this year's KO of the year.
Paul Lapointe PED infused Vitor headkicks are DQed for drugs. Bad Vitor, bad! Mighty Mouse VS JB just missed the cut.
5. Chris Weidman Vs Anderson Silva: Showboating passing of the guard
4. JDS Vs Mark Hunt: Non Vitor spin kick of death
3. Big Foot Vs Alistair Overeem: Ignorance bleeds a glass jawed raggedy Alistair
2. Anthony Perosh Vs Vinny Magalhaes :14 of comeuppance in a tiny little present
1. King Mo Vs Emanuel Newton: Tree Log Fist of Hilarity - The face of what could have been Bellator's future went tumbling down like a tree falling in the woods on this night...and it could not have been more impactful and hilarious. I do not mean to say King Mo deserved to get cracked like that but he held his hands low and walked around the cage like his shit did not stink. Add in that Bjorn spent almost all his hoopla and promotion savvy when putting his eggs in this basket it just became a windfall of other such calamities to follow. So if a Mo falls in a cage and millions of people see it did it really happen? Ask Bjorn, he ignored it and then put on a rematch that was like watching a looped recording of a patch of shrubs grow. So kids what have we learned? If an egg breaks make an omelet already.
Enough ranting really but I still cannot help but get that image of this KO out of my head, importance in the long haul or not.
5. Antonio Silva vs. Alistair Overeem
4. Emanuel Newton vs. Mo Lawal
3. Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold
2. Urijah Hall vs. Adam Cella
1. Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva - It wasn't a flashy spinning wheel kick or anything, but Weidman was able to do what nobody else could. For years Anderson Silva has been dropping his hands and dancing around his opponents, but nobody has really been able to capitalize on it. Weidman punched him right in the face as he was clowning around and it was all over for the greatest fighter of all time. Weidman picked up the win and changed the UFC going forward.
5. Emmanuel Newton KO's King Mo, Bellator 90
4. Travis Browne KO's Alistair Overeem, UFC Fight Night 26
3. Uriah Hall KO's Adam Cella, TUF 17
2. Vitor Belfort KO's Luke Rockhold, UFC on FX 8
1. Chris Weidman KO's Anderson Silva, UFC 162 - I thought about giving this to Vitor and his feet of doom but if I do that then someone in the comments is gonna be all "RABBLE RABBLE TRT RABBLE RABBLE!" and I don't want to start up that mess. Besides, as awesome as a spinning heel kick knockout is, it wasn't delivered to the greatest fighter to ever compete in the sport (no offense, Luke). Chris Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva. How many people thought that was going to happen? And not only did Weidman knock Anderson out, he knocked Anderson out while playing Anderson's game. Anderson's clowning was annoying but it was drawing Weidman into a standup fight that he had little chance of winning. So, Chris told the odds to shove it and caught Anderson with a left hand as Anderson was attempting one of his Matrix-like escapes. It was a move that has worked on countless other top middleweights but it didn't work on Weidman. Whether the knockout happened due to Anderson slowing down with age and not taking the fight seriously or due to Chris having excellent precision and perception of range or just getting lucky, Chris knocked Anderson out and made history that July night. It may not have been as cool looking as a spinning heel kick but the ramifications of it are much more significant and more deserving of the Knockout of the Year.
5. Uriah Hall KO's Adam Cella
4. Antonio Silva KO's Alistair Overeem
3. Demetrious Johnson KO's Joseph Benavidez
2. Vitor Belfort KO's Dan Henderson
1. Chris Weidman KO's Anderson Silva - As always, the past 12 months have produced some outstanding MMA moments - and spectacular Knock Outs are always amongst those moments that most capture the audiences imagination. But did any KO match that of Chris Weidman's left hook against long-time UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in terms of sheer earth-shattering magnitude? Single-handedly (literally) altering the Middleweight landscape, New York upstart Chris Weidman picked up only his tenth professional win by becoming the first man in UFC history to land a telling blow on the magical - if overconfident - Silva. Anderson may have goofed around a little too much and played into Weidman's hands, but don't let that overshadow the craziness that was the 2013 Knock Out of the Year. Scintillating stuff!
5. Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez - UFC on Fox
4. Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold - UFC in Brazil
3. Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann - UFC in Japan
2. Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva - UFC 162
1. Emanuel Newton's Spinning Backfist vs. King Mo - Bellator 90 - Just as I'm a mark for flying armbars, I'm a mark for spinning backfists. The best one of 2013 happened in February when Newton shocked Bellator by finishing King Mo Lawal in the light heavyweight tournament. Lawal didn't see it coming and was out cold, ending the hype train that brought him into the organization. Newton turned the win into a hell of a 2013, ending as interim-champion after beating Mo again. WAR SPINNING BACKFIST!
AND 411's Best Knockouts of 2013 Are…
5. Uriah Hall KO's Adam Cella: TUF 17 – 14pts.
4. Demetrious Johnson KOs Joseph Benavidez at UFC on Fox – 15pts.
3. Emanuel Newton KOs King Mo at Bellator 90 – 19pts.
2. Vitor Belfort KOs Luke Rockhold: UFC on FX 8 – 22pts.
1. Chris Weidman KOs Anderson Silva: UFC 162 – 45pts.
THE 2013 AWARDS
The Biggest Story Of 2013: The Fall of Anderson Silva – 42pts
The Most Disappointing Fighter Of 2013: Alistair Overeem – 34pts
The Breakout Fighter Of 2013: Travis Browne – 37pts
The Worst Fight Of 2013: Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: UFC 156 – 25pts
The Best Submission Of 2013: Anthony Pettis Armbars Benson Henderson – 33pts
The Best KO Of 2013: Chris Weidman KOs Anderson Silva: UFC 162 – 45pts
The Best Fight Of 2013: TO BE ANNOUNCED JANUARY 14th
The 2013 Fighter of the Year: TO BE ANNOUNCED JANUARY 17th