15 May Top 10 Knockout Artists in the UFC
After his brutal fourth round destruction of Cung Le at UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau last week, fast talking British middleweight contender Michael Bisping earned his 9th KO win in the UFC. But while Bisping’s victory moved him up the UFC’s all-time knockout leaderboard, he is still a couple of KOs away from being the UFC’s ultimate knockout king. Let’s take a look at who shares that exclusive list with the brash Englishman:
10. Melvin Guillard ( 8 knockouts)
The 31 year old Guillard has an unexceptional 12-9-1 UFC record, but 8 of those wins were by knockout and three of those KOs were awarded as Knockout of the Night winners. Guillard’s best years began in 2008 when he racked up eight wins in nine fights, including notable ones over Dennis Siver, Gleison Tibau, Jeremy Stephens and Evan Dunham. But after suffering back to back losses to Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller in his next two fights, Guillard went on a skid that saw him win just two of his last eight UFC bouts. After being cut by the UFC earlier this year, Guillard defeated Gesias Calvacante by knockout in his debut with the WSOF promotion last July 15.
Notable KOs: Dennis Siver, Evan Dunham
9 . Matt Hughes (8 knockouts)
Considered as the best pound for pound fighter during his era, Matt Hughes was a former two time UFC welterweight champion who put together two separate six fight winning streaks in his storied career. Hughes is known for his trilogies with B.J. Penn and Georges St. Pierre. And although he lost both trilogies, Hughes became the first man to stop B.J. Penn and the first to defeat GSP. Hughes was inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame in 2010 and was appointed as the UFC’s Vice President for Athlete Development and Government Relations in January 2013.
Notable KOs: B.J. Penn, Royce Gracie, Carlos Newton (2 times), Renzo Gracie
8. Tito Ortiz ( 8 knockouts)
The Huntington Beach Bad Boy is widely considered as one of the athletes who brought MMA to the mainstream of Amreican sports. Known for his bad ass attitude and flaming shorts, Tito Ortiz held the UFC light heavyweight title from April 2000 to September 2003, making five straight title defenses along the way. Ortiz holds the distinction of being the only fighter to beat Ken Shamrock three times, all by knockout. Though Ortiz lost seven out of his last nine bouts in the UFC, he became the 9th fighter inducted to the UFC’s Hall of Fame. The 39 year old Ortiz made his Bellator debut last May 17 where he defeated Alexander Shlemenko via technical submission.
Notable KOs: Ken Shamrock ( 3 times), Evan Tanner, Guy Mezger
7. Matt Brown (9 knockouts)
A couple of years ago, Matt Brown looked like he was just another contestant from The Ultimate Fighter who was waiting to get cut by the UFC for having a so-so career. But the fighter dubbed as the “Immortal One” by his friends for surviving a heroin overdose suddenly burst into the welterweight title picture by winning seven consecutive bouts that included six knockouts, two Fight of the Night awards and one Knockout of the Night award. That streak paved the way for a title eliminator bout against Robbie Lawler at UFC on Fox last July 26. Brown missed the weight and lost via unanimous decision. However, despite the loss, he is still ranked as the 5th best welterweight by the UFC.
Notable KOs: Jordan Mein, Mike Pyle, Erick Silva
6. Michael Bisping (9 knockouts)
After winning The Ultimate Fighter 3 light heavyweight tournament, Michael Bisping has become one of the promotion’s most marketable stars because of his ability to beef up any match with his supreme provocateur skills. Currently ranked #8 by the UFC, the Count has fought two middleweight title eliminator bouts against Dan Henderson at UFC 100 in 2009 and Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2 in 2012. Bisping lost both bouts and was at a career crossroads last week when he convincingly beat up Cung Le at UFC Fight Night 48 to record his 9th UFC knockout and return to championship discussion.
Notable KOs: Jason Miller, Cung Le
5. Rich Franklin ( 9 knockouts)
Call Rich Franklin the UFC’s “Savior” for being the guy who always agreed to step in for injured fighters and take bouts on short notice just to save matches or even events. Perhaps the most memorable of those saves was taking on Wanderlei Silva in the main event of UFC 147. Franklin went on to beat the Axe Murderer in Brazil during a thrilling five round Fight of the Night winner. This loyal 39 year old “Ace” won the UFC middleweight title in 2005 and defended it two times before losing to Anderson Silva. Franklin hasn’t fought since 2012 although the UFC says the door is open for him to pick up the one remaining fight in his UFC contract.
Notable KOs: Chuck Liddell, Ken Shamrock, Evan Tanner ( 2 times)
4. Cain Velasquez ( 9 knockouts)
Current and two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is one of the most dominating heavyweight champions of all-time. Velasquez rose to prominence when he knocked out the enigmatic Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 to win the heavyweight belt. He lost to Junior Dos Santos in his next bout but reclaimed the title two fights later by exacting revenge over Dos Santos in 2012. He then closed out that rivalry by knocking out Cigano in the grudge match at UFC 155. Velasquez has 9 KOs in 11 UFC wins and at age 32, he is showing no signs of slowing down. Velasquez is scheduled to defend his title against Fabricio Werdum on November 15 at UFC 180.
Notable KOs: Brock Lesnar, Junior Dos Santos, Antonio Silva (twice), Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera. and Ben Rothwell.
3. Chuck Liddell ( 10 knockouts)
Chuck Liddell looked more like a drunk bike rider looking for a bar brawl rather than a world class mixed martial artist. But make no mistake about the “Iceman” as he is considered one of the most popular stars in the sport’s history and one of the best UFC champions ever. Liddell won the UFC light heavyweight belt at UFC 52 and defended it four times in a legendary career where he fought only the best in the business. Liddell was known for the incredible power in his hands and used them to score all his 9 UFC knockouts. Liddell was inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009.
Notable KOs: Randy Couture (twice), Tito Ortiz (twice) and Renato Sobral (twice)
2. Vitor Belfort ( 11 knockouts)
It’s hard to imagine that Vitor Belfort was once a former UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament champion because of his size. But the fact is that Belfort knocked out huge opponents like Tank Abbott and Scott Ferrezzo in his early days as the UFC’s “Phenom“. Now fighting at middleweight, this former UFC light heavyweight champion is riding high on a three fight winning streak where all victories have been Knockout of the Night winners. Belfort, the UFC’s #2 ranked middleweight, was supposed to challenge Chris Weidman last May at UFC 173, but after the NSAC banned the use of TRT, he was forced to beg off from that fight. Belfort is once again scheduled to challenge Weidman at UFC 181 this December.
Notable KOs: Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Rich Franklin, Tank Abbott and Scott Ferrezzo.
1. Anderson Silva (11 knockouts)
The GOAT or the Greatest of All-Time is also the UFC’s most prolific knockout artist. While he has the same number of KO’s as Vitor Belfort, Anderson Silva deserves the number one spot simply because he owns a spectacular KO win over Belfort. From 2006 to 2013, Silva went on a 16 fight unbeaten streak before losing two times to Chris Weidman last year. Silva suffered a broken leg ( broken fibula and tibia) during his rematch with Weidman and is still recuperating from the surgery but is scheduled to fight Nick Diaz at UFC 183 on January 31, 2015.