Founded in 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has grown from a fledgling mixed martial arts promotion into a $4 billion company. In a sport where one punch, kick or flying knee can make or break a career, a few knockouts stand out for utter brutality as much as tactical excellence. These 10 UFC KOs are not for the faint of heart.
Silva Straight Kicks Belfort in the Jaw
In a match of two UFC champions, Brazilian Vitor Belfort challenged his countryman Anderson Silva for the middleweight title at UFC 126 in February 2011. Belfort had never been knocked out in 28 previous fights, but after he received a lightning-quick straight kick to the jaw, Silva finished him off with punches for an impressive eighth consecutive defense of the title.
Barboza the Brutal Ballerina
Englishman Terry Etim journeyed to Rio de Janeiro for UFC 142 in January 2012. The trip did not go well. Brazilian Edson Barboza welcomed Etim with a full spinning kick, and the resulting fall looked like a choreographed kung fu scene, as if Etim was a felled tree. It earned Barboza both Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night bonuses.
Head Kick KOs Cro Cop
Croatian Mirko Filipovic is known as the "Cro Cop" for serving in his country's special police force. But even his tactical training did not prepare him for heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga's stunning head kick late in the first round at April 2007's UFC 70 in England. However, Filipovic avenged the loss with a third-round TKO of Gonzaga in April 2015.
The Iceman Freezes Ortiz
A UFC match must be stopped when a fighter is no longer capable of "intelligently defending" himself. That clause worked against Tito Ortiz at UFC 47 in April 2004, as Chuck Liddell endured a couple of hard counterpunches and continued with a wild onslaught of blows on Ortiz, practically standing him up against the cage and opening a gash before Ortiz dropped.
Flying Forearm Follows Knockout Punch
As brutal as Dan Henderson's right hook was with the knockout blow on Michael Bisping, it didn't quite finish their match at July 2009's UFC 100. It's a pity that referee Mario Yamasaki didn't cross the canvas sooner to prevent Henderson's crushing flying elbow, because Bisping was clearly out cold before he even hit the mat.