Much like this month’s Submission of the Month, the winner of Knockout of the Month was decided in one of the first events of March 2018.
In March, however, we saw a tremendous amount of knockouts. Despite this, none were better than Brian “T-City” Ortega doing the unthinkable against lightweight legend Frankie “The Answer” Edgar.
MMASucka’s Knockout of the Month for March 2018: Brian Ortega finishes the unfinishable Frankie Edgar
On March 3, 2018, Brian Ortega stepped in on short notice to face Frankie Edgar – who was originally slated to fight champion Max Holloway – at UFC 222 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The stakes were high, as it was one of the most obvious #1 contender bouts in UFC history. The winner undoubtedly earned a shot at Max Holloway later this year. Would former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar add featherweight gold to his resume, or would the undefeated former RFA title-holder punch his ticket to a shot at UFC gold?
Though the bout was technically the night’s co-main event, it for sure had the feel of a massive fight immediately.
It was impossible to not notice very early on the size difference here. Height and reach were very much in Ortega’s favor, but Edgar has made a career of proving that statistics like that mean virtually nothing.
Despite Frankie Edgar being an elite wrestler, and having a knack for dominating guys on the mat, he was facing a man known almost exclusively for his chokes in Brian Ortega. So Edgar settled for a more strike-centric approach. Utilizing his crafty footwork to land nice jabs and set up slick combos early.
Ortega was unphased by this. He remained calm and collected, even managing to land some nice shots of his own on Frankie Edgar. The two fought at a methodical pace until the tides turned with 30-seconds remaining in the first round.
Brian Ortega landed a beautiful elbow on the feet, wobbling Frankie Edgar. This wasn’t the craziest thing ever, as Frankie Edgar has been wobbled tons throughout his career, but he has made a name for himself by always coming back from that and somehow winning in the end. So surely that would continue here, right?
Wrong. Ortega began to flurry a visibly hurt Edgar. And about 10-seconds after the initial elbow, he landed a crushing uppercut that quite literally sent Frankie Edgar airborne. That was the fight-ending blow.
Brian Ortega – a man whose nickname emphasizes how deadly his triangle chokes are – became the first man to finish Frankie Edgar in his near 30-fight career. And he did so via something no one saw coming; vicious knockout.
Ortega improves to 14-0 and earns his shot at UFC gold against Max Holloway later this year in what will be one of the biggest featherweight fights of all time. Forget the KO, though. Check out Ortega’s post-fight interview after the biggest win of his career. Nothing but absolute class.
Check out a nice list of honorable mentions for Knockout of the Month below!
- FNG 84 | Yasubey Enomoto def. Shamil Amirov via KO3 (Punches)
- UFC 222 | Alexander Hernandez def. Beneil Dariush via KO1 (Punches)
- WFCA: Battle on Volga 3 | Alexander Emelianenko def. Szymon Bajor via KO1 (Punches)
- KSW 42 | Scott Askham def. Michal Materla via KO1 (Body Kicks)
- KSW 42 | Krystian Kaszubowski def. Christopher Henze via KO1 (Elbows)
- Cage Warriors 91 | Brian Bouland def. Josh Reed via KO1 (Punches)
- Cage Warriors 91 | Donovan Desmae def. Richard Williams via KO1 (Punches)
- SFL 2018: Gujarat vs. Delhi | Abdul Badakhshi def. Manas Daimatry via KO1 (Punches)
- One Pride MMA Fight Night 17 | Rudy Gunawan def. Christian Kasino via KO1 (Spinning Back Fist)
- M-1 Challenge 89 | Mickael Lebout def. Sergey Faley via KO1 (Right Hook)
- ROAD FC 046 | Heili Ataleng def. Ik Hwan Jang via KO1 (Punches)
- SFL 2018: Bengaluru vs. Delhi | Abdul Badakhshi def. Sascha Sharma via KO1 (Knee)
- LFA 35 | Adrian Yanez def. Nathan Tepagnier via KO1 (Right Hook)
- ACB 82 | Brett Cooper def. Andre Santos via KO1 (Punches)
- ACB 82 | Walter Pereira def. Thiago Gaia via KO1 (Body Punch)
- BAMMA 34 | Dominique Wooding def. Dominic Dillon via KO2 (Flying Knee + Punches)
- SFL 2018: Sultans vs. Nawabs | Sumeet Khade def. Pawan Goyat via KO1 (Headkick)
- EFC Worldwide 67 | Igeu Kabesa def. Paulo Bananada via KO2 (Spinning Elbow + Punches)
- Pancrase 294 | Taiki Akiba def. Yuki Yasunaga via KO1 (Knee)
- THE OUTSIDER 50 | Hikaru Yoshitaki def. Hisaaki Toshima via KO1 (Flying Knee)
- TKO 42 | Bobby Sullivan def. Blake Nash via KO1 (Right Uppercut)
- UFC FN 127 | Alexander Volkov def. Fabricio Werdum via KO4 (Punches)
- Shogun Fights: Florida | Danny Chavez def. Leandro Magalhaes via KO1 (Punches)
- Shogun Fights: Florida | Geraldo Rosa def. Angel Corchado via KO1 (Right Uppercut)
- Invicta FC 28 | Kal Schwartz def. Kay Hansen via TKO2 (Suplex + Punches)
- WWFC 10 | Aleksandr Lunga def. Alexandru Ynsuratsel via KO1 (Spinning Kick to Body)
- Cage Warriors 92 | Nathaniel Wood def. Luca Lovine via KO1 (Left Hook)
- Cage Warriors 92 | Mauro Cerili def. Karl Moore via KO1 (Overhand Right + Punches)
- Cage Warriors 92 | Mehrdad Janzenimi def. Brad Wheeler via KO1 (Punches)
- ONE: Iron Will | Jeremy Miado def. Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke via KO1 (Right Hook)
- ONE: Iron Will | Shannon Wiratchai def. Rahul Raju via KO1 (Right Hook)
- LFA 36 | Ricky Simon def. Vinicius Zani via KO1 (Punches)
- LFA 36 | Christian Aguilera def. Ricardo Seixas via KO2 (Right Uppercut)
- LFA 36 | Andre Ewell def. Trent Meaux via KO1 (Right Shovel Hook)
- FNG 85 | Ismail Sagov def. Eradzh Kholov via KO1 (Overhand Right + Punches)
- M-1 Challenge 90 | Nureles Aydarov def. Oleg Lichkovakha via KO1 (Counter Knee)
- FNG 85 | Maksim Schekin def. Gabriel Sabo via KO1 (Punches)
- FNG 85 | Zelim Imadaev def. Ivan Gluhak via KO1 (Left Hook + Punches)
- FNG 85 | Raimond Magomedovaliev def. Valdir Araujo via KO1 (1-2 Combination)
- FNG 85 | Aliaskhab Khizriev def. Rousimar Palhares via KO1 (Punches)
- TFC DREAM 5: Korea vs. Japan | Byung-Seok Kim def. Dong-Hyun Seo via KO1 (Punches)
- EFC Worldwide 68 | Martin van Staden def. Gavin Hughes via KO2 (Knee + Punches)
- Road to WWFC 11 | Aidar Abdulrahman def. Oleksandr Karpov via KO1 (Right Hook)