As said previously on the Submission of the Month piece, June was absolutely loaded.
From Bruno Silva upsetting Alexander Shlemenko in Russia to Curtis Blaydes elbowing multiple holes into the face of Alistair Overeem in Chicago. June was riddled with everything from 10-second knockouts and title-defending knockouts in the fifth round.
However, Knockout of the Month goes to a come-from-behind flying knee KO live from New York.
Alex Nicholson vs. Jake Heun
On June 7, live from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the inaugural PFL season kicked off in New York City.
The 11-fight card featured heavyweights and featherweights exclusively, all of which were looking to get as many points as possible towards themselves in preparation for the PFL Playoffs later this year.
In a meeting of heavyweights, we saw Alex “The Spartan” Nicholson take on Jake “The Honey Badger” Heun.
It was by no means domination, but in round one we saw Heun avoid most of the power shots that Alex Nicholson has always been known to throw. To do so he used great movement and a particularly kick-heavy gameplan – at least compared to what we’d usually see from Heun, typically more of a wrestler.
Despite Heun being one step ahead of him at all times, Nicholson was not deterred. He remained on the offense through the majority of round one, eating all the counter punches and leg kicks that came his way without much issue.
However, early in round two, the tide changed.
The first 45-seconds of round two were looking eerily similar to the opening round, but with less than a minute having passed, Nicholson walked through multiple power punches of Heun. This before rushing him with a massive flying-knee that knocked “The Honey Badger” out before he even hit the ground.
Referee Miragliotta was quick to jump in, but Nicholson still had ample opportunity to strike an unconscious Heun if he really wanted to. But, to his credit, he knew it was over. And he gave us a walk-off flying-knee KO of sorts! You don’t see that every day.
The round two finish earned Alex Nicholson 5pts towards the PFL Heavyweight Rankings. This puts him in 4th place at heavyweight, only below three fighters who got first-round finishes on the same night. For reference, the top eight will advance to the playoffs.
But the regular season is not over! “The Spartan” returns vs. Philipe Lins (3pts, 6th place) at PFL 4 in two weeks. Will he get Knockout of the Month for the second consecutive month?
Now; here are the top three knockouts of June 2018! Remember, this is opinion-based. No lynching, please.
1. Alex Nicholson def. Jake Heun via KO2
2. Curtis Blaydes def. Alistair Overeem via KO3
3. Aung La Nsang def. Ken Hasegawa via KO5
ONE Championship: Spirit of a Warrior, Title Defense
Before we get into the 40(!!) honorable mentions, check out last month’s Knockout of the Month courtesy of Lyoto Machida!
- M-1 Challenge 93 | Bruno Silva def. Alexander Shlemenko via KO1 (Knees & Punches)
- UFC FN 131 | Ben Saunders def. Jake Ellenberger via KO1 (Knee to Body)
- UFC FN 131 | Marlon Moraes def. Jimmie Rivera via KO1 (Headkick + GNP)
- Imortal FC 9 | Caio Bittencourt def. Adilson Ferreia via KO1 (Right Uppercut)
- PFL 1 | Kelvin Tiller def. Caio Alencar via KO1 (Overhand Right)
- PFL 1 | Jack May def. Josh Copeland via KO1 (Body Kick)
- Babilon MMA 4 | Kacper Formela def. Adam Brzezowski via KO1 (Right Uppercut)
- LFA 42 | Josh Marsh def. TeeJay Britton via KO1 (Right Hook)
- KSW 44 | Sebastian Przybysz def. Dawid Gralka via KO1 (Left Jab)
- KSW 44 | Gracjan Szadinski def. Paul Redmond via KO2 (Overhand Right + GNP)
- KSW 44 | Erko Jun def. Tomasz Oswiecinski via KO1 (Right Hook)
- UFC 225 | Anthony Smith def. Rashad Evans via KO1 (Right Knee – Clinch)
- Brave CF 13 | Rodrigo Cavalheiro def. Karl Amoussou via KO2 (Left Hook)
- Danish MMA Night 1 | Mark O Madsen def. Dez Parker via KO1 (Overhand Right)
- Contender Series 1 | Chris Curtis def. Sean Lally via KO3 (Hook Kick + GNP)
- Contender Series 1 | Greg Hardy def. Austen Lane via KO1 (Overhand Right + Left Hook)
- CES 50 | Kris Moutinho def. Al Jones via KO1 (Right Hook + GNP)
- Cage Warriors 94 | Angelo Rubino def. Maarten Wouters via KO1 (Body Kick)
- WWFC 11 | Roman Dolidze def. Eder de Souza via KO2 (Overhand Right, Title Win)
- Favela Kombat 29 | Reinaldo Mudo def. Alex Oliveira via KO1 (Flying Knee + GNP)
- Shamrock FC 306 | Marisa Chavez def. Amber Jones via KO1 (Straight Right)
- Premier FC 26 | William Knight def. Terrance Jean-Jaques via TKO2 (Strikes)
- Ring of Combat 63 | Sebastian Ruiz def. Josh Baker via KO1 (Left Headkick)
- Contender Series 2 | Dwight Grant def. Tyler Hill via KO2 (Right Hook + Left Hook)
- Contender Series 2 | Anthony Hernandez def. Jordan Wright via KO1 (Left Hook + GNP)
- PFL 2 | Dan Spohn def. Bazigit Ataev via KO3 (Left Hook + GNP)
- PFL 2 | Brian Foster def. Ramsey Nijem via TKO3 (Flying Knee + GNP)
- PFL 2 | Sean O’Connell def. Ronny Markes via KO2 (Left Hook + GNP)
- LFA 43 | Cameron Graves def. Jordan Titoni via KO3 (Left Headkick)
- LFA 43 | Brendan Allen def. Larry Crowe via KO1 (Left Hook)
- UFC FN 132 | Shane Young def. Rolando Dy via KO2 (Standing Elbow + Punches)
- UFC FN 132 | Yadong Song def. Felipe Arantes via KO2 (Right Elbow + GNP)
- ONE: Pinnacle of Power | Kai Wen Li def. Rodian Menchavez via KO1 (Overhand Right)
- NFC 108 | Jared Gooden def. Ladorious Jackson via KO1 (Step-In Knee)
- Contender Series 3 | Julian Erosa def. Jamall Emmers via KO2 (Left Headkick + GNP)
- Contender Series 3 | Te Edwards def. Austin Tweedy via KO1 (Overhand Right)
- Bellator 201 | Juan Archuleta def. Robbie Peralta via KO3 (Overhand Right + Double Hammerfists)
- Shooto Brasil 85 | Lucas Sousa def. Jaciel Lima via KO1 (Right Headkick)
- Shooto Brasil 85 | Kaique Modesto def. Alexandre Cirne via KO1 (Step-In Elbow)
- Steelfist Fight Night | Ben Moa def. Luis Cortez via KO1 (Right Hook, Title Defense)