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UFC 266 – Top 5 Knockouts

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UFC 266 goes down this weekend live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Headlining the event will be a featherweight clash for the belt between champion, Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. The co-main event sees the dominant women’s flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko take on the ever game and more than deserving, Lauren Murphy. Another highlight on the card is the return of Nick Diaz, who takes on Robbie Lawler 17 years after they first met at UFC 47.

We take a look at the top five knockouts from those on the card and hope that we get many more this weekend!

UFC 266 Top 5 Knockouts

5 – Dan Hooker vs. Ross Pearson

Dan Hooker returns against Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266, looking to get back in the win column after two straight losses. Half of Dan Hooker’s wins have come via knockout and none of them are as great at his knockout of Ross Pearson. The game Pearson was landing on Hooker, busting up his nose in the first and second rounds, however, never count out Dan Hooker. 

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JUNE 11: (L-R) Dan Hooker of New Zealand punches Ross Pearson of England in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at the Spark Arena on June 11, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He made the read of Pearson, who was dipping before throwing his shots, as well as leaning forwards to jab to the body. Hooker noticed this and threw a brutal rear knee, knocking not only the mouthpiece out of Pearson, but also knocking the man himself unconscious. A single hammer fist was all she wrote and kicked off a four-fight finishing streak for Hooker.

4 – Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Alistair Overeem

The second fight on the UFC 266 main card sees a pivotal match at heavyweight between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Curtis Blaydes. Rozenstruik comes off a first-round knockout victory, whereas Blaydes is coming off a brutal knockout loss to Derrick Lewis. Rozenstruik’s biggest win comes against the veteran, Alistair Overeem. ‘Bigi boy’ had lost every round and was 5 seconds away from hist first professional loss.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Alistair Overeem of Netherlands and Jairzinho Rozenstruik of Suriname face off prior to their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Capital One Arena on December 07, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A huge overhand right landed straight on Overeem’s chin, knocking him flat, splitting his lip in half and proving that Rozenstruik carries his power late into the fight. The thing that makes this knockout so good is that Rozenstruik fought off the back foot for a lot of the final minute but capitalised on Overeem backing up in the last 10 seconds. A left hook followed by a huge overhand right ended it.

3 – Jessica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz 

One of the biggest punch knockout finishes in women’s MMA history came at the hands of Jessica Andrade. Taking on former title challenger, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Andrade was looking to get a title shot herself. Luckily for her, she got the W in brutal fashion, setting up a title shot (which she went on to win). This knockout was truly brutal, knocking out the Polish star with a huge right.

DALLAS, TX – SEPTEMBER 08: (L-R) Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Andrade in their WomenÕs Strawweight bout during UFC 228 at American Airlines Center on September 8, 2018 in Dallas, United States. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Within two minutes of the fight starting, Kowalkiewicz became desperate, winging shots whilst looking at the ground…not a good tactic against Andrade. Kowalkiewicz appeared to be stuck in two minds, whether to go for a takedown or to grab a clinch, however, Andrade was able to take a half-step back in order to counter with a brutal right hook. The strike landed straight on the chin of her opponent, knocking her flat. A truly brutal knockout that has gone down in history.

2 – Brain Ortega vs. Frankie Edgar

No one likes seeing one of the OG’s finished but this one was special. In 28 fights, Frankie Edgar had never been finished. That is until he came up against UFC 266 headliner, Brian Ortega.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 03: (R-L) Brian Ortega knocks out Frankie Edgar in their featherweight bout during the UFC 222 event inside T-Mobile Arena on March 3, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A step in elbow just after attempted right hook from Edgar wobbled ‘The Answer’ and Ortega pounced. A high kick and a right hook further scrambled the senses of the former champion. A barrage of strikes, including multiple uppercuts saw Ortega capitalise on his wounded opponent. A huge uppercut is what ended it for this weekends challenger, showing that he has the knockout power required to hang with the best.

1 – Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Eye

This is the right answer for the best knockout of those on the UFC 266 card. If you haven’t seen this knockout, you haven’t watched any of the UFC’s preview shows. This knockout is played constantly and rightfully so. It’s brutal and excellently set up. Shevchenko dominated Jessica Eye in the first round by taking her down and controlling her for 4:14 on the ground

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 08: (L-R) Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan knocks out Jessica Eye in their women’s flyweight championship bout during the UFC 238 event at the United Center on June 8, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Shevchenko was able to land big body kicks at the beginning of the fight, giving Eye an extra thing to consider going into the second round. Countering off the lazy left kick of Eye, Shevchenko, from the southpaw stance, landed a laser-sharp rear body kick to Eye’s midsection, followed up by another brutal rear body kick. The finish came when Eye slightly dropped her hands to cover her body, but ‘The Bullet’ shot a head kick, knocking Eye out cold. A chilling knockout from the always dominant Shevchenko.

Notable Mentions

  • Marlon Moraes’ knee knockout of Aljamain Sterling
  • Nick Diaz’s knockout of Robbie Lawler in their first fight
  • Lawler’s finish of Rory MacDonald
  • Manon Fiorot’s standing TKO over Victoria Leonardo
  • Uros Medic’s debut win over Aalon Cruz

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Frazer is a 24 year old MMA and boxing enthusiast from Coventry, England. You can follow Frazer on twitter @Frazer_Krohn

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