UFC.com Writers Vote On The Most Jawdropping Knockouts Of The Year
The highly unofficial awards season continues with the biggest knockouts of 2023 and how we saw them on fight night...
1 - Josh Emmett vs Bryce Mitchell
It only took one.
Josh Emmett hit Bryce Mitchell with one right hand and the fight was over. The two men circled each other to start, looking for openings and opportunities, and when Mitchell threw a right hand, Emmett came over the top with a right hand that instantly shut off the Arkansas native’s lights.
What a knockout. What a way to kick off the pay-per-view. What a way to close out the year for Emmett after two straight losses.
2 – Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira
Israel Adesanya is the UFC middleweight champion again after knocking out Alex Pereira in the second round.
The bitter rivals went one-for-one through much of the first two rounds, with Pereira chopping at Adesanya’s legs, and the challenger fighting with more forward pressure and urgency than in their last meeting. Just when Pereira pressed forward, looking to punish a seemingly hurt Adesanya, “The Last Stylebender” uncorked a right hand that landed flush and dazed the champion, with the follow-up right putting him on the canvas, out cold.
Just an absolutely tantalizing finish from the Nigerian-born, Auckland-based standout, who reclaims the middleweight title in style.
3 – Justin Gaethje vs Dustin Poirier
Another pay-per-view in Salt Lake City, another walk-off head kick finish!
Justin Gaethje claimed the BMF title with a right high kick knockout of Dustin Poirier in the early stages of the second round. After running level through the first round
— Gaethje landing the great volume, Poirier connecting with the bigger individual shots — Gaethje went upstairs with a perfectly placed kick that went through Poirier’s guard and put him down.
Just an absolutely brilliant finish from Justin Gaethje, closing out the second straight pay-per-view in Utah with a Knockout of the Year shot. What an effort!
Justin Gaethje celebrates with Kamaru Usman after his KO victory over Dustin Poirier in a lightweight fight for the BMF belt during the UFC 291 event at Delta Center on July 29, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
4 – Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski
There are no more questions.
Islam Makhachev was annoyed by the narrative that Alexander Volkanovski won their initial encounter and garnered more praise than he did following the victory, and on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, he made it clear he’s the better man, finishing Volkanovski in the first round.
After grappling along the fence in the early stages, the duo broke into space and Makhachev went high with a left kick, connecting with the temple and shaking the equilibrium of the featherweight champion. The hammerfists quickly followed and the fight was halted.
This was a massive statement effort for Makhachev, who has now earned consecutive successful title defences against Volkanovski and 13 straight wins inside the Octagon.
Islam Makhachev of Russia reacts after his knockout victory against Alexander Volkanovski of Australia in the UFC lightweight championship fight during the UFC 294 event at Etihad Arena on October 21, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
5 – Charles Oliveira vs Beneil Dariush
Charles Oliveira put himself right back in the championship mix with a first-round stoppage win over Beneil Dariush in the UFC 289 co-main event.
Dariush controlled a good portion of the frame on the ground, but when Oliveira worked his way back up late in the round, he went on the offensive, hurting Dariush and sending him to the ground. From there, the former champion pounded out a finish, halting Dariush’s winning streak and showing he’s still every bit as dangerous as he’s been saying all week.
This is a statement win for “Do Bronxs,” who adds to his record number of stoppage wins inside the Octagon. He needed to make a statement in his return to the Octagon and a massive statement was made.
Charles Oliveira of Brazil celebrates his TKO victory over Beneil Dariush of Iran in their lightweight fight during the UFC 289 event at Rogers Arena on June 10, 2023 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)