We saw Jorge Masvidal burst into welterweight title contention with a second-round knockout of Donal “Cowboy” Cerrone. We saw Derrick Lewis club Travis Browne to a second-round KO. We watched Jimi Manuwa level Corey Anderson with a first-round left hook. Most recently, we saw “Platinum” Mike Perry cut Jake Ellenberger down with a slicing elbow to the face. The list goes on and on.
Knockouts, of course, are not limited to the Octagon. For every blistering KO under the UFC banner, there have been several in the cages and rings of smaller leagues.
Without further ado, here are a few our favorite non-UFC knockouts of the year thus far:
5. Yusuke Yachi Right Hand Flatlines Daron Cruickshank
Of all the emphatic wins on the latest Rizin FF card, it’s arguable that none held a candle to Yusuke Yachi’s crushing, one-punch KO of UFC veteran Daron Cruickshank. This thudding knockout sent the UFC vet careening face-first into the canvas, where he settled in a motionless, unconscious heap.
4. Rafael Carvalho Snuffs Melvin Manhoef with Head Kick:
Bellator middleweight champ Rafael Carvalho’s first fight with Melvin Manhoef was both forgettable and competitive. Carvalho assured their rematch was neither.
In the fourth round of this fight, Carvalho turned his foe off with a thudding kick to the face. And that was that. He return home to Brazil with the middleweight title still wrapped firmly around his waist.
3. Dylan Andrews Decapitates Papy Abedi with Head Kick
After being released from the UFC, Kiwi middleweight Dylan Andrews endured a dark stretch during which time he came to “despise” MMA. Thankfully, however, he was able to rediscover the love for the sport – and this knockout is the result of that rediscovery.
Andrews’ victim was Sweden’s Papy Abedi, who he also knocked out in the UFC. It’s possible that this dynamite win will earn him a return to the Octagon, when the UFC touches down in New Zealand this June.
2. Honorio Banario One-Punches Jaroslav Jartim
One Championship seems to produce more emphatic finishes than pretty much any other promotion. The latest knockout from the Singapore-based promotion’s cage occured in Manila, the Philippines, when hometown hero Honorio Banario levelled foe Jaroslav Jartim with a crushing left hook.
1. Paul Daley Crushes Brennan Ward with Flying Knee
It’s hard to imagine any other non-UFC knockout earning the top spot on this list. Daley’s knockout of Brennan Ward, which was set up with a beautiful spinning elbow and finished with a rocket-fuelled flying knee, was pure violence. Check out this knockout of the year contender above.