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From Facepalm to Faceplant: The 8 Most Brutal Self-Inflicted Knockouts in MMA History

(“Accepts trilogy-completing title fight against biggest rival, points out where he will faceplant later.” Photo via Getty.) 

Although the fight records officially list Cain Velasquez‘s 5th round TKO of Junior Dos Santos at UFC 166 as coming by way of “Slam and Punch,” the credit should rightfully be given to Dos Santos for executing a picture perfect ninja-choke-into-faceplant KO. It was truly the most spectacular self-destruct sequence ever carried out in the octagon, and one that got us thinking: What are the Most Brutal Self-Inflicted KO’s in MMA History? 

Matt Lindland will be discussed at some point in this article.

Mark Kerr vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto – PRIDE 27

As Ben previously noted, it’s a good thing that the 2002 Mark Kerr documentary, The Smashing Machine, ended when it did, because we wouldn’t have been able to sit through the tale of woe that Kerr’s career became from 2004 onward.

Following a pair of losses to Igor Vovchanchyn and Heath Herring at PRIDE 12 and 15, respectfully, Kerr would take a three year break from the sport before returning against Yoshihisa Yamamoto (who held a modest 13-16 record at the time) at PRIDE 27. Forty seconds into the fight, Kerr would knock himself out during a takedown attempt. He would walk away from PRIDE shortly thereafter and lose 7 out of his next 9 contests, all by first round stoppage.

This post has gotten off to an unexpectedly depressing start, but such is Mark Kerr. Let’s lighten things up a bit…

Matt Lindland vs. Falaniko Vitale – UFC 43

(If the slam itself doesn’t make you laugh, the sound effects surely will.)

Matt Lindland is a man of many masks: Mixed martial artist. Olympian. Coach. Politician. Professional rafter. All of these masks are certifiably goofy as fuck. Hence Lindland knocking himself out while attempting to take down Falaniko Vitale at UFC 43. The incident ranks just beneath Tim Sylvia shitting his pants on the UFC’s list of All Time Most Embarrassing Moments.

But Matt Lindland is a man of character. Matt Lindland is a fighter’s fighter. Hence why he rematched Vitale at UFC 45 and literally did not stop punching until his opponent tapped out. Lindland also cut Fedor that one time, which was pretty cool. In short, there are those of us who choose to rise from the ashes of defeat and those of us who choose to drown in them. The former are referred to as “Lindlands.” The latter are referred to as “VanOrmans.”

Gray Maynard vs. Rob EmersonTUF 5 Finale 

According to the “About” section of this video’s Youtube page, uploader Cr125rmxr “just had some fun with a UFC highlight.” I’m not so much angry that this poor fellow has never experienced true joy, I’m just disappointed that the best available free footage of Gray Maynard vs. Rob Emerson was uploaded in 2008 and features Intro to Garageband hip-hop beats, beats that dramatically cut out halfway through the video, leaving you to suffocate beneath your thoughts in the impending, deafening silence.

It’s a societal issue, really. Back in the day, computer nerds had ambition, had honor. They’d see an opportunity like Gray Maynard knocking himself out cold while slamming fellow castmate Rob Emerson at the TUF 5 Finale and just go to town: A gif parade here, a Benny Hill-themed remix there; it was glorious. But now, thanks to copyright claims, lawsuits, and general laziness, this crappy, home shot video of Gray Maynard breaking noted scumbag Rob Emerson’s ribs and simultaneously knocking himself out in his UFC debut is all that remains.

Everything’s a meme now. You’re a meme. I’m a meme. This human experiment is pointless.

Boris Miroshnichenko vs. Herman Yakubov – ProFC 50

In Russia, there is only suffering. Herman Yakubov knew this, which is why he made sure to KO himself twice for every time his opponent KO’d him at ProFC 50. From last week’s article:

While Yakubov, a Russian, was KO’d in the first round by his Belarusian counterpart, he also made sure to knock himself out *again* with his own knee on the way down, lawn chair style, and a third time when his head hit the canvas — as if to say, “Although you have damaged me, comrade, know that your damage holds not a candle to those wrought by my own devices. For what is life but the prolonging of inevitable death? And what is death, if not a face at peace…”

This Guy

Seriously, dude, what the fuck were you thinking?

See also: This guy

Kevin Randleman – UFC 24

By now, we should all know the infamous “Kevin Randleman slips on a pipe backstage at UFC 24″ story, but allow me to summarize for those of you who don’t: Kevin Randleman slipped on a pipe backstage. At UFC 24.

Randleman’s fall was so dramatic that not only did he come away from it with an actual cracked skull (*shoots visual daggers at Tito Ortiz*) but an injured shoulder to boot. And just like that, “First Defense” became “No Defense” — Randleman was pulled from his scheduled fight with Pedro Rizzo and the people of Lake Charles, Louisiana would set their city ablaze in rageful protest by nightfall.

Although many innocent lives were lost on that tragic evening of March the 10th, 1999, “The Monster” would receive his fight with Pedro Rizzo at UFC 26 in June of 2000. Randleman successfully defended his belt by way of unanimous decision and rode off into the sunset a champion…until he was defeated by Randy Couture in his next bout. Meep morp.

The CagePotato CMS is trying to autocorrect “Randleman” with “Manhandle.” That detail bears mentioning.

Tim Means – UFC on FOX 5

This one is kind of like the Kevin Randleman incident, but bonus points go to the omnipresent force that is Death for trying to take out Means in a sauna. You almost got him, Death. And according to Final Destination rules, you pretty much own him at this point.

Forrest Griffin vs. Anderson SilvaUFC 101

You could argue that Forrest Griffin volunteered to be brutally knocked out as soon as he agreed to fight Anderson Silva. We’re sure he would agree with you.

Dishonorable mentions: The dude who knocked himself out attempting a celebratory backflip, the Asian fighter who did the same attempting a cage flip, and the dude who dared his opponent to knock him out and was kindly obliged.

Are there any self-inflicted KO’s we missed? Let us know in the comments section. 

-J. Jones

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