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The Seven Most Brutal KO Slams in MMA History

#7: Matt Hughes vs. Carlos Newton
UFC 34: 11/2/01

(The Newton slam comes at about the 0:52 mark.  Then there are others.)

We’ve sung the praises of Hughes’ signature slam before, but never was it more effective than when he used it to take the UFC welterweight championship away from Carlos Newton.  Hughes’s first line of defense against Newton’s triangle choke was to pick him up and walk him over to the fence, resting him atop the Octagon while he got a second to think things through.  When that didn’t help he dropped him straight down, sending Newton’s dreads a-flyin’ and knocking him out cold.  Hughes also seemed, shall we say, out of sorts after the slam.  He also seemed like the new UFC welterweight champ.  So there you go.

#6: Matt Lindland vs. Falaniko Vitale
UFC 43: 6/6/03

(Cartoon sound effects make everything better.)

We always knew Lindland’s mad wrestling skillz were going to lead to somebody getting slammed into unconsciousness.  We just didn’t know that somebody would be him.  Everything was going swimmingly for “The Law” until an attempt at putting Vitale down led to him pulling Vitale directly on to his own head, thus knocking him out and cementing his place in the (as of yet) non-existent UFC blooper reel.  Lindland would win the rematch when Vitale tapped due to strikes, but that’s nothing compared to the indignity of the self-KO.

#5: Tito Ortiz vs. Evan Tanner
UFC 30: 2/23/01

The late great Evan Tanner challenged for Ortiz’s title at “The Battle on the Boardwalk” in Atlantic City, but Ortiz’s wrestling prowess proved too much for him.  Just thirty seconds in Ortiz got the double underhooks and picked Tanner up for a slam/headbutt on the ground combo.  Tanner would later win the UFC middleweight title and captivated fight fans everywhere with his unique spirit, making his untimely death in the California desert that much more tragic.  RIP, buddy.

#4: Gray Maynard vs. Rob Emerson
TUF 5 Finale: 6/23/07

(How could this possibly end badly?  Full video is here.)

Maynard earned himself a spot on this list for not only knocking himself out while slamming Rob Emerson, but for adamantly insisting that he was not out even when everyone in the arena could see that he was.  It happened in the second round, when Maynard, who had been dominating Emerson to that point, lifted him up for a big double-leg slam.  Emerson tapped out with some busted up ribs right awat, but as the ref moved in to stop it he realized, wait a minute, Maynard is fast asleep having bashed his own head against the mat during the slam.  The bout was ruled a bizarre no contest, much to Maynard’s dismay, and forever after in my circle of friends refusing to admit to something that was obvious to everyone was referred to as “pulling a Maynard.”

#3: Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Kazuhiro Ito
Shooto’s “Shooting Disco 4”: 2/23/08

This is perhaps the most awkward of all MMA slam KO’s, and also the one most likely to have resulted in serious spinal cord damage.  It’s basically the same idea as Toby Imada’s inverted triangle choke in Bellator a couple of weeks ago, only Shintaro Ishiwatari had the solution that Jorge Masvidal lacked.  He simply lifts Ito up and brings him down directly on his pretty little face, causing the entire arena to completely lose their typically stoic composure.  Don’t worry, Ito’s career/life did not end here.  He’s fought twice since then, going 1-1.  After this though, any day you do not get slammed on your face has to be considered a good day.

#2: Frank Shamrock vs. Igor Zinoviev
UFC 16: 3/13/98

Coming at just 22 seconds into the fight, this is one of the quickest KO slams in MMA history as well as one of the most brutal.  It was Shamrock’s first defense of his UFC light heavyweight title on a sweaty night in New Orleans, and he decided to keep it simple by scooping Zinoviev up and nearly putting him through the canvas with a slam that broke his collarbone and left him mercifully unconscious.  Shamrock would go on to become one of MMA’s most legendary fighters/loudmouth jerks, and Zinoviev never fought in another professional MMA match.

#1: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Ricardo Arona
Pride Critical Countdown 2004: 6/20/04

The slam heard round the world.  Believe it or not, there was a time when “Rampage” Jackson didn’t have much more in his arsenal than a big slam, some ground-and-pound, and one hell of a pre-fight mean-mug.  Those days are long gone now for the Left Hook Assassin, but his slam knockout of Ricardo Arona still lives on as one of his greatest achievements.

Arona looked to be very close to locking up a triangle choke.  But that’s when ‘Page hoisted him up like a small child and then slammed him down like a small stepchild that just won’t stop crying.  Arona would later claim that it was the headbutt when he hit the mat that KO’d him, and not the slam.  Does it really matter?  No, probably not.

Honorable mention: Josh Burkman vs. Sam Morgan, These Two Dudes From BET’s “Iron Ring.”

Did we miss any?  Of course you would say so.  It’s just never good enough for you, is it?  Might as well tell us all about it in the comments…


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