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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…


Cagepotato Comments

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SiDeBuRnZ- May 14, 2009 at 7:36 am
I vote Ortiz's grave-digging routine the most awkward part of watching #5
Poo Flinger- May 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm
Good list, I agree with the ranking. But:

1. Arona was knocked out when the back of his head slammed against the mat. He was already out (look at his eyes) when his mouth rebounded into Jackson's ('Page is a gay nickname) face. He should have spent time arguing that he already KO'd Jackson earlier.

2. Hughes vs. Newton should have been a no contest, but since Newton broke a rule 5 seconds before getting KO'd I don't really care.

3. Fedor gets major points for being on the opposite end of the best non-KO slam, and then subbing the dude seconds later. Seriously, what other human being can keep their composure through that

4. I like that Shamrock knows when he has won. He slams a guy, punches him once and walks away. When he KO'd Gracie, he walked off before the (unattentive) ref could separate them.

5. I obviously have too many thoughts on my mind.
831 Son- May 13, 2009 at 3:27 pm
You fucking tools that think the randleman-Fedor slam should be on there are completely beyond helping. It says "The Seven Most Brutal KO Slams in MMA History." Meaning its showing KO slams only. Go to school or something.

And CAGE POTATO, stop calling him 'Page. Thats just gay as fuck. Call him 'Page and see what he says. Totally agreed though that the Rampage power bomb is number 1.

#6 video made me laugh too that was pretty good.
NateGetsIrate- May 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm
"In mutha russia, slam doesn't break you, you break slam"


If everyone is gonna mention none-KO slams then ya'll are trippin for not mentioning Bob Sapp's power bomb of Nogeira. Anyone else but Nogeira (of course) and that slam would've been #1 on this list of "KO" slams.
My Fight Wiffa Cheeto- May 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm
"Rodney Says:
Wed, 05/13/2009 - 14:54
Tito's post win "bury the body" gimmick after knocking out Tanner seems just wrong looking back on it now."

LMPRAO! Shirt to this guy.

That Shooting Disco slam was the one I put in the forums a lil while back. Sick sick shit.
classicwater- May 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm
Page has unlimited strength, don't you know?

Also, why doesn't the Law get more shit for having a glass jaw? I actually had to figure this out by myself.
Polish- May 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm
I am with Jay Smith, Hughes didn't slam Newton. He passed out and dropped him, both fighters were out. It should have been ruled a No contest just like the Gray Maynard / Rob Emerson bout. That was an extremely bad call and then beyond that it was ridiculous they didn't over turn it after watching the video. It couldn't be more obvious Hughes was out considering he was SURPRISED when he found out he won. And in all actuality Newton should have been given the win since Hughes passed out first due to the triangle choke, Newton was out second once they hit the mat.
ScrambledEggs- May 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm
Ortiz/Tanner and Maynard/Emerson should be 2 and 3 on list IMO.
CB Dollaway's slam in his first fight against Chuck Pablo should have made the list.
Oh and thanks Wyatt for adding some totally off topic bullshit.
Clyde- May 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm
God Damn Ito. It's like everyone in the audiance was thinking, "let go" and you were the only one thinking, "I've... almost... got... him"
IronClad- May 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm
Shamrock's slam was pretty gnarly but Rampages beast man gorilla dead lift was recockulous.
SlapjawAckrite- May 13, 2009 at 11:57 am
I agree, it wasn't a slam. He tried to slam Carlos, but he got too close to the cage and Carlos (illegally) grabbed the fence...I think Newton would have been better off if he didn't grab it. Maybe he could have been the greatest ww champ, blah blah, and Hughes would have been a footnote. Wish in one hand
Fedor vs. Bas- May 13, 2009 at 11:54 am
If it was non-KO slams, just brutal slams, Fedor vs Randleman would have to be #2. I swear to go when I saw that I thought Fedor had his kneck broken. In mutha russia, slam doesn't break you, you break slam.
Rodney- May 13, 2009 at 11:54 am
Tito's post win "bury the body" gimmick after knocking out Tanner seems just wrong looking back on it now.
Danxxx- May 13, 2009 at 11:47 am
now page is just a boxer :(...
rh- May 13, 2009 at 11:31 am
You neglected to mention that Arona had Rampage KOd in guard due to strikes moments before the slam, looking to the ref for a stoppage, thus giving Rampage time to recover. Bad officiating = Highlight Reel Slam.

Page also had teethmarks after the slam, so the headbutt comment is fairly substantiated. I'm not saying Arona would have been out without it, but Rampage clearly headbutts him as a result of the momentum.

And I agree that Hughes passing out and letting Newton fall isn't technically a slam, which probably accounts for it being so high on the list.

One Two- May 13, 2009 at 11:25 am
I think hughes just passed out and fell over not really a slam.
TheRealKadumel- May 13, 2009 at 11:17 am
I think if you had a list with non-KO'ing slams where the opponent came back and won would be an interesting list too.

Top two of course would be :

#2 : Kadumel vs some big Judo guy.

Kadumel gets thrown on his face pretty hard and his neck bends funny ways, before he comes back and chokes a mofo out.

(See forums for First Grappling Tournament)

#1 : Fedor vs Randleman.

rokabee- May 13, 2009 at 11:15 am
Power Bomb!
Perdew- May 13, 2009 at 11:10 am
i miss the page from pride. still love him no matter what though.
Jay Smith- May 13, 2009 at 11:09 am
Hughs slamming Newton was an accident. Hughs was losing conciousness due to a triangle choke, and basically dropped Newton. I don't qualify that as a slam. Hughs was even still a little out of it after they hit the ground.
Mdollas- May 13, 2009 at 11:07 am
Old_Bald_and_Irish- May 13, 2009 at 11:03 am
Since the title specificly says 'The Seven Most Brutal KO Slams in MMA History", I can't complain about Kevin Randleman slamming Fedor on his head not being included.

Number 1 (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Ricardo Arona) is deserving of the top position, without question!
Wyatt- May 13, 2009 at 10:59 am
from '92 until '98 - 16 UFC Events

98-July 09 - 84 UFC Events

I call that some progress in the right direction.

Fedor vs. Bas- May 13, 2009 at 10:58 am
If 'page wasn't #1, i would have never visited this site again. Well done fellas