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20 Years, 20 Head Kicks: A UFC Anniversary Tribute


(Gerard Gordeau delivers the first head-kick TKO in UFC history against Teila Tuli back at UFC 1, which took place exactly 20 years today on November 12th, 1993.)

By Adam Martin

There are literally thousands of ways a mixed martial arts match can end, but one of the most thrilling methods is the head kick knockout.

Over the course of two decades of fights in the UFC Octagon, there have been a number of memorable knockout blows delivered via head kick, and in honor of the UFC’s 20th anniversary, I’ve put together a list of what I believe are the top 20 head kick knockouts in UFC history.

20 years, 20 head kicks. Here we go.

20. Uriah Hall vs. Adam Cella, TUF 17 episode 3 (aired 2/5/13)

I wanted to keep the list strictly to knockouts that happened during live UFC events, but I’m going to bend the rules a bit and kick off the list with one that happened on TUF.

Of course I’m talking about Uriah Hall’s spinning hook kick KO of Adam Cella, which took place earlier this year during TUF 17. It was a devastating knockout that made UFC president Dana White’s hyperbole raise to a whole new level as he declared Hall the nastiest fighter to ever step into the TUF house (the same house that produced Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin – you know, former UFC champs), and thus the UFC embarked on a social media campaign to play the clip non-stop on every medium in existence.

It was a brutal knockout, and I literally felt sick watching it. Even though Hall never lived up to the massive expectations that were placed on him, his most well-known career highlight deserves a place at #20.

19. Pat Miletich vs. Shonie Carter, UFC 32 (6/29/01)

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III’ Edition


(Quick, someone call Wanderlei Silva‘s plastic surgeon! Photo via Reddit MMA)

Now that we’ve all come down from the meth-like high that UFC 166 provided, let’s get down to some business, shall we? Fans and pundits of the sport alike have previously hailed our armchair matchmakers as “The most sagacious, in-depth and intellectually gratifying reading experiences in all of mixed martial arts reporting,” so let’s hope we can work our magic for Saturday’s biggest winners. Besides, AMC FearFest starts soon and we will be checking out for the rest of this month once that gets underway.

Cain Velasquez: Well, according to Dana White during Saturday’s media scrum, Velasquez will be facing Fabricio Werdum next. Don’t be fooled by Werdum’s recent three-fight killing spree, though; Velasquez will have “Vai Cavalo” butt-flopping all over the mat inside of two rounds. That greedy sonofabitch.

Daniel Cormier: To hell with who Cormier should be matched up with next, I want to be matched up with Cormier’s kickboxing coach and learn the art of the turning side check kick, STAT. In all seriousness, we’d like to see the former Olympian matched up with fellow grappling stud Phil Davis next. Davis is fresh off a split decision over Lyoto Machida at UFC 163, and if Cormier is as insistent on cutting to LHW as he seems, Davis would make for a perfect litmus test.

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UFC 166 Highlight Videos: Velasquez Dominates Dos Santos, Nelson Pays the Troll Toll + The FOTY Frontrunner


(Velasquez vs. Dos Santos highlights, via the FOX Sports Youtube page.) 

To put it bluntly, UFC 166 was the kind of faith-restoring UFC event that effectively silenced even the most cynical of the sport’s detractors (henceforth known as “garbage-assers“). Featuring a trio of wars and a pair of brutal first round finishes on the main card alone, UFC 166 staked its claim as an early frontrunner for “Event of the Year” at this year’s Potato Awards and will likely achieve the same notoriety at awards ceremonies that actually transpire.

In the evening’s main event, Cain “El Emperador Finale” Velasquez selfishly opted to ruin the heavyweight division for the foreseeable future with a dominant fifth round TKO of former rival Junior Dos Santos. Elsewhere on the card, Roy Nelson was routed by another top 5 competitor in Daniel Cormier, Gilbert Melendez attempted to punch the crazy out of Diego Sanchez to little avail, and Gabriel Gonzaga reaffirmed that a man with a pedostache is not to be toyed with. Twas a momentous night, indeed.

Thankfully, FOX Sports has compiled some highlight videos of the evening’s greatest slugfests and made them available for viewing on their Youtube page. Although these snippets won’t fill the bottomless void created in the soul of, say, your friend Dave who insisted on skipping UFC 166 to attend a Lady Gaga concert with his bitch of a girlfriend, they will give you the chance to confirm that Dave is a tiny, tin-eared man who lacks intestinal fortitude and any semblance of deductive reasoning. Fucking Dave.

We’ve placed the highlight video for Velasquez/Dos Santos III above, but join us after the jump to relive the rest of what was truly a historic night for both the UFC and MMA in general.

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UFC 166 Aftermath: The Latest Emperor


(Cain Velasquez admires his violence on the big screen. / Photo via Getty)

Suddenly, the rivalry between heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos seems a little less competitive than was hoped for. Many observers were treating this fight as merely the latest engagement in a battle for the heavyweight crown that was to last for years ahead. Less a conclusion to a trilogy and more a precursor to a tetralogy or beyond, it was expected that this fight would see a more competitive affair showcasing the strengths of both men. That didn’t happen. Velasquez absolutely dominated Dos Santos, flooring him in the third before finishing him (sort of) in the fifth. It’s clear now that Cain Velasquez is the unstoppable force. Despite his unquestioned stature as the second best heavyweight in the UFC, Junior Dos Santos is not the immovable object.

Pace and pressure are amorphous terms reliant on context; it’s more difficult to conceive of these finishing a fight than something we can easily discern like a punch or kick. Yet it was the relentless forward motion and unending attack of Velasquez that led to the finish last night and the dominance that preceded it. Dos Santos had his moments; he landed a number of hard shots to open the first round, and landed a nice elbow against the cage to end the second. But other than that, it was all Cain. He didn’t dominate from bell to bell like he did in the second fight, but he wore down Dos Santos over the course of the first two rounds before capitalizing in the third. Velasquez floored Dos Santos with a counter overhand right, and almost finished the fight there; Herb Dean put his hand on Velasquez’ shoulder at one point, but reconsidered.

Things didn’t improve for Dos Santos afterwards, and in the fifth round he went for a desperation front choke. As Cain attempted successfully to escape, Dos Santos rolled, crashing his forehead on the mat. Either disoriented or utterly exhausted, Dos Santos could not continue and Velasquez secured the latest stoppage victory in UFC history. At the undisputed pinnacle of his weight class – the first heavyweight to truly claim this distinction since Fedor Emelianenko – it’s hard to imagine anyone toppling Velasquez soon. Daniel Cormier, who fought earlier in the evening, is his wrestling coach and is moving down to 205. Fabricio Werdum, his presumptive opponent, can submit anyone but will unlikely be able to take the fight to the ground against a wrestler of Cain’s caliber. A future rematch with Dos Santos is not inconceivable, but a different result is at this point. Despite his heart, his chin and his skills, it seems that Dos Santos is not destined to be the foil to Velasquez that we hoped he would be; Velasquez is the heavyweight division’s emperor.

Speaking of Daniel Cormier…

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UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 — Main Card Results & Commentary


(It’s a classic battle of “BROWN PRIDE” vs. “KIND OF SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT MY RECEDING HAIRLINE” / Photo via CombatLifestyle.com. Check out more UFC 166 weigh-in photos here.)

Appropriately, the UFC’s latest visit to the fattest city in America is loaded with heavyweight talent. In addition to the highly anticipated trilogy match between current champion Cain Velasquez and former champ Junior Dos Santos, UFC 166‘s main card will also feature Daniel Cormier‘s allegedly final appearance at HW against Roy Nelson, as well as Gabriel Gonzaga‘s punch-out with Shawn Jordan. On the lighter end of the scale, lightweight Gilbert Melendez looks for his first UFC win against Octagon veteran Diego Sanchez, and former flyweight title challenger John Dodson welcomes Darrell Montague to the promotion.

Handling play-by-play for the “Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3″ PPV broadcast is our buddy Anthony Gannon, who will be stacking live results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and say whatever you feel like saying in our lawless cesspool of a comments section. Thanks for being here.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos’ Edition

By Dan “Get Off Me” George and Jared Jones

This weekend, the be all end all title fight between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez is going down at UFC 166, so to ring in this special occasion, we’ve decided to switch things up for this edition of the Gambling Addiction Enabler. Not only will you be receiving the trusted, well-researched advice of Dan “Get Off Me” George, but additionally, CagePotato staff writer (and former GAE master-picker) Jared Jones will be jumping in to deliver the onslaught of gifs and contradictory advice that you all know and love.

Without further ado, let’s get to the fights in question…

Stay the Hell Away From:

Hector Lombard (-185) vs. Nate Marquardt (+155)

DG: This fight should be at pick’em odds — proposing either fighter as a clear favorite is simply reckless and ignorant of the fact that both fighters have been prone to shockingly inconsistent performances as of late. On any given night, these guys can end a fight in spectacular fashion. Does Nate “The Great” show up and fight the Lombard we saw against Okami and Boetsch, or does he meet the man they call Shango and fight like he did against Saffiedine and Ellenberger? I’ll tentatively pick Marquardt here.

JJ: Well, if it’s “reckless and ignorant” that you want, you’ve come to the right source. (*sets fully-loaded revolver on table and spins it*)

I’m surprised you neglected to mention that Lombard will be fighting at welterweight for the first time in his UFC career, in what is one of the most transparent “Dropping a weight class to save your career” bouts in MMA History. Also, Lombard’s weight cut is going so poorly that he’s already talking about moving back up to middleweight. He’s assuming, of course, that the UFC won’t sever their ties with someone as overpaid as him following this weekend, which is wishful thinking in my opinion. Lombard is basically Rousimar Palhares + striking and since Marquardt already beat Palhares, MMAMath predicts a dominant victory for Marquardt 9.9 times out of 10. Reckless? Yes. Ignorant? Yes.

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[VIDEOS] Joe Rogan Names the Top 8 Heavyweight & Head Kick KO’s in UFC History

When he’s not busy chasing Bigfoot, obliterating pads in the gym, or supportively talking Fear Factor contestants through the subtle intricacies of chugging donkey semen, chances are that Joe Rogan is either jet setting around the world to maintain his gig as the UFC’s color commentator or destroying hecklers at one of his standup gigs. Rogan is truly the closest thing to a renaissance man that the UFC has to offer, which is probably why UFC Tonight grants him the exclusive privilege of compiling more “Best of” lists than a Buzzfeed writer born in the early 90′s.

Rogan’s first countdown focuses on the heavyweight division’s greatest knockouts of “all time.” I say “all time” with sarcastiquotes because according to Rogan, the heavyweight division contained zero knockouts of note before UFC 70 in 2007. In fact, 7 out of Joe’s 8 picks have all come within the past three years. WHY YOU GOTTA DISRESPECT BRAD KOHLER LIKE THAT, BRO(gan)?

Check out Rogan’s full list above, then join us after the jump to hear him riff on all things head kick-related.

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Barnburner/Do-or-Die Double-Feature Alert: UFC 166 Adds Gonzaga vs. Jordan, Noons vs. Sotiropoulos


(Nope. Not fuckin’ with that guy.)

By Alex Giardini

A potential heavyweight slugfest and a duel between two lightweights who need to get back to their winning ways have both been reported for UFC 166, taking place October 19th at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Gabriel Gonzaga, fresh off of an obliteration of Dave Herman at UFC 162 earlier this month, meets “The Savage” Shawn Jordan in a fight sure to end with someone on the canvas before the end of the third round. Gonzaga, the man responsible for Mirko Cro Cop’s downfall — and we’ll never forgive him for it, that son-of-a-bitch — looks to keep climbing back into the title mix, six years after his unsuccessful challenge against Randy Couture back at UFC 74. This will be Gonzaga’s seventeenth appearance in the Octagon over the course of eight years.

Meanwhile, Jordan is riding a two-fight win streak with stoppages over Mike Russow and most recently fan-favorite Pat Barry at UFC 161 in Winnipeg (which took him one second short of a minute). Both men have a combined amount of 1:16 cage-time spent in their last Octagon outings. That’s just how heavyweights roll, my dudes.

Also on the card…

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UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman — FX Prelims Results & Commentary


(“Wait a minute…I’m fighting the friggin’ Gevalia Coffee guy?” / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

Before the UFC 162 pay-per-view card kicks off, how ’bout we warm up with some fights on free TV? Tonight’s FX Prelims broadcast features a crowd-pleasing lineup of sluggers, including Chris Leben, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Edson Barboza, and the first post-TUF Smashes appearance of Norman Parke.

Handling liveblog duties for this leg of the “Silva vs. Weidman” fight card is none other than Matt Saccaro, who will be stacking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please toss your own analysis and witticisms into the comments section. Thanks for being here.

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[UPDATED] Booking Alert: McGregor Faces Ogle in Boston, Gonzaga Fills in Against Herman at UFC 162, Brown Un-retires to fight Corassani


(A throwback, Conor McGregor got all dressed up for the announcement)

The UFC made a couple fight booking announcements late this week. In a featherweight contest, brash KO Irish artist Conor McGregor will face Brit Andy Ogle in Boston on the UFC on Fox Sports 1 card, August 17th. Gabriel Gonzaga is replacing the injured Shane Del Rosario against Dave Herman on the UFC 162 card, July 6th in Las Vegas.

McGregor recently made a stunning UFC debut, knocking Marcus Brimage out at UFC on Fuel TV 9 and earning KO of the night honors. “The Little Axe” Ogle is coming off of his biggest career win to date – a unanimous decision win over Josh Grispi in February.

Gonzaga and Herman’s clash is a particularly pressure-packed situation for both heavyweights. Gonzaga was knocked out cold this past April by Travis Browne and Herman has lost three fights in a row, all by either knockout or submission. Herman is also coming off of a marijuana-related suspension and rehab stint.

*Update*The UFC has also just announced that former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown has un-retired and will face Akira Corassani on the UFC on Fox Sports 1 card in Boston. Brown last fought and won a year ago at UFC 146, against Daniel Pineda. He won the WEC featherweight title by beating Urijah Faber and lost it to Jose Aldo in 2009.

Corassani has won his first two UFC bouts, against Ogle and Robbie Peralta.

- Elias Cepeda

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