The time has come for us to make our choice for MMA Knockout Of The Year 2018 and while the category was absolutely stacked, one KO rose above all others.
Earlier this week our annual awards kicked off with the pick for Fighter Of The Year 2018, an award that really could not have been any tighter.
The Knockout Of The Year is always going to be a similarly divisive one. Everything from the technique, the stakes, the timing, to the personnel involved contribute to making a certain finish by strikes the best of the last 365 days but this time around, I found that we were a lot less torn between the contenders.
Each is special in their own way, but only one came out on top.
Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov
DERRICK LEWIS IS BACK!! ?
The Black Beast KO's Volkov just seconds before the fight ends! What a comeback! What a fight!
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 7, 2018
Brian Ortega vs. Frankie Edgar
IT IS ALL OVER! ?
Brian Ortega becomes the first UFC fighter to finish Frankie Edgar!
That uppercut ???
? BT Sport 2 HD pic.twitter.com/pIvQN2Bzy7
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) March 4, 2018
Yair Rodriguez vs. Chan Sung Jung
1 second left…Yair Rodriguez KO's Chan Sung Jung out of nowhere.
No better way to go out on the 25th Anniversary! pic.twitter.com/1C2C6ev62c
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) November 11, 2018
José Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens
THAT BODY SHOT! ?
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) July 29, 2018
Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic
— Ahmar Khan (@AhmarSKhan) July 8, 2018
Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold
? Lights out. Goodnight. ?
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) February 11, 2018
Lyoto Machida vs. Vitor Belfort
Here is the footage of Lyoto Machida's second-round knockout victory over Vitor Belfort. pic.twitter.com/AXaFOmzpqq
— 'El Chapo' Nissi Icasiano (@Nissi_Icasiano) May 13, 2018
Aaron Pico vs. Shane Krutchen
— Amazing Sports TV (@AmazingSportsT1) October 21, 2018
Jessica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
— Louise Green (@LouiseGreenMMA) September 9, 2018
Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg
Retires Ronda Rousey ✅
Dismantles Miesha Tate ✅
KOs Cyborg in round one ✅
Ok… Amanda Nunes is the baddest woman on the planet!
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 30, 2018
There have been some incredible knockouts this year, some that could well have run away with the award on any other given year and yet, when the time came for us to narrow it down and choose one, the choice was simple.
Yair Rodriguez managed to KO one of the most infamously tough fighters the sport has ever seen in Chan Sung Jung in the final second of a fight he was losing with a technique that no-one had ever seen before.
He could have nailed Joe Soap with that ducking reverse elbow in the first-round and it would have been incredible and yet, everything about the way that Fight Of The Year contender finished was special and for that reason, ‘El Pantera’ comes away with the award this year.
Do be sure to let us know your own pick.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena