Joaquin Buckley vs. Impa Kasanganay was a better knockout than Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim, don't @ me.
Okay, I will admit there is plenty of recency bias in this op-ed but bear with me. There is a reason Barboza's spinning wheel kick KO fo Etim has been a heralded highlight clip from the moment it happened in 2012. It was the perfect fusion of speed, technique and violence, punctuated by Etim's stiff and soulless body sinking to the canvas. What Buckley achieved on Saturday night, however, was truly unique.
Kasanganay caught Buckley's heel and the latter used the compromised position to land one of the greatest knockouts in mixed martial arts. He spun on one foot, lept off of it and thrust it through Kasanganay's jaw. The previously undefeated prospect barrelled towards and ricocheted off the mat.
There is no denying how perfect Barboza's knockout of Etim was. If you are a striking purist, I understand giving the nod to Barboza's compact, speedy and ultra-accurate KO; however, I cannot overlook the sheer awesomeness of Buckley's unique finish. The man was on one foot!
Here is my ranking of the five greatest knockouts in UFC history:
- Yair Rodriguez def. Chan Sung Jung by ducking back elbow (November 10, 2018)
- Joaquin Buckley def. Impa Kasanganay by jump spinning back kick (October 10, 2020)
- Edson Barboza def. Terry Etim by spinning wheel kick (January 14, 2012)
- Yves Edwards def. Josh Thomson by flying head kick and punches (August 21, 2004)
- Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Overeem by KO punch (December 2, 2017)
- Honorable Mention: Uriah Hall def. Gegard Mousasi by jumping spinning back kick and punches (September 27, 2015)
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