UFC can be a vicious sport. It is a global phenomenon defined by two fighters stepping into a caged octagon and looking to defeat their opponent, with only a few limiting rules. Naturally, this has led to some incredible knockouts over the course of the sport’s illustrious history. Whether you like a stunning kick catching an opponent in the jaw or a perfectly timed jab, there are many incredible moments that the UFC has brought us.
The UFC is an incredibly popular part of Canada sports betting, as Canadians love wagering on these dazzling displays of ferociousness and prowess. 2023 has been no different, with bettors and fans tuning into some jaw-dropping fights that have been ended by powerful finishes. There have been many excellent cards over the course of the half-year that we've seen so far, and many more to come. Let's look back on the year we've had and consider some of the best knockouts of 2023 so far.
Pereira vs. Adesanya at UFC 287
What made this knockout special wasn't just the skill and technicality of it; it was also the background. Alex Pereira had been a massive thorn in the side of renowned champion Israel Adesnya, defeating him twice in kickboxing and once in the UFC. Pereira had knocked Adesanya off his pedestal in 2022, and if he did it again at UFC 287, it would forever damage the legacy of one of the golden boys of the sport.
However, there is a reason that Adesanya has become one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of this era. He is a gifted technician with a unique style, and he can turn a fight on its head.
In this fight, Pereira took Adesanya to the wall and unleashed a barrage of blows against him. It looked like he had the upper hand. However, an immaculately timed counter by Adesanya took Pereira by complete shock and stunned him, and Adesanya quickly began laying it on. Pereira was knocked to the ground, and Adesanya finished him with some quick blows, finally ridding himself of what had been the greatest asterisk on his sporting career.
Bonfim vs. McKinney at UFC 283
Every once in a while, a UFC fight will happen that will astonish fans for its viciousness and suddenness. This was certainly the case when Ismael Bonfim stepped into the cage with Terrance McKinney. The two fighters squared off in Rio de Janeiro, and what happened will go down as maybe the knockout of the year.
Bonfim was making his debut in the UFC after performing well in the contender series and other circuits. Still, he was hardly projected to be the most notable part of a night that would feature two title fights, as he was designated to the early undercard. But he left a lasting impression there that could help elevate his career.
In his match, Bonfim very clearly established himself as a dominant force against the striker McKinney. He very much had the upper hand in round one, landing some punishing blows. But it was in the second round that he'd leave an impression fans won’t soon forget. He stunned McKinney with a solid blow to the face. Then, he flew in with a flying knee to the jaw that immediately rendered McKinney unconscious. It was enough to land him the Performance of the Night award and should have him on all top knockouts of the year lists.
Font vs. Yanez at UFC 287
For many UFC fans, there is nothing more exciting than watching two strikers stand up, and exchange blows in the center of the octagon. If you are a fan of this sort of fight, then Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez at UFC 287 will be the kind of spectacle you'd enjoy. While Adesanya and Pereira grabbed many of the headlines around this event, all who watched the full card would've seen an incredible bantamweight knockout by spectacular striker Rob Font.
The fight was held in Miami and featured an exciting card, but many UFC enthusiasts had circled Font vs. Yanez as one to watch. Yanez was a rising star who had won his previous nine professional fights. Font was an established star coming off two straight losses, badly needing a win. When they met, sparks flew, albeit briefly.
The fight between Font and Yanez didn’t even make it through a single round, and both men showed a complete willingness to stand, exchange, and take blows. Both landed some hard shots early on, but it seemed Fonts’ blows were having more of an impact. Yanez went for a desperation swing, and Font responded with a massive blow to Font’s face, legitimately sending him flying. Font finished him with a few blows on the ground for one of the most exciting knockouts you’ll see this year.