UFC President Dana White is often considered a hard man to please, given how often he criticizes his fighters, but in reality, he loves nothing more than a crazy knockout inside the octagon.
Over the years, Dana White has witnessed countless numbers of brutal knockouts in the octagon, whether they’ve come in the UFC or elsewhere – but some have still had the power to shock him.
Usually, any fighter landing a knockout capable of shocking the UFC President will be put on a clear road to stardom, but whether or not they manage to take it doesn’t matter – their knockout will always be memorable.
Here are five brutal knockouts that shocked Dana White.
#5. Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson – UFC 274
The latest entry on this list took place just a couple of weeks ago at UFC 274, in one of the most highly-anticipated bouts of 2022. Everyone was expecting fireworks when Michael Chandler faced Tony Ferguson, but few could’ve foreseen such a big bang.
That bang came from Chandler, who seemed to be struggling with the range and striking ability of ‘El Cucuy’ in the first round, being forced to take him down with a double leg after Ferguson tagged him one too many times.
However, in the second round, ‘Iron Mike’ wasted no time in changing that around – stunning Dana White in the process.
The former Bellator MMA lightweight champion strode forward before Ferguson could react and waylaid him with perhaps the most brutal front kick in UFC history. Ferguson was knocked silly by the shot, and Chandler picked up the second highlight reel KO of his octagon career.
In the post-event press conference, White waxed lyrical about the knockout, labeling it the most vicious he’d ever witnessed – which said a lot given the kind of finishes he’d seen in the octagon over the years.
In the pre-fight, Ferguson had accused Chandler of being favored by White – but while that may not have been the case, after this knockout, it may well be going forward!
#4. Matt Riddle vs. Dan Simmler – The Ultimate Fighter 7
Back in 2008, the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter put a new twist on the reality show by forcing contestants to fight each other for a spot in the TUF house, adding a new level of intrigue to proceedings.
This idea may have proven tiresome had the fights not delivered the goods, but one in particular certainly made the process entirely worth it. The fight in question saw Matt Riddle face off with Dan Simmler, and to say that the 22-year old Riddle made an impact on Dana White would be an understatement.
The future WWE superstar dropped Simmler in the opening seconds of the second round, and then followed up with three coffin-nail punches that left him completely unconscious. When he came around, he could only groan in agony – shocking the onlooking Dana White to his core.
It transpired that Simmler had broken his jaw in two places, and ended up taking a trip to the hospital. White appeared to be outright traumatised by the knockout, while even coach Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson described it as gruesome.
As for Riddle, he didn’t go onto make the major mark in the UFC that he might’ve hoped, but his knockout remains one of the most memorable in TUF history.
#3. Josh Quinlan vs. Logan Urban – Dana White’s Contender Series 2021
Dana White’s Contender Series has produced a number of genuine UFC stars since its inaugural season in 2017, from Greg Hardy to Alex Perez. However, of all of the finishes witnessed by White on the show, the one that appeared to shock him the most came in 2021.
The finish in question saw Hawaiian welterweight Josh Quinlan take out opponent Logan Urban in just 47 seconds, blitzing him with a series of absolutely brutal punches that dropped him and quickly left him unconscious.
Naturally, the knockout was enough to hand Quinlan a contract with the UFC, and when White announced this after the show had ended, he revealed that he’d been so shocked by the knockout that the only notes he’d made on the performance read “holy sh*t”.
Unfortunately, ‘The Renegade’ has still not made his official octagon debut due to the fact that a positive drug test saw the result of his bout with Urban overturned – meaning his future may well be up in the air, regardless of how much he impressed Dana White.
#2. Uriah Hall vs. Adam Cella – The Ultimate Fighter 17
When the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter was being filmed to air in early 2013, a rumor emerged that the show had unearthed a “beast” who could instantly contend for the UFC middleweight title.
While Uriah Hall didn’t quite manage to live up to the hype – in fact, he didn’t win the season in the end – it was easy to see why everyone, including Dana White, believed that he could make such a huge impact.
In his first fight on the show, ‘Prime Time’ delivered one of the scariest knockouts in MMA history, landing a spinning heel kick to the head of opponent Adam Cella that instantly switched his lights out. To say White – as well as coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen – were shocked would be an understatement.
In truth, even Hall seemed shocked at what he’d done, and it was understandable. White later revealed that Cella was so badly knocked out that he didn’t come around for four minutes, couldn’t sit on his stool for six minutes, and was quickly taken to hospital via an ambulance.
Almost a decade on, this knockout remains truly terrifying to watch, and stands as one of the few finishes in the octagon that didn’t just shock Dana White – it clearly scared him, too.
#1. Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo – UFC 194
When Conor McGregor finally faced off with Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title in late 2015 after what felt like a lifetime of build, UFC fans around the world were expecting a truly titanic clash between the two stars.
Given that Aldo was by far the more proven fighter – and hadn’t lost a bout in a decade – the last thing they were expecting was to see the Brazilian knocked unconscious by ‘The Notorious’ in a matter of seconds, but as everyone now knows, that’s exactly what happened.
Despite his experience, Aldo seemed overwhelmed by the occasion, over-reached on one of his first punches – and ate a clean left hand counter from McGregor that instantly turned out his lights.
Naturally, everyone watching – whether they were in attendance or enjoying the event on pay-per-view – was shocked by what happened, and that included Dana White, who looked utterly blown away when the camera cut to him at the side of the octagon.
Incredibly, though, White’s reaction wasn’t the most memorable one – that belonged to the UFC’s co-owner Frank Fertitta, who outright slammed the featherweight title belt onto a table, he was in so much shock.
While some fans claimed conspiracy theory on this – essentially suggesting the UFC wanted ‘The Notorious’ to lose, White later cleared things up, instead stating that Fertitta was a “moose” who, like everyone else, was stunned by McGregor’s performance.