5 UFC fighters who won a bout with the least number of strikes

Ronda Rousey (left) and Conor McGregor (right)
Ronda Rousey (left) and Conor McGregor (right)
Sunderam Saxena

UFC fights are usually full of bloody action and gnarly injuries. Fighters enter the octagon to seriously hurt their opponents and/or to stop them as quickly as possible. In order to execute such a plan, MMA fighters put their seasoned skillsets at work, be it striking, grappling, or jiu-jitsu.

However, as fighters involved in most bouts are at a similar skill level, fights usually go the full distance before a winner is announced. It is a rare occurrence when a UFC athlete stuns the audience, stopping a fight with a ruthless grip-lock or a fiery knockout. In cases that are harder to come by, a fight is ended by injury stoppages. In such instances, fans witness a winner who didn't have to throw many, or in some cases, any strikes.

Here, we look at five UFC fighters who won a bout with the least number of strikes:

#5 - Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo - UFC 194

Conor McGregor KO's Jose Aldo at UFC 194
Conor McGregor KO's Jose Aldo at UFC 194

This was Conor McGregor's seventh fight in the UFC, and his biggest at the time. After tearing through his previous six opponents with straight wins, McGregor was to taking UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 194. He had insulted Aldo throughout all their media world tours, infuriating the UFC champion.

Coming in at UFC 194, Jose Aldo was visibly irked and desperate to unload on Conor McGregor. The 'Notorious', however, had an idea of what was to come. After official weigh-ins and a subsequent face-off between the two, McGregor revealed that he had sensed Aldo's gameplan for UFC 194. He told the media:

"I felt when we stared down, I felt his right hand twitching, which was a subtle tell for me. He (Jose Aldo) is ready to unload that right hand, and I feel that could be a downfall for him. If he lets that right hand go, I will not be there."

At UFC 194, Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds of round one, handing the Brazilian the biggest defeat of his career. It took the Irishman only five strikes to KO Aldo, two of which came after 'Scarface' was knocked down.

McGregor drew first blood with a jab and a lateral knee-kick. It was then that Aldo shot in to unload with his right hook, but McGregor dodged it and countered with a left hook that flattened the defending champion. As Aldo went straight to the ground, McGregor sealed his win with two hammerfists, taking his total number of strikes to five.


#4 - Ilir Latifi vs Cyrille Diabate - UFC Fight Night 37

Ilir Latifi
Ilir Latifi

Heavyweights Ilir Latifi and Cyrille Diabate went head to head on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 37 in 2014. Latifi came into this bout after a full training camp to right the wrongs he made in his UFC debut that handed him a decision loss. Cyrille Diabate, meanwhile, was fighting in his eighth UFC event and was about to announce his retirement from the sport after the fight.

Considerably taller than Ilir Latifi, Cyrille Diabate tried to keep his distance early on as both fighters looked for openings. Latifi eventually charged in from a distance and took down Diabate before quickly trying to lock him in a D’Arce choke. As the 6'6'' Diabate resisted, 'The Sledgehammer' waited patiently in the dominant position before finally going back to a front choke.

Only this time around, Diabate's attempts to slip out failed and Latifi got the execution right, forcing the UFC veteran to tap-out at the 3:02 mark in round one. There were hardly any strikes on display in the fight, with both fighters landing just one strike each.

Ilir Latifi said after his win:

"I prepared a lot for this fight, and it feels great to get a win that fast."

#3 - Frank Shamrock vs Kevin Jackson - UFC Ultimate Japan

Frank Shamrock wins the inaugural UFC middleweight championship
Frank Shamrock wins the inaugural UFC middleweight championship

Two of the greatest fighters of all time entered the octagon in a star-studded UFC event in Japan in 1997. Frank Shamrock, an established submission specialist, made his UFC debut against Olympic gold medalist Kevin Jackson. The fight, which was tipped to be a thrilling event between two of the greatest fighters ever, lasted only 16 seconds, with a total of three strikes landed.

Kevin Jackson initiated contact in round one as he shot in for a takedown. However, Frank Shamrock put his submission skills to use and held the wrestling gold medalist in an armbar, instantly forcing the Olympian to tap-out. In doing so, Shamrock not only forced one of the fastest submissions in UFC history but also did it by throwing just one strike.

Also read: Top 10 greatest submission wins in UFC history.

Shamrock also won the inaugural UFC middleweight championship (later renamed as the light heavyweight champion) in the process.

#2 - Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano - UFC 184

Ronda Rousey catches Cat Zingano in armbar at UFC 184
Ronda Rousey catches Cat Zingano in armbar at UFC 184

For her fifth defense of the UFC women's bantamweight title, Ronda Rousey faced Cat Zingano at UFC 184 in 2015. In her previous title defense, which came seven months earlier, Rousey knocked out Alexis Davis in 16 seconds of round one. However, at UFC 184, 'Rowdy' would put that speedy time in the shade without having to throwing a single strike.

Ahead of the fight against Cat Zingano, Ronda Rousey had tweeted that she had "never been more ready in her life." And during the fight, the UFC legend showed the world just what she meant.

As the fight started, Cat Zingano rushed in to land strikes on Ronda Rousey, but the defending champion took her opponent to the ground. By the time Zingano could grasp what was going on, she had already tapped to an armbar.

To defeat Cat Zingano, who was one of the few fighters tipped to give Ronda Rousey some sort of trouble, the defending champ took 14 seconds. She also did not throw a single strike in the process, relying solely on her judo skills. Rousey told the LA Times about her win:

"We expected she (Zingano) might do something like flying right at me.. but I have a faster transition than anyone because my mom taught me."

#1 - Uriah Hall vs Chris Weidman - UFC 261

Chris Weidman suffers leg injury at UFC 261
Chris Weidman suffers leg injury at UFC 261

Uriah Hall faced former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in what was one of the easiest wins for a fighter in MMA history. It also involved one of the nastiest injuries in the UFC. While Weidman attempted a total of two strikes, Hall did not have to do anything but check a leg kick in order to win.

Chris Weidman came in with a fiery leg-kick, which was duly checked by Uriah Hall. Weidman's leg instantly broke upon impact, resulting in Hall going home with an easy TKO win (leg injury). After winning the fight without throwing a single strike, Hall explained Weidman's injury and said:

"I’m very articulate with blocking and you don’t have to pick your leg up too high. It’s just driving it in at the right spot. I heard a click. I thought it was a slap, but I didn’t feel the slap on my calf, so that’s got to be his bone. And when he landed, it clicked in. To be honest, it was just Anderson Silva when he landed. It was weird. It was so weird. I just pictured Anderson Silva. I wish him (Chris Weidman) well."
Edited by James McGlade


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