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5 of the best flying knee knockouts in UFC history

Jorge Masvidal knocked out Ben Askren at UFC 239
Jorge Masvidal knocked out Ben Askren at UFC 239
Aranya Chaudhury
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The UFC roster comprises some of the best strikers in MMA, who have delivered jaw-fropping knockouts time after time throughout the history of the promotion.

These fighters have employed various techniques to knock their opponents out. Be it Conor McGregor's left hand that knocked Jose Aldo out cold at UFC 194 or Valentina Shevchenko's devastating head-kick to KO Jessica Eye. One such technique that many have used to great effect is the flying knee.

On that note, here are five of the best flying knee knockouts in the history of the UFC.


#5. Yoel Romero vs. Chris Weidman at UFC 205

Yoel Romero took on Chris Weidman in a middleweight bout at UFC 205 - the first UFC event to be hosted in New York City since the legalization of the sport in the state.

It was a stacked card headlined by a UFC lightweight championship bout between Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez. The fight card also featured popular names like Tyron Woodley, Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Apart from being the first event in New York City, it was historic for another reason. It saw Conor McGregor become the first ever simultaneous two-division champion in the history of the promotion.

Well before McGregor's victory in the main event, the second fight on the main card saw Yoel Romero steal the show with a third-round knockout of Chris Weidman. It went on to earn the Cuban the 'Performance of the Night' bonus alongside McGregor.

Romero extended his winning streak to eight wins on the bounce with this victory. Prior to the fight, he had lost just one bout throughout his MMA career.

The Cuban stayed composed for the first two rounds, trading with Weidman on the feet and stuffing the majority of the American's takedown attempts. The 'Soldier of God' even took his counterpart down twice in the second round, landing effective ground and pound in the process.

Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero 2 almost happened for UFC 250 (@MMAFightingSM) mmafighting.com/2020/4/10/2121… https://t.co/nxiloefoaQ

Romero came alive 24 seconds into the third round as he reacted swiftly to a takedown attempt from Weidman, leaping towards the American with a powerful flying knee. The impact of the strike was enough to knock the former champion out cold.

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#4. BJ Penn vs. Sean Sherk at UFC 84

BJ Penn, in his prime, was arguably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The UFC Hall of Famer and two-division champ held the record for the longest title reign in the UFC lightweight division before his record was broken by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

'The Prodigy' squared off against Sean Sherk for a lightweight unification bout at UFC 84. The Hawaiian went on to defend his title with a third-round KO win at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Penn produced a dominant performance as he overwhelmed 'The Muscle Shark' with his striking. Sherk, who was returning to the UFC following his suspension at UFC 73, could do little to match up to Penn's speed and skills.

Sherk enjoyed some success in the third round and landed a few significant leg kicks, but got caught with a powerful flying knee by Penn in the dying seconds of the round. It was the Hawaiian's13th win of his career.


#3. Thiago Alves vs. Matt Hughes at UFC 85

UFC 85, at the O2 Arena in London, was headlined by a bout between Thiago Alves and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes.

The event was riddled with injuries. It was originally supposed to be headlined by Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans, but an injury to Liddell prompted the UFC to book the Alves vs. Hughes fight as the main event instead.

Matt Hughes, coming off his second loss to Georges St. Pierre in a battle for UFC interim gold, was eager to bounce back and return to winning ways. Meanwhile, Thiago Alves was on an incredible run of form at the time, riding a five-fight win streak in the UFC going into this bout.

Originally expected to be a welterweight bout, Hughes agreed to fight Alves at a catchweight of 174 pounds after the latter missed the 170 pound limit.

Hughes seemed eager to take the fight to the ground in the first round. He tried scoring a few takedowns but they had little impact on Alves. With Hughes' gameplan as clear as day, Alves anticipated a takedown attempt in the second round and lunged in with a vicious flying knee.

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#2. Edson Barboza vs. Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 106

Edson Barboza is arguably one of the best strikers in the UFC. Even top UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje - a striker in his own right - recently hailed him as the fighter he was terrified of the most.

Barboza had a variety of moves in his repertoire, as well as a reputation for delivering some of the best knockouts in UFC history. His knockout of Terry Etim remains one of the most devastating knockouts ever seen in the octagon.

The Brazilian took on fellow lightweight Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 106. Barboza looked confident from the early stages of the bout as he tried to keep Dariush at a distance. Dariush, however, was better at landing his strikes on target.

Ironically, Dariush tried landing a flying knee himself a few times, which Barboza successfully avoided.

Picking the right moment to launch is the hallmark of a good striker. Beneil Dariush tried landing a jab but missed. That's when it happened - the iconic flying knee that sent Dariush down on the mat. The referee intervened and Barboza was announced the victor.

Edson Barboza knocked Beneil Dariush out cold with an incredible flying knee three years ago today.#UFC https://t.co/iHeRFeyuvM

#1. Jorge Masvidal vs Ben Askren at UFC 239

Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren faced each other at UFC 239 in a welterweight bout. The event was headlined by two championship bouts - Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos and Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm.

Fans at the T-Mobile Arena witnessed arguably the best flying knee knockout in the history of UFC, when 'Gamebred' knocked out 'Funky' 5 seconds into the first round. It shattered all the record books to become the fastest KO in UFC history.

The former ONE FC (now ONE Championship) champion rushed towards Jorge Masvidal in the opening seconds. Masvidal opted to change speed and accelerate seemingly out of nowhere and darted towards Askren, whose only option was to attempt a single leg takedown.

What happened next seemed straight out of an action movie. Jorge Masvidal charged at 'Funky' and landed the perfect flying knee, leaving him out cold on the mat. It was the former Olympic wrestler's first loss in his entire MMA career.

Masvidal KO's Askren in 5 seconds 😳Gamebred (+150) drops Ben Askren with a flying knee for the fastest knockout in UFC history(via @ufc)https://t.co/zffTPQzkI3
Edited by C. Naik
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