Were these the 8 most brutal head kick KOs in MMA & UFC history?

The pound-for-pound greatest Head Kick Knockouts in MMA history.

By: Michael Traish | 1 week ago

8 Cro Cop vs Wanderlei Silva Pride MMA

Starting off the list with an old-school Pride fight. Featuring these 2 legendary MMA warriors Mirko Cro Cop vs Wanderlei “Doesn’t know what a bus is” Silva 2.

Pride Conflict Absolute. An AI generated fight name if I’ve ever heard one.

Fighting under the brutal Pride ruleset. Calling it a ruleset is quite generous actually because if you thought MMA was scary today, you’ve gotta check out some old-school Pride fights. Where weight divisions were nonexistent, soccer kicks, head slams, and knees to downed opponents were perfectly legal.

A ruleset Petr Yan would have envied! But Cro Cop didn’t need to take advantage of any of that bullshit!

Clobbering Wanderlei for most of the fight eventually ending the poor bugger with this devastating head kick. A textbook shin to the noggin “owie”. You don’t gotta need to be a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that that would f*cking hurt! Later that night, Cro Cop fought again, winning the 2006 Pride open weight bracket, pulverizing Josh Barnet via submission to punches. These were some hard blokes back in the day.

7 Gonzaga vs Cro Cop UFC 70

Back so soon on the list at number 7.

Mirko Cro Cop vs Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70 Of course, a fight with Cro Cop would once again end in spectacular head kick fashion, just like his fight with Silva, and all other Cro Cop fights to be honest. It’s as if Cro Cops shin is a magnet and his opponents heads are also… magnets or like… a fridge or something?

However, in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history Mirko was Cro Copped himself. With a massive head kick by Gonzaga which surprised everyone that night especially Cro Cop. The man known for his mastery of head kick knockouts, getting the taste of his own medicine was quite the site to behold.

He was a fan favorite fighter but you can’t not be impressed with that beauty of a knockout by Gonzaga. And luckily Herb Dean was there to save Cro Cop from any further punishment with this beautiful double leg. Gonzaga only landing 3 or so extra strikes. Super Necessary!

Rest assured; Cro Cop did get his revenge in their rematch 8 years later winning via TKO.

6 Holly Holm Vs Ronda Rousey

At number 6 Holly Holm vs Ronda Rousey UFC 193 Another massive MMA upset. It was 2016 in Melbourne Australia. wink I’m Australian. Where we’d see these 2 undefeated fighters throw down.

An elite level boxer with over 30 wins and a 9-0 MMA record… but still we thought that wasn’t enough for the undefeated, unstoppable, ruthless Ronda Rousey who must’ve had a fight deal with the UFC where if she could submit you in 30 seconds or less, you’d get a free pizza. I’m just kidding of course; Dana White would make you pay a subscription for that. Downed opponents with pizza

And this fight was another test for Ronda that everyone thought she’d pass with flying colors. But big bad boxer Holly Holm was too tough of a test at the school hard knocks. I’m not great at MMA puns. Holly Holm made Ronda Rousey look quite silly with a fantastic performance on the feet while defending Ronda’s takedown and submission attempts.

And then finally ending Ronda’s reign with a from-the-back head kick. An insane knockout that really shook up the women’s division. Especially with Holly immediately losing the belt to Miesha Tate. But that’s a whole other thing.

5 Uriah Hall vs Mat Cella

At number 5 Uriah Hall vs Mat Cella in the Ultimate Fighter.

If you were following the Ultimate Fighter back in 2013 you would have seen that Uriah Hall was the scariest contender out of the bunch, due to him pretty much killing his opponents.

And you would have bet the 1000 bucks your dad lent you for car repayments on Uriah to win the entire thing. But you’re a dum dum! Because Kelvin Gastelum beat him to a split decision victory and now your dad doesn’t talk to you and you have to walk to work for the next couple of months. You idiot.

That aside, Uriah had one of the most epic head-kick knockouts you’ll ever witness. A spinning hook kick to this poor fella Mat Cella! And this had every other contender petrified. Not me though. I’m not a contender but I have the power of God and anime on my side along with my 2stripe white belt. Silly goosing aside, this was both an epic KO and an intensely scary moment, as we thought Mat Cella wasn’t going to be the same after that. Luckily… he aiight.

4 Edson Barboza vs Terry Etim

At number 4, an MMA classic. Edson Barboza vs Terry Etim at UFC 142

Edson Barboza is an OG MMA beast. One of the best fighters to never win a belt.

F*ck Dustin Poirier! That reminds me. Check out this video we did on Dustin Poirier. It’s really good! Well edited that’s for sure.

With a Mauy Thai background, you just knew Barboza was capable of kicking hard. And HARD he kicked against Terry Etim. Where he displayed a beautiful and perfectly executed spinning heel kick and according to Joe Rogan, the first in the UFC. And we’ve gotta give respect to the fightng pioneers that utilized techniques you’d only ever thought worked in action films like The Raid Redemption.

Great Movie by the way.

3 Joaquin Buckley vs Impa Kasanagay

At number 3 the viral kick that even had Kanye retweeting.

Joaquin Buckley vs Impa Kasanganay at a 2020 UFC fight night. This kick was a Christopher Nolan directed moment. From the cool spinny thing he does to the spaghetti western death fall.

This moment put Buckley on the map as it was easily the coolest MMA moment from 2020 and possibly of all time. Buckley, at the time an unknown fighter, just coming off a brutal loss to big mouth Kevin Holland, had to fight this undefeated prospect. But Impa’s 0 had to go! And damn did it go. This beautiful taekwondo spinning back kick garnered a gazillion views on the Tiktoks, Instagram’s and platform X. (Back in the day, it was called Twitter.)

This kick was everywhere. As the kids say it went dummy-thick viral.

2 Lyoto Machida vs Randy Couture

At number 2 is none other than the Karate Kid Lyoto Machida vs Legendary Randy Couture at UFC 129.

Before Wonder boy was the face of Karate in the UFC, there was a bloke by the name of Lyoto Machida bringing back Karate to the martial arts mainstream.

Machida lived and breathed Karate, so watching him show it off in the Octagon was absolutely mesmerizing and a flashback to fight films from the 80’s. Also, he drinks his own piss. A sign of a true martial artist, I believe.

The Krane kick KO. Karate Kid Lyoto Machida knocking out Randy Couture was absolutely stunning and ripped right out of The Karate Kid film. This was peak Machida and even though it was the retirement fight for Couture, it doesn’t make this sexy jump kick any less impressive.

Definitely a Steven Seagal-taught technique. And the cherry on top was Joe Rogan’s top-tier commentary clip I do hope Lyoto enjoyed himself a nice glass of warm piss after that because he deserved it.

1 Anderson Silva vs TRT Vitor

And my favourite head kick knockout of all time is Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort at UFC 126.

A prime Anderson Silva fighting against Vitor Belfort’s greatest form: TRT Vitor.

A scary f*cking guy Vitor was. TRT Vitor was a force to be reckoned with. He was capable kicking out people’s eyeballs while looking like the Hulk, I wouldn’t want to mess with him even with a third stripe on my white belt.

This was back before the UFC banned TRT so Belfort had the test levels of a baby bull shark. Going on absolutely insane runs, destroying future middle weight champs and coming dangerously close to breaking Jon Jones’ arm. This man was a specimen. But this meant nothing to the Spider as he swiftly destroyed the hulking TRT Vitor with another Steven Seagal up down up down special attack. A front kick right up the middle.

Dropping the juicy boy.

The man’s a f*cking genius… he’s got a couple of stripes on his white belt. Tell you that much. And we gotta give the number 1 spot to Silva, as he’s the front kick pioneer, the first of its kind in the UFC.

Paving the way for all of these honorable mentions.

Those are the pound-for-pound greatest head-kick knockouts in MMA history. Like the video if I reminded you of some great MMA moments. And let me know if I missed any of your favorites!

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Michael Traish
Michael Traish

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