There are few things more shocking and skillful than a head kick knockout. These finishes can often come out of nowhere and are among the most vicious knockouts in history. Throughout the years, we have seen our fair share of head kick knockouts in the UFC and here are 5 of the best.
1. Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey
Despite the fact this one is a routine head kick KO that we have seen dozen times in the UFC, absolutely deserves a spot on this list. The impact that this fight had on the UFC and combat sports as a whole was huge. Rousey was the biggest star we have ever seen and even transcended into mass media. Millions were watching this fight to see her do what she does best, but that isn’t what they got. What they got was Holm putting on an absolute clinic before eventually finishing Rousey with a fierce head kick.
2. Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mirko Cro Cop
Again, while the kick is nice, this one is definitely on here for the historical significance and shock that it put through all the MMA fans who watched it happened. Cro Cop was the best kicker of all time with an absolutely vicious high kick that defeated almost anyone he hit with it. Most thought he would destroy Gonzaga (not much but a gatekeeper at the time) with his kick. But the opposite happened. Gonzaga shocked the world when he threw up a high kick that caught Cro Cop and knocked him out.
3. Uriah Hall vs. Adam Cella
While this one happened on The Ultimate Fighter and not an official UFC fight, it is much to vicious and amazing not to include. While Uriah Hall is now a star who actually has his next fight against Anderson Silva, back in the TUF house, he was nothing but a prospect with some potential, but this kick put him on the map and on the fast track to superstardom. Hall hit Cella with a filthy spinning back heel kick that caught Cella right on the button and put him to sleep before he even hit the mat.
4. Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon
Now this one is straight up vicious and has been on UFC highlight reels for years and will continue to appear on them in perpetuity. At the time, Rashad Evans was a 9-0 up and comer going up against Salmon, who was no slouch at 9-1. The fight didn’t go nearly as Salmon had planned it as Evans caught him with a hellacious head kick that sent him back before his head rattled off the mat and he was never the same again as he went 9-19 over the remainder of his career
5. Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim
Now this is not only the best kick knockout in UFC history, I would argue that it is the best knockout period. In a fairly back and forth fight that most had Etim winning over Barboza in the first two rounds, the third round could have potentially decided the winner if the fight went the distance, it did not. A little while into the third round, Barboza through an unbelievable wheel kick that caught Etim right in the face and knocked him out instantly. It was the first ever wheel kick knockout in the UFC and was as well executed as any strike ever.