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MMAjunkie’s ‘Knockout of the Month’ for December: Brutal KOs everywhere to close the year

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best knockouts from December. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for December.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

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The Nominees

Gaston Bolanos def. Rick Gutierrez at Bellator 189

Gaston Bolanos (2-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) gave Rick Gutierrez (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) a rude welcome to professional MMA when he connected with a violent spinning back elbow to end the featherweight bout just 62 seconds after it began.

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Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Overeem at UFC 218

Francis Ngannou (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) scored the signature win of his career against former Strikeforce and DREAM champ Alistair Overeem (43-16 MMA, 8-5 UFC). “The Predator” connected with one of the cleanest left hands ever seen in the octagon and laid out Overeem in the first round to earn a heavyweight title shot.

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Marlon Moraes def. Aljamain Sterling at UFC Fight Night 123

Marlon Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) made a major statement in the UFC’s bantamweight division with a brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC). The knee landed by the former WSOF champ was so devastating Sterling had to be taken out on a stretcher.

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Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose at UFC on FOX 26

Alessio Di Chirico (11-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) didn’t exactly wow from the start, but his finish of Oluwale Bamgbose (6-4 MMA, 1-4 UFC) proved impressive when he ended the lackluster middleweight bout with a perfect knee that led to a face-plant knockout in the second round.

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Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via punch at UFC on FOX 26

Josh Emmett (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) took a big challenge on short notice, stepping up to fight perennial featherweight contender Ricardo Lamas (18-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC). The risk paid off when he landed a perfect left hook in the opening round, which led to a walk-off finish.

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The Winner: Francis Ngannou

One powerful left hand from Ngannou was all it took, and suddenly Overeem was unconscious on the mat.

A brutal one-punch knockout extended Ngannou’s winning streak and dashed Overeem’s title hopes, all in slightly less than two minutes of cage time.

In the bout between two big men known for their striking, it was Overeem who seemed to want to get the fight to the mat. After charging across the cage to start the fight, Overeem tried for a takedown and then initiated a clinch, though it didn’t take long for Ngannou to turn him and force him into the fence as a counter.

But back in the center of the octagon, as Overeem ducked in low with a wide left hook, Ngannou dipped with the blow and came back with a thunderous left hand uppercut that practically lifted Overeem into the air as it dropped him flat on the mat.

Ngannou would come diving in with an additional right hand hammerfist before referee Dan Miragliotta could stop him, but there was no need, as Overeem was already out cold and the bout halted at the 1:42 mark of Round 1.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

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