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With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best knockouts from March 2018: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for March.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.
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Alexander Hernandez def. Beneil Dariush at UFC 222
If Alexander Hernandez’s (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) opening front kick to the body after faking a glove touch was a little bit dirty, the left hand he used to knock Beneil Dariush (14-5-1 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) out was much, much dirtier – in a good way.
Hernandez took the fight on less than three weeks’ notice as a replacement for Bobby Green, and Dariush was one of the biggest favorites on the card at around -450. But Hernandez made a statement in his debut. He knocked out Darius for the finish just 42 seconds into the fight.
Brian Ortega def. Frankie Edgar at UFC 222
Brian Ortega’s (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) surge up to the UFC featherweight rankings took its biggest step forward when he became the first to stop former UFC champ Frankie Edgar (22-6-1 MMA, 16-6-1 UFC) inside the distance.
After rocking Edgar with a pinpoint elbow to the face, Ortega swarmed the future UFC Hall of Famer with a flurry. Ortega loaded up on a gigantic uppercut and planted Edgar right on the chin. “The Answer” had no to solution to a shot that literally took him off his feet for the stunning knockout.
Shannon Wiratchai def. Rahul Raju at ONE Championship 70
Shannon Wiratchai (9-2) produced the second fastest knockout in ONE Championship lightweight history when he obliterated Rahul Raju (4-2) in just 21 seconds.
Raju came out aggressively at the opening bell and looked to press the action, but as soon as he got within range, Wiratchai made him pay. Wiratchai pawed at Raju with a right hand before instantly loading up with a follow-up shot that put the lights out. Raju face-planted into the canvas and Wiratchai celebrated.
Jeremy Miado def. Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke at ONE Championship 70
Jeremy Miado (7-2) showed that reputation and past achievements aren’t the be all, end all when he knocked out former ONE Championship titleholder and multi-time Muay Thai champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (8-4) in less than 90 seconds.
Miado, who entered the strawweight bout on a two-fight skid, showed no fear of Sor Amnuaysirichoke’s striking and attacked with combinations that put his opponent on the back foot. Just when it seemed the athletes were settling into the fight, Miado unleashed a flurry of hooks at his opponent. The right hand caught Sor Amnuaysirichoke clean on the chin, and he went down in a heap.
Nathaniel Wood def. Luca Iovine at Cage Warriors 92
Nathaniel Wood (13-3) and Luca Iovine (12-2) wasted no time getting down to business as soon as the buzzer signaled the start of their Cage Warriors bantamweight title fight.
Wood, who was fighting in front of a local crowd, didn’t even get a full minute of action in. Out of a brief exchange in the pocket, Woodley launched a thunderous left hand that landed flush on Iovine’s jaw for the knockout just 50 seconds into the fight.
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Ortega stayed patient in the first round against Edgar, then became the first to finish the veteran. And he did so with authority.
Ortega finished Edgar with a massive knockout from a right uppercut with 16 seconds left in the first round. Edgar had just five career losses coming into the fight, all by decision.
Ortega was a replacement opponent for featherweight champion Max Holloway, who was supposed to defend his title against Edgar in the main event. But rather than wait for Holloway, Edgar took the fight with Ortega and put his No. 1 contender spot on the line. It went by the wayside, and Ortega earned a title shot with Holloway now, instead.
Edgar got right after things and kicked low. Ortega pumped his left jab and tried to use a big height and reach advantage to his favor. But Edgar came forward with a combination and had Ortega backing up early. But he stayed calm and despite Edgar continually working to get off multi-punch combinations, Ortega got solid kicks off.
With a minute left, Ortega grabbed Edgar’s neck and had the potential for a guillotine choke, but Edgar slipped out. Not long after, Ortega stunned Edgar with a big left elbow. He wobbled, and seconds later Ortega put a few punches on him. And with Edgar trying to recover, Ortega measured a massive right uppercut an put Edgar out for good on the canvas.
“It feels great,” Ortega said. “This is something I’ve always envisioned. I’ve seen it in my dreams, and even in my fears – I fear myself getting knocked out. But that fear makes me kind of deadly in here, as you see. I’m making history. I’m just humble, and to share the octagon with him is an honor. Frankie is a legend.
“I knew he was going to be in my face pressuring me. Because I have these long arms, I use my elbows when I can. Once I saw him wobble, I thought, ‘Is this fake, or is it real?’ I knew I had to finish him.”
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