2016 has been a big year in the world of combat sports, and fight fans have been treated to some great knockouts on the way.
To steal a phrase from UFC President Dana White, never leave a fight in the hands of the judges, these guys certainly did not!
January served up an early treat as Athony Joshua avenged an amateur defeat to Dillian Whyte – and he settled the score in brutal fashion during an ill-tempered seven-round bout…
Douglas Silva de Andrade wasn’t taking any prisoners with this spinning back fist KO of Henry Briones in November.
After some ferocious exchanges, Mexican Briones just doesn’t see the fight-ending shot coming…
Michael Page took the plaudits at Bellator 158, London, for a savage finish and Pokemon Go inspired celebrations.
The English fighter countered Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos striking with a brutal knee shot, which caved in his opponent’s skull with extensive surgery required in the aftermath.
The joy for English fighters continued in 2016, with June seeing the UFC’s first ever British champion being crowned.
Michael Bisping stunned the MMA world after stepping in to fight then middleweight champ Luke Rockhold on just two weeks notice.
No one anticipated this finish from ‘The Count’…
— BT Sport UFC (@btsportufc) June 5, 2016
For the hattrick of English fighters showcasing pure savagery, here is Sheldon Reid flooring Julio Calcina at Shinobi War 7.
The amateur has a healthy career ahead of him with finishes like this:
Raufeon Stots is also a master of throwing head kicks.
William Joplin found that out the hard way at Victory FC 49!
Hearts were in mouths when Deontay Wilder knocked Artur Szpilka out cold in January.
Szpilka was literally sent spinning by Wilder’s emphatic right hand, and stood no chance of getting back to his feet.
Andre Fili similarly had no hope of recovery when Yair Rodriguez connected with a superb jumping roundhouse kick.
This effort will make your teeth hurt just watching…
— BT Sport UFC (@btsportufc) April 24, 2016
2016 was a big year for Paige Vanzant both inside and outside the Octagon.
The 22-year-old strawweight was a fan favourite and finalist on Dancing With The Stars, but she proved her moves inside the cage stand above those on the dancefloor.
Channeling the spirit of the Karate Kid Vanzant finished Bec Rawlings with a switch roundhouse kick, followed by punches in bunches.
Of course Conor McGregor was going to make this list.
Love him or hate him he picked lightweight title holder Eddie Alvarez apart to become the first two-division UFC champion.
The Irishman’s left hand put Alvarez out of his misery in a fight he always appeared second best in…
— BT Sport UFC (@btsportufc) November 13, 2016
Lando Vannata wasn’t about to let us end the list of contenders at ten, because obviously that’d be too convenient.
If you need a textbook example of a spinning wheel kick, this is it!
— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) December 11, 2016
Oh the humanity – John Makdessi certainly felt that.
Frankly it’s pretty damn hard to pick the best of the lot from this list – so let us know your favourite in the comments.
An NCTJ Journalist with an MA in Sports Journalism, Kieron is an experienced social media journalist who has worked in the industry since 2015. His experience includes work with ITN, the MEN, WISH/WIRE/TOWER FM, and 8:50 Sports Digest… not forgetting his time at ASDA.