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PENICK: 2012 Mid-Year MMA Awards - Knockout of the Year (So Far)
Jul 4, 2012 - 9:20:34 PM
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
We're at the mid-way point of 2012, so this week I'll be looking back on my favorite events, finishes, and fights of the year thus far. Today we continue the series with the top knockouts of 2012 (so far).
2012 Knockout of the Year (So Far): Edson Barboza's spinning wheel kick KO over Terry Etim (UFC 142)
No one expected anything else here, did they? Barboza's incredible highlight reel kick has gotten him an ESPY nomination for the year's best play, the only MMA offering in that group, and it was one of the most amazing finishes in the history of the UFC. It's up there with every highlight reel knockout the UFC's ever had, including last year's amazing front kicks from Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. The kick came in the third round of Barboza's fight with Terry Etim in Brazil, and as he walked Etim down, he set up the spin, then brought the kick up, landing squarely on Etim's jaw and sending him crashing down to the canvas. It was a perfectly placed kick, a vicious knockout, and the greatest finish of the year so far.
The Best of the Rest
Jose Aldo's knee strike over Chad Mendes (UFC 142): The same card that featured Barboza setting the bar for highlight reel knockouts got some competition in the main event. As a competitive opening frame was coming to a close, Aldo was defending a takedown attempt with Mendes on his back standing. He held onto Mendes' wrist, judging the distance, turned around, and delivered a perfect knee to the jaw. Mendes went down face first, and Aldo landed a few strikes on the ground to earn the knockout win just seconds before the round was over.
Anthony Pettis' head kick KO over Joe Lauzon (UFC 144): Duke Roufus product Anthony Pettis is a human highlight reel. He's already got one of the greatest single moments in any fight ever with his wall climbing kick against Ben Henderson in the WEC, but he's capable of providing every day exciting moments as well. In February at UFC 144 in Japan, Pettis only needed 81 seconds to finish off Lauzon, thanks to a well placed kick to the jaw that sent Lauzon down hard.
Tim Boetsch's uppercuts over Yushin Okami (UFC 144): In what is easily the "Comeback of the Year," Boetsch survived two rounds of domination at the hands of Okami and then delivered a ridiculous highlight in the third. As he had Okami locked up in a clinch against the cage, he delivered a string of uppercuts that all found their mark in vicious fashion, finally sending Okami clumping down in a heap. It was completely unexpected after the first two rounds, and very impressive from Boetsch.
Stephen Thompson's head kick debut over Dan Stittgen (UFC 143): Stephen Thompson's karate game was highly lauded coming into his UFC debut, and though he's essentially got one threat to offer with his game, he does it very, very well. He hid his intentions by aiming the kick low, but then snuck it up high, catching Stittgen behind the ear and knocking him down and out.
Other notable KOs:
--Robbie Lawler's flying knee over Adlon Amagov (Strikeforce "Rockhold vs. Jardine")
--Lavar Johnson over Joey Beltran (UFC on Fox 2)
--Nick Denis' elbows over Joseph Sandoval (UFC on FX 1)
--Issei Tamura over Tiequan Zhang (UFC 144)
--Ben Rothwell over Brendan Schaub (UFC 145)
--Michael McDonald over Miguel Torres (UFC 145)
--Roy Nelson over Dave Herman (UFC 146)
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