Throughout its storied past, the UFC has put on thousands upon thousands of fights in their coveted Octagon. Some scraps you remember, some you forget, and some just plain scare you. With that being said, let’s go back in time to relive some of the most haunting finishes MMA’s biggest promotion has seen.
10: Jorge Masvidal vs Ben Askren (UFC 239)
Jorge Masvidal vs Ben Askren only lasted mere seconds, but the images from the five-second scrap will live on forever in MMA history. Right off the bat, Masvidal landed one of the nastiest flying knees you’ll ever see. The knee heard around the world landed flush on Askren’s face, rendering him immediately unconscious. Images of a dazed and confused Askren making his way out of the cage still run through many people’s minds, and one can’t help but wonder if he is still feeling its effects.
9: Rich Franklin vs Nate Quarry (UFC 56)
Rich Franklin had Nate Quarry hurt early on in this one, and it appeared to be just a matter of time before it would be over. Nate seemed to be trying to counter Franklin, but ‘Ace’ was just too quick. In the end it was a left hand from Rich that put Quarry’s lights out in devastating fashion. Nate was literally knocked stiff as a board before he even hit the canvas. The sound of Big John frantically calling for a doctor makes the scene all that more haunting.
8: Gary Goodrich vs Paul Herrera (UFC 8)
Gary Goodrich vs Paul Herrera was one of the most basic, yet most violent fights to happen in the UFC. Goodrich having Herrera in a crucifix while pummeling the side of his head with elbows shows just how brutal MMA can be. This was one of the first fights in the promotions’ history that had fans genuinely concerned for a fighter’s safety.
7: Mark Coleman vs Pete Williams (UFC 17)
A good portion of the MMA fan base probably can’t recall exactly what went down, when Mark Coleman squared off against Pete Williams in 1998. What we can recall is the fight ending sequence that put Mark into a different dimension. An exhausted Coleman ate a perfectly placed head kick from Williams that rendered him unconscious as his body collapsed. Unfortunately for Williams, the haunting KO made Coleman even more famous.
6: Tank Abbott vs John Matua (UFC 6)
Tank Abbott vs John Matua is a fight that most of the older generation will remember fondly. The official time of the scrap stands around 18 seconds, but the fight was over long before that. ‘Tank’ had Matua hurt bad with the very first shot, and from there it was eighteen seconds of chaotic violence. The way Abbott mocked the stiffened body of his opponent while Big John consoled Matua is forever engrained in many minds.
5: Kevin Lee vs Gregor Gillespie (UFC 244)
The reason Kevin Lee vs Gregor Gillespie is high on the list is because of it’s incredible series of events that unfolded. Lee threw a perfect combination that started with a right hand, and immediately transitioned to a left high kick. The kick left Gregor lifeless, as his body fell against the cage directly in front of the broadcast team. Lee’s combo, Gillespie’s corpse, and Megan Olivi’s startled reaction all come together to make for a truly haunting finish.
4: Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje (UFC 249)
The fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje was one for the ages, as the two went back and forth over the course of nearly 5 rounds. It wasn’t so much the actual finish that was troublesome, but the look on Ferguson’s face mere moments before the bout was called. Many compared the look to one of a beaten dog. It’s a disturbing moment that’s only amplified by the fact this is ‘El Cucuy’.
3: Melvin Guillard vs Mac Danzig (UFC on Fox 8)
Melvin Guillard vs Mac Danzig is another one of those fights that’s hard to remember. Even while re-watching, it doesn’t feel all that familiar. What is familiar and haunting is the bloody, busted up Danzig waking up from a KO hysterically crying. The sound of Mac at his most vulnerable is branded into many brains around the MMA community. It’s a memory many will never be able to fully shake.
2: Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida (UFC 140)
When Jon Jones took on Lyoto Machida in 2011, nobody could’ve predicted how this one would end. It was a fantastic fight in front of a sold out arena in Toronto, Ontario. Things took a turn for the worse in the second round for Machida, as ‘Bones’ began to overwhelm the ‘Dragon’. At one point, the bout was in jeopardy of being called off due to a nasty cut suffered by Lyoto. The doctor would allow the light heavyweight title fight to continue, and it would result in one of MMA’s coldest images.
Machida ended up getting caught in a guillotine choke that put him to sleep while still standing. Jones walking away with Machida crumbled like a sack of potatoes is as cold as it gets. Many Lyoto Machida fans still struggle to watch this fight-ending sequence.
1: Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva II (UFC 168)
When Chris Weidman defended his belt against Anderson Silva in 2013, nobody could’ve predicted what was about to unfold. Yes, the leg break heard around the world comes in at number 1. Those that watched the fight live literally couldn’t believe their eyes. Silva’s leg wrapping around Weidman’s was the absolute last thing anybody excepted to witness. The brave ones that were able to watch the replay in slow motion are amazed to this day that Anderson’s foot remained attached. The nasty images mixed with Silva’s dire screams of pain make this one of the hardest finishes to stomach in the violent world of MMA.
What is your most haunting finish in UFC history? Let us know in the comments.
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