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UFC Rankings: Finishing the Fight – The Art of the Uppercut

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The intensity of a back-and-forth fight brings out the armchair coaches in all of us. You know you hear it live every fight night and pay-per-view when a fighter has his opponent in a Thai clinch – you hear fans in unison yell, “KNEE!!!” Realistically, we know that the fighters can’t hear us in the audience as they are so laser focused inside that cage, and we one hundred percent know they can’t hear us sitting on our couches. With so many ways to finish a fight, there is one strike that seems to be underutilized at times and that is a perfectly placed uppercut. We can all agree that a perfectly timed uppercut can alter the fight for any man or women who lands it. These UFC rankings examine the top 5 uppercuts to watch again!

ALSO READ: The 10 Most Haunting Finishes in UFC History

UFC Rankings: Top 5 Uppercuts to Watch Again 

Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson

Even at 40 years old, Mark Hunt still had dynamite in his hands and was known for the power no matter how long the fight went. In the second round of his main event fight with Roy Nelson at UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Nelson in Japan, Nelson ducked and tried to use head movement to avoid strikes from Hunt until The Super Samoan landed a night-ending uppercut that sent Nelson to the canvas, face first and earning a spot in these UFC rankings!

Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson 2

Vitor Belfort’s uppercut vs. Dan Henderson in their rematch is such a great finish. The sneaky uppercut that rocked Henderson was so fast that it had Kenny Florian call it a left hook – so it just goes to show how quick an uppercut can happen and end a fight, and even the replay needs to be played over and over again. Henderson was able to get back to his feet, but the damage was already done and Belfort immediately landed a violent head kick, ending the rematch in his home country of Brazil.

Anthony Johnson vs. Rogerio ‘Lil NogNogueira

This uppercut was pure violence and devastation easily finding a home in these UFC rankings. After a bit of a feeling-out process, Anthony Johnson tagged Rogerio with a strike backing him against the cage. Once Johnson saw that Nogueira was in danger, he begun to land multiple uppercuts before a vicious one sent his opponent slumping to the canvas, putting away one of the famed Nogueira brothers early in the first round. 

Jeremy Stephens vs. Rafael Dos Anjos 

This knockout took place on the Heavyweight fight card at UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar. Once Stephens landed the bomb, it looked like Dos Anjos was sent into orbit, only to be brought back to earth with some vicious ground-and-pound. This uppercut knockout of Rafael Dos Anjos was the first of many Performance of the Night awards for the Lil Heathen.

Junior Dos Santos vs. Fabrício Werdum

This had to be one of the most perfectly timed uppercut knockouts and could easily be on any fan’s top uppercut knockout list. The way Junior Dos Santos planted his feet and fired the uppercut on Fabrício Werdum couldn’t have been more perfectly timed and executed in a debut. This knockout rightfully earned Knockout of the Night at UFC 90 and a spot in these UFC rankings!

It Would Be Easy to Have an Endless List

This list primarily looked at five devastating uppercuts within the UFC, but with so many uppercut finishes throughout the beautiful sport of mixed martial arts, it would be easy to have an endless list.

Here at Overtime Heroics, we would love to hear what uppercut that finished a fight was your favourite – whether it be one of these top five or one of your own, let us know in the comments below!

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Justin Gibbons has had love for MMA and combat sports since UFC 40: Vendetta. To him, mixed martial arts is a true test of someone’s will and drive to be the best, inside and out of the cage. He knows as fans we are lucky to witness these athletes (amateur or pro) because we get to see the hard work and commitment, the drive, and the heart that goes into it. Justin feels he is lucky to be able to do his part by interacting with fans and by getting a chance to tell the fighters’ stories and let the world know who they are.