Just In MMA Junkie’s ‘Knockout of the Month’ for August: A stunning upset on four days’ notice MMA Life

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With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best knockouts from August 2019: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for August.

At the end of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

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The Nominees

Nasrat Haqparast def. Joaquim Silva at UFC on ESPN 5

Nasrat Haqparast (11-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) made a statement when he knocked out Joaquim Silva (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) to push his winning streak to three fights and improve his standing a lightweight on the rise.

After getting his groove in the contest over the first round, Haqparast came out sharp in the second frame. The Afghan fighter quickly clobbered Silva with a series of fight-ending blows, much to the elation of UFC legend Georges St-Pierre, who was in his corner.

Khama Worthy def. Devonte Smith at UFC 241

Octagon newcomer Khama Worthy (15-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC) got his first crack at the octagon as a replacement on just four days’ notice. He was fighting friend Devonte Smith (10-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) as the biggest betting underdog on the biggest card of the year so far, not it mattered not.

Worthy proved that – training camp or not – he is a dangerous man. He showed good sportsmanship toward his buddy Smith in the opening minutes of the fight, but when an opening arrived to connect with a punch, he was all over it. His power dropped and stopped Smith, completing Worthy’s fairytale UFC debut.

Kai Asakura def. Kyoji Horiguchi at Rizin FF 18

After putting together 12-straight wins, Rizin and Bellator bantamweight champ Kyoji Horiguchi (28-3) was sensationally finished by surging bantamweight contender Kai Asakura (13-1) in just over one minute in a non-title affair.

Asakura looked to walk down Horiguchi from the opening bell and, after a few feints, connected with a big right hand that sent Horiguchi staggering backward. Horiguchi tried to recover, but Asakura kept the pressure on and, after backing Horiguchi across the ring into the opposite corner, connected cleanly with another big right hand to drop the champion to the canvas and finish the fight.

Vitaly Minakov def. Tim Johnson at Bellator 225

After a last-minute change to the card resulted in a new co-main event, ex-Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov (22-1 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) made Tim Johnson (12-6 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) pay for stepping up to fight him with a knockout victory.

Minakov finished Johnson with a vicious knockout at the 1:45 mark of the opening round, not long after landing a pair of hard slams. Minakov connected with a kick to the body, a straight right, then a brutal one-two combination that turned out Johnson’s lights – and had him on the canvas for several minutes afterward.

Weili Zhang def. Jessica Andrade at UFC on ESPN+ 15

Weili Zhang (20-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) wasted no time on her way to UFC history and set off pandemonium among the fans in her home country with a scintillating 42-second TKO of Jessica Andrade (20-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC).

Zhang took out Andrade in a one-sided manner when a barrage of punches, kicks, elbows and knees rocked the Brazilian en route to winning the women’s strawweight title in front of her home fans in China. The win made her the first Chinese champion in UFC history.

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The Winner: Khama Worthy

Displays of sportsmanship are nice in MMA, but sometimes they’re annoying. Full-fledged hugs are a bit too much in the middle of a fistfight.

That said, you couldn’t blame Worthy and Smith for a smile and a high-five. After all, they’ve been friends and training partners before they’d stepped into the octagon against each other.

And yet, some of the folks at the Honda Center weren’t having it. They booed the display.

Critics shut up fast, though, when Worthy sent Smith to the canvas with a perfectly placed left hook seconds later. Worthy was so amped, he hopped out of the octagon and did a full lap around the apron.

Worthy, nicknamed “The Death Star,” had good reason to be excited. Just three weeks earlier, he’d been fighting his way through the regional MMA wilderness. Smith, he said afterward, had lifted him up by reposting a recent third-round KO victory.

As it turns out, that tape got him hired to fight his friend – on four days’ notice. The two didn’t appear thrilled about the idea but said they would put friendship aside and get to business.

Afterward, Worthy gave his younger friend mad props and said he would bounce back stronger.

“But I’m 33, and I need to get paid now,” Worthy said. “That was the first knockout of the night. Can I get $ 50,000?”


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