With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best knockouts from April 2021: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for April.

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

Nominee: Paul Capaldo def. Chris Vasil at CFFC 95

Paul Capaldo (6-0) put together some art inside the cage when he laid out Chris Vasil (4-2) with a beautiful spinning knockout.

Capaldo put Vasil’s lights out in the third round of their featherweight bout, timing and placing a perfect spinning back kick to the chin. It doesn’t get much cleaner than what Capaldo produced, and it was nothing short of spectacular.

Nominee: Adriano Moraes def. Demetrious Johnson at ONE on TNT I

ONE Championship flyweight titleholder Adriano Moraes (19-3) became the first man to ever score a stoppage win over former UFC champ Demetrious Johnson (30-4-1).

In the second round, Moraes snuck in a crisp two-punch combination against an advancing opponent that sent him crashing to the floor. Moraes took advantage of a stunned opponent, scoring a legal knee to a downed foe that sent “Mighty Mouse” flinging backward and in prime position to eat a few follow-up shots that closed out the show.

Nominee: Roland Dunlap def. Obinwa Ikebunna at LFA 104

There are terrifying finishes, and then there’s what Roland Dunlap (2-0) did to Obinwa Ikebunna (2-2) in their middleweight bout.

Late in the opening stanza, Dunlap went for a level change and managed to wrap his arms around Ikebunna’s hips. From there, Dunlap lifted Ikebunna off the ground, flipping him upside down and dropped him hard onto the canvas. The velocity of the slam was evident upon impact, as Ikebunna was out cold. He ate three unnecessary elbows before the referee could intervene, and Dunlap left the victor.

Nominee: Rose Namajunas def. Zhang Weili at UFC 261

Rose Namajunas (10-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) made history at Zhang Weili’s (21-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) expense when she became the first female in UFC history to reclaim a title she’s previously lost.

The now two-time UFC strawweight champ Namajunas dethroned Weili with a head kick in the first round of their championship fight. She needed just 78 seconds to get the job done, landing some crisp shots in the opening moments before a perfectly placed kick snuck through Weili’s defensive guard and dropped her, setting up the stoppage.

Nominee: Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261

Kamaru Usman’s (19-1 MMA, 14-0 UFC) fourth UFC welterweight title defense was his most spectacular yet, as he put a definitive bow on his rivalry with Jorge Masvidal (35-14 MMA, 12-7 UFC).

Usman became the first fighter since 2009 to stop Masvidal with strikes. After a somewhat competitive first round, “The Nigerian Nightmare” went to his flourishing striking skills and loaded up on an absolute bomb of a ring hand that caught Masvidal clean across the chin and turned his lights out for a finish no one predicted coming in.

The winner

The winner: Kamaru Usman

In a rematch against one of his biggest rivals, Usman knocked out Masvidal with a violent overhand right to retain his championship.

Masvidal came out firing with leg kicks in Round 1, to which Usman returned with overhand rights. While the fight remained on the feet in the opening minutes, a Masvidal knee attempt opened up the door for Usman to take the fight to the ground with a slam.

With the crowd thoroughly behind him, Masvidal rose to his feet to the delight of the crowd. Once back in the center, Masvidal landed his best shots of the fight – a punch and a knee.

In Round 2, both fighters opened up. Masvidal oozed confidence, but it was Usman who had the last laugh. A massive overhand right from Usman put Masvidal down. From there, only a few follow-up hammerfists were needed for referee Herb Dean to step in at the 1:02 mark.

With the victory, Usman extended his winning streak to 18 straight – a stretch that extends before his UFC debut. His 14 straight wins to open his UFC career are second only to Anderson Silva’s 16. Since he dethroned Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in March 2019, Usman has successfully defended his 170-pound title four times, with none better than his finish at UFC 261.

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