With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best knockouts from August 2020. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for August.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.
Nominee: Vicente Luque def. Randy Brown at UFC on ESPN+ 31
Vicente Luque (18-7-1 MMA, 11-3 UFC) got out to a fast start in the first round, then stayed patient when Randy Brown (12-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) tried to turn things around in the second. That patience culminated with a stoppage with just four seconds left in the middle frame.
Luque’s heavy leg kicks slowed down Brown in the first, and the Brazilian used that opportunity to pepper in big shots with his hands. Halfway through the first, a right hand sent Brown to the canvas. Brown rallied in the second, and he landed a spinning elbow and a takedown. But once Luque was back to his feet, he connected with a knee with Brown against the cage and a flurry of ground-and-pound wrapped things up late in the round.
THE SILENT ASSASSIN! 🤫@VicenteLuqueMMA‘s KO shots are UNREAL.
📺 The co-main is next on E+ pic.twitter.com/k9RqY7J2rE
— UFC (@ufc) August 2, 2020
Nominee: Andrew Sanchez def. Wellington Turman at UFC on ESPN+ 32
It had been more than a minute since “TUF 23” winner Andrew Sanchez (12-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) had a knockout win. He had to go back to his RFA middleweight title win in 2015 to find a KO on his resume until he got in the cage with Wellington Turman (16-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC). cold in the opening round of their UFC on ESPN+ 32 preliminary card bout.
Sanchez dropped Turman with a wicked right hand that put him on the mat. His follow-up shot put Turman’s lights out to give the Missouri native his third win in his past four fights.
WOOOOW!! What a finish by @ElDirteSanchez!! #UFCVegas6 pic.twitter.com/nOrzKNG6DP
— UFC (@ufc) August 8, 2020
Nominee: Kevin Holland def. Joaquin Buckley at UFC on ESPN+ 32
Kevin Holland (18-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) had his UFC on ESPN+ 31 fight taken away at the last minute, but made the most of his opportunity a week later at UFC on ESPN+ 32. Holland took out short-notice UFC newcomer Joaquin Buckley (10-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with authority.
Holland landed a massive straight right hand that put Buckley on the canvas. And seeing his opponent was done for, Holland held back from exacting any additional damage to allow the referee to step in. It was Holland’s second straight knockout win.
Nominee: Beneil Dariush def. Scott Holtzman at UFC on ESPN+ 32
Beneil Dariush (19-4-1 MMA, 13-4-1 UFC) continued his rise up the lightweight ladder with a killer spinning backfist knockout of Scott Holtzman (14-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) late in the first round. It was only the eighth spinning backfist win in UFC history.
After accidental eye pokes from each fighter slowed things early, Dariush came out of the second timeout in a hurry. A flurry had Holtzman looking for a defensive takedown. But when he adjusted following Dariush’s scramble and looked to come forward, he walked right into Dariush’s backfist for the knockout with 22 seconds left in the opening round.
OH MY GOODNESS! @BeneilDariush w/ the spinning back fist! #UFCVegas6 on E+ pic.twitter.com/ahMwbRJkbM
— UFC (@ufc) August 9, 2020
The Winner: Beneil Dariush
Dariush’s epic spinning backfist KO snapped Holtzman’s modest two-fight winning streak and gave Dariush four straight stoppage wins in his current five-fight winning streak.
Ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 32, Dariush’s three previous finishes all took home $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus awards. But for UFC on ESPN+ 32, he was not eligible for a bonus because he missed weight – which was a first for him in more than six and a half years in the UFC.
Dariush apologized for his weight infraction in his post-fight news conference and even suggested to UFC president Dana White that if he would have wound up with a performance bonus – and it’s pretty safe to say he would have – had he made weight, that the UFC should give that bonus money to Holtzman. But that chivalry didn’t pan out for Holtzman, whose three previous career losses, all in the UFC, were by decision.
Dariush moved his winning streak to five in the lightweight division and said after his win over Holtzman he’s not going to beg for big fights anymore. He’s now No. 15 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA lightweight rankings and has an Oct. 3 fight booked against Charles Oliveira.
“I sat with (matchmaker) Sean Shelby and we had to go through the whole list and he had to tell me why and I felt like I was sitting there begging,” Dariush said. “I’m good, man. If they want a fight, they can come call me. I’m going to be champ sooner or later, but I’m not begging anymore.”