With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best knockouts from January 2023: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s Knockout of the Month award for January.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.
Nominee: Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Claudio Ribeiro at UFC Fight Night 217
Abdul Razak Alhassan (12-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) tried to mix things up early with some wrestling, but ultimately, his crushing power led to another early finis against Claudio Ribeiro (10-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
Alhassan took on the debuting Ribeiro in a middleweight bout that promised to produce a violent finish. It did, because Alhassan connected with some big punches. Ribeiro was stunned, and Alhassan poured on the pressure to score the knockout from crushing right hands to end it in the second round.
The power from @JudoRazak is UNSTOPPABLE 💥💥💥 #UFCVegas67 pic.twitter.com/32rZkD9lSB
— UFC (@ufc) January 14, 2023
Nominee: Umar Nurmagomedov def. Raoni Barcelos at UFC Fight Night 217
Umar Nurmagomedov (16-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) remained undefeated and took the next step as a UFC bantamweight contender with a brutal knockout over Raoni Barcelos (17-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC).
After stepping in with a kick to the body, Nurmagomedov followed through with a crisp left hook that caught Barcelos clean on the jaw, sending him crashing to the mat. Barcelos was completely out on the way down, and Nurmagomedov landed a couple of hammerfists before the referee stepped in.
OUT. OF. NOWHERE!!!!!!!
[ @UNmgdv | #UFCVegas67 | Live on ESPN+ ] pic.twitter.com/yxQSPU4lQG
— UFC (@ufc) January 15, 2023
Nominee: Ismael Bonfim def. Terrance McKinney at UFC 283
The moment the fight began, it was clear Ismael Bonfim (19-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) wasn’t there to roll over for Terrance McKinney (13-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in their lightweight bout.
As it became clear he was starting to take over going into the second round, cageside commentator Paul Felder noted how amazing Bonfim looked in the fight, then he uncorked a brutal flying knee strike that face-planted McKinney and put him to sleep.
Ismael Bonfim’s flying knee is the early clubhouse leader for Knockout of the Year. 😳#UFC283 results: https://t.co/DY2bEBW8n3 pic.twitter.com/osBSLIW00I
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) January 22, 2023
The winner: Ismael Bonfim
Bonfim shined when the lights were brightest.
In his promotional debut, Bonfim served up a ridiculous flying knee, which knocked McKinney unconscious on the preliminary card at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The official time of the stoppage came at 2:17 of Round 2.
Bonfim, 27, impressed on Dana White’s Contender Series in September and carried that momentum into his first UFC bout. In Round 1, Bonfim showed off slick striking as he tagged McKinney on multiple occasions. McKinney hung tough and ended up on top when the fight hit the ground, but couldn’t muster up much offense.
In Round 2, Bonfim continued to pull away. After he knocked McKinney’s mouthpiece out with a punch, Bonfim leaped and landed a switch knee that drilled McKinney directly in the chin. McKinney was out on his feet and crashed awkwardly to the canvas on his neck.
When Bruce Buffer read the decision, McKinney was up and moving under his own power.
Bonfim’s victory marked his 13th in a row.