Top 10 nasty MMA knockouts of 2013

Chris Weidman (red gloves) and Anderson Silva (blue gloves) made our top 10, but it was for their...

Chris Weidman (red gloves) and Anderson Silva (blue gloves) made our top 10, but it was for their first bout, when Silva got punished for playing around. (REUTERS)

NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET

No matter how slick a submission may be, there's something primal about a knockout that every human can connect with and understand.

It takes a certain amount of education and training to recognize the proper angle and hip positioning required to finish an armbar. Yet, people inherently know that if a punch lands in the right spot, a fighter can be rendered unconscious.

Given the diverse skill set required to compete in mixed martial arts at a high level, fight-ending strikes can come from all different angles and occur in the blink of an eye.

Here are 2013's top knockouts.

10. LIMA-SAUNDERS

Having suffered a vicious KO loss against Douglas (The Phenom) Lima in 2011, Ben (Killa B) Saunders attempted to even the score at Bellator 100 in September.

Let's just say things turned out even worse for the UFC veteran.

After almost finishing Saunders with an uppercut earlier in the bout, Lima uncorked a left hook to the liver and followed up with a brutal high kick to send his American Top Team teammate into dreamland.

9. PETTIS-CERRONE

Speaking of body blows, no liver shot in 2013 was more vicious than Anthony (Showtime) Pettis' finish of Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone at UFC on FOX 6 last January.

After attempting a series of flashy strikes normally seen only in video games -- a cartwheel kick and leaping knee off the fence -- Pettis blasted Cerrone's body with a powerful kick. The strike caused Cerrone to immediately crumble to the mat in agony.

8. NEWTON-LAWAL

Arguably the most-watched Bellator highlight of 2013, Emanuel (Hardcore Kid) Newton instantly made a name for himself by dispatching Muhammed (King Mo) Lawal with a sneaky spinning back-fist this past February.

Newton then stuck it Lawal once again in November, winning a lopsided unanimous decision at Bellator 106.

7. MEHMEN-GRACIE

Anyone who grew up watching pro-wrestling in the '80s and '90s is no doubt familiar with Ric Flair's 'Flair Flop.' September's WSOF 5 card proved that if life can't always imitate art, there's at least sports-entertainment to fall back on.

After getting cracked by an overhand right courtesy of Derrick (Caveman) Mehmen, Rolles Gracie took a leisurely stroll across the cage before collapsing to the mat.

6. JDS-HUNT

Mark (The Super Samoan) Hunt has long been on the list of elite chins in combat sports.

Some of his absurd jaw-related accomplishments include taking a full-blast high kick from Mirko Filipovic without even flinching and getting away with dropping his hands in K-1 fights against both Jerome Le Banner and Ray Sefo.

However, Hunt's toughness could only get him so far at UFC 160 in May. With less than a minute left on the clock in a wild slugfest, Junior (Cigano) dos Santos unleashed a destructive spinning heel kick to add yet another KO to the Brazilian's already impressive highlight reel.

5. BROWNE-OVEREEM

Few fighters have been able to survive a full on assault from Alistair (Demolition Man) Overeem.

Not only did Travis (Hapa) Browne weather an early storm of knees and punches from the 2010 K-1 world grand prix winner at UFC Fight Night 26 in August, he immediately turned the tables with a front kick to the face.

Browne then pounced on the prone Overeem to score a massive TKO win.

4. MACHIDA-WOOD

Brother to former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, Chinzo Machida proved knockouts run in the family.

At RFA 11 in November, Chinzo finished Brian Wood with a flying knee so violent it left MMA legend and commentator Pat Miletich gobsmacked.

3. BELFORT-ROCKHOLD

For years, Vitor (The Phenom) Belfort had been labeled one of the most dangerous punchers in MMA.

In 2013, he not only turned heads, but proceeded to kick them straight off his opponents' shoulders.

The Brazilian scored consecutive high-kick KOs over Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson. However, his spinning heel kick win over Rockhold at UFC on FOX 8 in May stands as his personal best for 2013.

2. SILVA-OVEREEM

Poor Overeem.

Though the dangerous striker is normally on the delivering end of highlight-reel knockouts, he appears twice on this list as a victim.

Down two rounds against Overeem at UFC 156 in February, Antonio (Bigfoot) Silva immediately began throwing heavy leather at the beginning of the third. With the former Strikeforce champ wounded, Silva went in for the kill and sealed the deal with a flurry of punches for the spectacular comeback victory.

1. WEIDMAN-SILVA

Though there were flashier knockouts in 2013, none carried more weight than Chris (All-American) Weidman's stunning left hook against Anderson (The Spider) Silva at UFC 162 in July

Not only did Weidman dish out some satisfying instant karma when the Brazilian dropped his hands and attempted to dodge punches with head movement alone, it marked the end of Silva's almost seven-year reign as UFC middleweight champion.


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