The elbow knockout in MMA is one of, if not the most spectacular knockouts you can ever witness in the cage. The technical ability and precision required to score an elbow knockout cannot be understated. The timing has to be perfect, the technique sound, and the power — devastating.
Because elbow knockouts are so hard to time and land, they often come out of seemingly nowhere and are a shock to fans when it happens. This is why it’s arguably the most exciting kind of knockout that exists.
Fortunately, there have been a handful of fighters who have scored some epic elbow knockouts throughout history. These electric performances are a beauty and very exciting to look back on.
While this list is not extensive and definitely subjective, we’ve come up with a few elbow knockouts worth rewatching.
Today, Evolve Daily shares the top five elbow knockouts in MMA history.
1) Yair Rodriguez vs. Chan Sung Jung (UFC Fight Night 139)
Mexican featherweight sensation Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez pulled off arguably the greatest elbow knockout of all time when he stopped “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night 139 in November 2018.
What made this knockout special was that it came out of thin air and materialized at the very last second, separating Chan from his senses at the 4:59 mark of the fifth and final round. It is without a doubt the greatest standing elbow knockout in UFC history.
Rodriguez was perceivably trailing on the judges’ scorecards up until that point. And he probably could not have perceived it would end the way it did. The elbow was more of a Hail Mary shot if anything, which is why it came as a complete shock to fans watching in attendance.
2) Anderson Silva vs. Tony Fryklund (Cage Rage 16)
The legendary Anderson “The Spider” Silva is no doubt one of the most lethal strikers in MMA history. He had such a diverse offensive repertoire, even early on in his career, and fans always knew they were watching something special.
Silva pulled off a thrilling elbow knockout at Cage Rage 16 before he even made it to the UFC. He stopped a game but overmatched Tony Fryklund in the first round.
Fryklund came into the fight looking to evade “The Spider’s” awesome power. But Silva used his expert timing and precision to pepper Fryklund with strikes from the outside. In the clinch, where Silva is arguably the most dangerous, the Brazilian dynamo caught Fryklund with a sharp standing reverse elbow on the inside.
It is widely considered by many to be one of the most devastating elbow knockouts in MMA history.
3) Tai Tuivasa vs. Derrick Lewis (UFC 271)
It’s always incredible when two talented heavyweights go at it. Two behemoths trading strikes in the middle of the cage is such an awesome sight to see, and the fight between Australia’s Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa and the United States’ Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis at UFC 271 was no different.
True to expectations, Tuivasa and Lewis put on an absolute show, and the two blasted each other with heavy shots from the very first round.
Early in the fight, Lewis was getting the better of the exchanges, and seemed to land the more damaging blows. But Tuivasa stayed right in front of him all night, firing back every chance he got.
Tuivasa had Lewis reeling in the second round, but much to fans’ dismay, the Australian engaged in a clinch exchange instead of finishing the big Texan. This would have been a huge mistake if it were not for Tuivasa’s insane inside elbow that turned the lights out on “The Black Beast.”
There’s just something about huge heavyweights delivering concussive knockout blows that really gets the adrenaline going.
4) Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz (UFC on Fuel 4)
When Chris Weidman made his UFC debut, he was thought of as more of a wrestler than anything else. Even though he had a steadily improving striking game, “The All-American” was never considered a knockout machine. That changed with Weidman’s destructive elbow knockout of Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel 4.
Taking on a man known as “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” was certainly no easy task. Munoz himself was a decorated and highly skilled wrestler, so not surprisingly, the two engaged in a grappling battle.
With Weidman ahead in the first round, Munoz felt the urge to push the pace in the second round in order to shift the momentum. That turned out to be the Filipino-American’s downfall.
Weidman caught Munoz coming in with a quick and deadly standing elbow that connected cleanly on “The Filipino Wrecking Machine.” A dazed Munoz fell to the canvas and Weidman finished the demolition job.
5) Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Gabriel Gonzaga II (UFC Fight Night 64)
Legendary Croatian sensation Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was known for his thudding head kicks, which he had used to great effect in his nearly-two-decade long career. But when he met Brazilian star, Gabriel Gonzaga, at UFC 70 in 2007, he was given a taste of his own medicine.
To make a long story short, Gonzaga finished “Cro Cop” with a head kick. However, in the rematch eight years later, “Cro Cop” finally got his revenge.
“Cro Cop” experienced a career resurgence, and fought Gonzaga again at UFC Fight Night 64. With his back up against the cage fence, “Cro Cop” caught Gonzaga with a vicious left elbow across the temple, staggering “Napao” who crashed to the canvas.
The Croatian finished the Brazilian off with ground and pound, continuing to land punches and elbows until the fight was stopped.
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