With 2 lifelong champions losing their belts within a month, and both to quick knockouts, there was no way VAVEL USA could pick just one for this year's "Knockout of the Year." Therefore, Holly Holm's unexpected KO of the face of women's UFC Ronda Rousey and "The Notorious" Conor McGregor's title fight record 13-second ending of José Aldo are this year's "Knockouts of the Year."
Rousey - Holm - UFC 193
Getting into Rousey's head before the fight, former welterweight boxing champion Holly Holm knew exactly how to defeat "Rowdy": Let her aggressiveness be the fall of her. Rousey looking to finish the fight early, brought the fight to her opponent similar to a lion coming after a gazelle. Big mistake! By being just out of the reach of the bantamweight champion's attacks and utilizing nasty counter punches, which landed flush against Rousey's face, Holm was able to stay upright and rack up a high total of significant strikes.
Additionally, the New Mexico native was able to avoid being close to the cage, aside from defending the clinch, ultimately keeping the fight from becoming a maul-fest on the ground. Eventually though, Rousey would have her way, for Holm surprisingly decided to take the battle to the ground. However, the former Olympian was unable to get her famous arm bar situated leading to an escape by the challenger.
In the final 90 seconds of Round 1, Holm continued to show her patience while blasting Rousey with left hand straights, which in fact, drew blood from the champion. It was the first round Ronda Rousey had ever lost in her UFC career. And ironically, it would lead to the first loss of her professional career.
In the 2nd, Rousey continued to push the pace, which allowed Holm to sit back even more and blast her with haymakers. Furthermore, "Rowdy" was gassed. Seen in Holm easily dodging a left handed hook, Rousey had no momentum and no energy to fight effectively.
Then, the snapshot UFC fans will have stored in their memory banks for the rest of their lives transpired. Holm nailed the champion across the chin with a punch that sent Rousey to her knees before landing a powerful left leg kick that immediately sent stars to Rousey's head as she hit the ground hard. The former boxing champ then added three hammer fists for good measure, provoking referee Herb Dean to step in. "The Preacher Daughter" had done the unthinkable!
Less than a month later, it was Conor McGregor's turn, although it was not an 'unthinkable' result to anyone. In what was pegged as the biggest fight in featherweight history--if not the whole UFC, "The Notorious One" didn't just defeat José Aldo via a knockout, but a 13-second KO that stole away the shortest title fight record from Ronda Rousey (Talk about a bad 30 days for Ronda).
13 seconds? You're kidding right?
Nope! McGregor offered a left hand straight that instantly dropped Aldo. The fight was over! And so is the debate for "Knockouts of the Year."
More VAVEL USA's UFC Year in Review...
December 26 - Fight of the Year (Lawler - MacDonald II)
December 27 - Submission of the Year (Rousey - Zingano)
December 28 - Knockout of the Year (Rousey - Holm & Aldo - McGregor)
December 30 - Soaring to the Top (Luke Rockhold, Holly Holm, & Conor McGregor)