MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for August: A kick that earned a UFC contract

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best knockouts from August. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for August.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

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The Nominees

Julian Marquez def. Phil Hawes at Dana White’s Contender Series 4

Julian Marquez (6-1) earned his way into the UFC with a crushing knockout of Phil Hawes (4-2) at the Dana White’s Contender Series 4 event.

After an opening round in which both men had some shining moments, Marquez took over in the second, walking forward with strikes and wobbling Hawes before finishing him off with a vicious high kick.

Dustin Ortiz def. Hector Sandoval at UFC Fight Night 114

In less time than it takes most people to tie their shoes, Dustin Ortiz (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) put Hector Sandoval (14-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) to sleep with an offensive outburst as swift as it was brutal.

A counter right hand from Ortiz put Sandoval on his heels, and the followup put him away just 15 seconds into the fight, giving Ortiz the fastest finish in UFC flyweight history.

Humberto Bandenay def. Martin Bravo at UFC Fight Night 114

Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made his UFC debut as a heavy underdog against Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), but he needed only two kicks and 26 seconds to prove the oddsmakers wrong.

A head kick from Bandenay knocked Bravo out cold in the opening minute of the fight. It gave Bravo his first professional loss in a violent upset finish.

Mike Rodriguez def. Jamelle Jones at Dana White’s Contender Series 5

After a cautious start, Jamelle Jones (7-5) was forced to move in and out of range against a taller Mike Rodriguez (9-2). He eventually shot for a takedown that didn’t materialize.

Confident on his feet, Rodriguez launched a flying knee that landed flush, sending Jones to the floor. A few more punches sealed the result, giving Rodriguez a highlight-reel finish and a UFC contract.

Martin Nguyen def. Marat Gafurov via punches at ONE Championship 59

A perfect counter by Martin Nguyen (9-1) ended the undefeated run of Marat Gafurov (15-1), and ONE Championship got a new featherweight champion in the process.

Nguyen saw himself in a rough spot early, but a low kick by Gafurov paved the way for a massive overhand that had the now-ex-champ landing face down on the mat for the brutal stoppage.

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The Winner: Julian Marquez

Marquez ended Dana White’s Contender Series 4 with a bang, laying out Jon Jones training partner Hawes with a head kick to cap off the show.

The fight was over at the 2:20 mark of the second round, when Hawes dropped limp to the canvas with a scary thud.

“I was tired,” Marquez admitted after the fight. “The weight cut yesterday was pretty rough, but I just knew he was going to keep coming. I just knew if I weathered the storm, he would leave an opening, which he did.”

Hawes’ early drive to take the fight down to the mat may have sapped his energy reserves. Marquez proved a tough challenge to take down, and when he hit the mat, he escaped bad positions and returned to his feet. A guillotine attempt had Hawes scrambling not to tap.

At the start of the second round, Marquez landed a combination that badly hurt Hawes and put him on autopilot. A sloppy takedown attempt put Marquez on top, and when Hawes finally managed to escape, he was ready.

The head kick was perfectly timed and provided a highlight-reel finish that brought a UFC contract to Marquez.

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DWCS winner Julian Marquez to make debut vs. Vitor Miranda at UFC on FOX 26

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Julian Marquez’s first opportunity to make a name for himself in the UFC will come in December.

Marquez, who earned a UFC contract earlier this month thanks to Dana White’s Contender Series, will meet veteran Vitor Miranda at UFC on FOX 26 in a middleweight bout. The event, which takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, will air on FOX with prelims on the same channel and UFC Fight Pass.

Marquez’s victory on Episode 4 of DWCS will likely go down as the most impressive of the series’ first season because of how it ended and who it came against. Marquez dominated Jon Jones training partner Phil Hawes before knocking him out with a thunderous head kick to earn his contract.

Marquez will enter his fight against Miranda on a four-fight winning streak, which has occurred in a span of 15 months.

Miranda will come in on the heels of back-to-back losses, the most recent via unanimous decision in June against Martin Vettori at UFC Fight Night 112.

For more on UFC on FOX 26, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

DWCS 4's Julian Marquez scored a thunderous KO – here's the moment he got a UFC contract

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5528654219001
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LAS VEGAS – So, you’ve gone out there and won a fight at a Dana White’s Contender Series event. Now what? As it turns out, the nervousness isn’t over.

Each Tuesday during the weekly UFC Fight Pass-streamed event series, five fights take place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas, and they feature UFC hopefuls – with both up-and-comers and vets hoping to hold on to the dream. However, not everyone is guaranteed a UFC contract, even with a victory.

On Tuesday, at Dana White’s Contender Series 4, five winners – Julian Marquez, Kyler Phillips, Carlos Candelario, Brandon Davis and John Castaneda – gathered backstage to await their fate, and MMAjunkie was there to capture the anxiety-filled moments and eventual verdicts.

That anxiety eventually turned into jubilation; two fighters – Marquez and Davis – were awarded UFC contacts for their victories. Marquez earned one of the most memorable knockouts of the series so far – against Jon Jones training partner Phil Hawes – while Davis gutted out a brutal battle with Davis.

Watch the video above to see the moment the fighters were informed they’d been selected for UFC contract offers. Check below to see White’s explanation of why (via Twitter):

For complete coverage of Dana White’s Contender Series 4, visit the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

DWCS 4's Julian Marquez on that viral head-kick KO: 'He didn't go down all nice and easy'

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5528602864001
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LAS VEGAS – Julian Marquez made the most of his time at Dana White’s Contender Series 4, where he scored a massive knockout, but he almost didn’t get there.

Marquez (6-1) earned his way into the UFC with a crushing knockout of middleweight Phil Hawes (4-2) on Tuesday. It was the featured bout of Dana White’s Contender Series 4, which took place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Marquez said he envisioned this exact scenario – winning the fight and getting a UFC contract – but he had a few hurdles. Chief among them? His weight cut.

“If you would have seen me – if I released the pictures of me cutting weight last night – you guys would definitely laugh and be like, ‘Holy (expletive),’” the former LFA/Bellator/Combate Americas fighter told MMAjunkie. “I lost a good amount.

“I was the last person in the sauna. And actually, I was lucky enough to get an extension because they said they opened up an hour early. I was there at 5 a.m. At 4:50, no one was there, and it was down to the wire, but I made the weight, and now I’m here.”

The 27-year-old ultimately connected on a head-kick KO that had social media buzzing (via Twitter):

After Hawes attempted a takedown, Marquez said he made his opponent pay on the next one.

“On the second takedown, I pushed him up against the cage, and I saw the same thing,” he said. “So I backed up and waited to let him get up, and I just let the kick go, and it just so happened to find his chin.”

And the aftermath?

“It felt amazing,” he said. “It was a shocker. I hope he heals fast. It was a pretty nasty blow. He didn’t go down all nice and easy. He went down pretty hard.”

Check out the full post-fight interview above.

And for more on Dana White’s Contender Series 4, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Video: The sound of this devastating high-kick finish at DWCS 4 is guaranteed to make you cringe

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5528621949001
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Julian Marquez (6-1) earned his way into the UFC with a crushing knockout of Phil Hawes (4-2), and you need to see – and hear – the finish.

After an opening round in which both men had some shining moments, Marquez took over in the second, walking forward with strikes and wobbling Hawes before finishing him off with a vicious high kick in the featured bout of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 4 event.

The middleweight contest served as the featured bout of the event at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. As with all Dana White’s Contender Series events, the card streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Marquez was later awarded a UFC contract for his efforts.

To get a full rundown of the night’s bouts, check out our Dana White’s Contender Series 4 results post. In the meantime, relive Marquez’s knockout in all its glory.

For additional coverage of DWCS 4, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 4 results: Julian Marquez KOs Jon Jones training partner Phil Hawes

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Julian Marquez ended Dana White’s Contender Series 4 with a bang, laying out Jon Jones training partner Phil Hawes with a head kick to cap off the show..

Dana White’s Contender Series 4 took place Tuesday at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. The card streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

The fight was over at the 2:20 mark of the second round when Hawes dropped limp to the canvas with a scary thud.

“I was tired,” Marquez admitted after the fight. “The weight cut yesterday was pretty rough, but I just knew he was going to keep coming. I just knew if I weathered the storm, he would leave an opening, which he did.”

Hawes’ early drive to take the fight down to the mat may have sapped his energy reserves. Marquez proved a tough challenge to take down, and when he hit the mat, he escaped bad positions and returned to his feet. A guillotine attempt had Hawes scrambling not to tap.

At the start of the second, Marquez landed a combination that badly hurt Hawes and put him on auto pilot. A sloppy takedown attempt put Marquez on top, and when Hawes finally managed to escape, he was ready.

The head kick was perfectly timed and provided a highlight-reel finish that brought UFC contract to Marquez (6-1), who’s won his past four. Hawes (4-2), an early flameout on “The Ultimate Fighter 23,” now has dropped two straight.

Phillips quickly stops shooting Gray

Bantamweight Kyler Phillips picked up the first stoppage win of the night with a quick TKO of James Gray.

An early takedown attempt from Gray (4-2) was countered by elbows from Phillips (5-0), who pounded away with punches before returning for a hammerfist to close it out just 46 seconds into the opening frame.

“I did not want to do jiu-jitsu,” Phillips said of his win.” “I want to be exciting and get that KO. This organization, we’ve got to make money, so I’m here to do crazy kicks and crazy punches. I’ll put everybody out.”

Candelario’s damage counters Candido for decision nod

Carlos Candelario survived a last-minute submission scare from jiu-jitsu specialist Ronaldo Candido to take home a unanimous decision.

The final scores were all 29-28 for the unbeaten Candelario, who refused to cede positions on the mat and repaid Candido’s takedown attempts with consistent damage.

“He had me in that last round a little bit, but I knew I won that fight,” Candelario said.

All three rounds followed a consistent pattern. Candido fought his way into a takedown and threatened a choke. But on each occasion, Candelario scrambled to safety and then pounded away with elbows and punches.

Candido (6-1), a jiu-jitsu coach of Jose Aldo, gamely pressed the action late and earned a huge slam in the final round. With Candelario (7-0) fading, he advanced to mount position and wrapped the head for a guillotine choke. When Candelario made his neck scarce, elbows opened up an arm-triangle attempt. The attempts led to a tense minute but no tap from Candelario.

Blood-and-guts thriller sees Davis edge Arnett

After three rounds, featherweights Brandon Davis and Austin Arnett were spattered with Arnett’s blood. They traded smiles and hundreds of punches in an all-out slugfest.

Davis, the busier and more effective fighter, emerged with a unanimous decision via scores of 30-27, 30-26 and 29-28 and also earned the only other UFC contract of the night. Arnett, sporting a forehead gash that flowed freely, never capitulated and kept swinging until the final bell.

“That’s every fight – sign me,” Davis said afterward. “I promise you.”

Arnett’s powerful straight right was stymied by Davis’ head movement and aggressive combinations. Then an elbow split him open after he banked on a guillotine and missed in the second round. The ensuing blood was the third opponent in the cage as Davis tried to open it with spinning attacks.

Two rounds took some of the verve out of Davis’ (8-2) pace, but he managed to hold off as Arnett (15-3) landed several power shots to the body and head. The decision was his seventh straight win, while Arnett lost his first bout in three years and 13 fights.

Castaneda gets unanimous nod over Leialoha

Bantamweight John Castaneda’s last-minute rally tipped the scores in his favor against Max Holloway training partner Cheyden Leialoha.

After trading takedowns and kicks with Leialoha, Castaneda put his opponent on the mat late in the third and made a statement with a back mount and ground control.

“I’ve never been this tired in a fight, so it’s just going to motivate me to never be this tired again,” he said afterward.

Judges unanimously scored it 29-28 for Castaneda (14-2), who picked up his ninth straight win, and did so after Leialoha (6-1) cut him with an elbow on the mat in the first. With blood running into his eye, he charged back in the second by countering Leialoha’s aggressive striking, and then won a key takedown for his final push.

The official Dana White’s Contender Series 4 results:

  • Julian Marquez def. Phil Hawes via KO (head kick) – Round 2, 2:20
  • Kyler Phillips def. James Gray via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:46
  • Carlos Candelario def. Ronaldo Candido via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Brandon Davis def. Austin Arnett via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)
  • John Castaneda def. Cheyden Leialoha via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

For complete coverage of Dana White’s Contender Series 4, visit the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 4 lineup revealed, includes Phil Hawes vs. Julian Marquez

The lineup for the fourth edition of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” has been revealed, and a prospect long considered an octagon-worthy talent is among those vying for a UFC contract.

UFC official today revealed the five fights that will be featured at Dana White’s Contender Series 4, which takes place Aug. 1 at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streams live on UFC Fight Pass. The featured bout takes place in the middleweight division, with Phil Hawes (4-1) facing Julian Marquez (5-1).

Additional matchups includes bantamweights James Gray (4-1) vs. Kyler Phillips (4-0), flyweights Carlos Candelario (6-0) vs. Ronaldo Candido (6-0), featherweights Austin Arnett (14-2) vs. Brandon Davis (7-2) and bantamweights John Castaneda (13-2) vs. Cheyden Leialoha (6-0).

Long considered a top prospect, Hawes has struggled to break into the national spotlight. After turning pro in February 2014, Hawes rattled off four stoppage victories to open his career but most recently suffered a July 2016 loss to Louis Taylor under the WSOF banner. Hawes now return to action following a year on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, “The Cuban Missile Crisis” Marquez turned pro just three months after Hawes and has earned victories in five of his first six contests. All five of his victories have come by way of stoppage, including four in the first round. Meanwhile, Marquez’s lone loss came by way of decision in a preliminary bout at Bellator 150 in February 2016. He’s since bounced back with three consecutive wins.

The Dana White’s Contender Series 4 lineup includes:

  • Phil Hawes vs. Julian Marquez
  • James Gray vs. Kyler Phillips
  • Carlos Candelario vs. Ronaldo Candido
  • Austin Arnett vs. Brandon Davis
  • John Castaneda vs. Cheyden Leialoha

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 4, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie