MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for September: A prospect shows what he can do

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

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

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The Nominees

Mairbek Taisumov def. Felipe Silva at UFC Fight Night 115

After nearly 17 months away from competition, Mairbek Taisumov (27-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC) returned with an incredible finish, needing just one shot to hand Felipe Silva (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) his first loss in their lightweight clash.

A few exchanges from both men showed their skills before Taisumov landed an absolute stunner. With Silva charging forward with a combination, Taisumov slipped a big right and landed one of is own directly on the button, face-planting his opponent in a devastating one-punch finish.

Alex Lohore def. Nathan Jones at BAMMA 31

Alex Lohore (13-1) needed less than a round to destroy Nathan Jones (11-6) and win the BAMMA welterweight championship. After staggering his opponent with some strikes, Lohore’s pressure forced Jones into a sloppy, telegraphed takedown attempt.

That was the last move Jones would make. He was greeted by a perfectly timed knee from Lohore that slumped his limp body against the canvas.

Kamaru Usman def. Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night 116

Kamaru Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) scored the biggest win of his burgeoning career, devastating Sergio Moraes (12-3-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) with a crushing blow for a sixth consecutive victory to start his UFC welterweight tenure.

Usman was on point from the start, wobbling Moraes with a low kick and then dropping him briefly with a right hand. Unsurprisingly, Usman refused to follow to the floor, and Moraes crawled back to his feet and looked to brawl. Haymakers followed, but Usman slipped well and scored a beautiful finish with a destructive straight right to the chin. Moraes crashed to the canvas, and Usman landed one hammerfist to an already vanquished foe.

Sabina Mazo def. Linsey Williams at LFA 23

Five months after a vicious head-kick knockout earned Sabina Mazo (4-0) viral backing, she repeated the feat with another crushing kick, this time against Linsey Williams (0-2).

Mazo used another high kick to the dome to score another first-round knockout. This time, it was a finish of Williams, who was left sprawled out on the canvas after Mazo’s right foot whipped up and caught her flush on the chin.

Instagram Photo

Aaron Pico def. Justin Linn via punch at Bellator 183

Want to make people forget about your embarrassing debut? Send your next opponent crashing to the canvas. Aaron Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) did just that.

Things didn’t quite go as planned for Pico’s coming out party in June. But they couldn’t have gone any better for his follow up, because Pico manhandled Justin Linn (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) on the mat before a perfectly placed left hook knocked his opponent out cold.

Instagram Photo

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The Winner: Aaron Pico

Pico’s second Bellator fight went much better than his first. Not only did he win at Bellator 183, but he picked up a highlight-reel knockout in the opening round.

Pico, who was competing just a few days shy of his 21st birthday at the event, knocked Linn out cold with a picture-perfect left hook at the 3:45 mark of Round 1, giving him the first victory of his MMA career.

After going into his debut fight as arguably the most hyped prospect in the sport’s history, Pico stumbled badly in the form of a 24-second submission loss to Zach Freeman at Bellator NYC in June. Pico kept his head held high after the stunning defeat and bounced back with a much better performance against Linn.

After a brief standup exchange, Pico shot for a takedown on Linn and got it with ease. They stayed on the ground for a short while before Pico stood up and the action returned to the feet, and from there it got really good.

Pico stood toe-to-toe with Linn, eating some hard shots in the process. He waited for his moment to strike with the fight-ending shot, and when it arrived, he planted a mean left hook to the chin of his opponent. Linn went down in a heap, and Pico celebrated the ideal birthday moment.

“I’m really happy right now – really happy,” Pico said in his post-fight interview. “It’s a proud moment to get my first victory, something I’ll always remember on my 21st birthday.”

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Head-kick queen Sabina Mazo wants more experience in LFA before moving on to UFC

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Her blistering recent displays might have gotten you excited for what’s next, but Sabina Mazo says hold off on calls for stage upgrades.

The numbers alone show that Mazo boasts an undefeated, but somewhat shy record of four professional MMA bouts. But the “how many” isn’t the key here, as much as the “how.” In her last two outings, both under the LFA banner, Mazo dispatched her opponents in the first round with highlight-reel head-kick knockouts.

Given there have been fighters who made it to the octagon with less buzz – and the fact that the UFC is currently starting to build its women’s flyweight roster – it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine the “Colombian Queen” making the transition to the big stage soon.

But after dispatching Linsey Williams (1-2) at last week’s LFA 23, Mazo (4-0) says not so fast.

“I want to gain more experience and be a little more prepared (before) making another step,” Mazo told MMAjunkie Radio. “Because I feel all right in this moment. I feel like it’s the moment where I can change a lot of things in my game.

“And I still don’t feel, like, ready to step to the UFC (and) make the difference. Not just being a good fighter, but really making the difference between all of them.”

While no one can blame a fighter for making the step up in competition – and, consequently, in pay – by migrating to big players like the UFC or Bellator, there’s also something commendable about Mazo’s decision to keep honing her skills before jumping into the shark tank.

But even as she makes her way up, the Kings MMA fighter is already getting to enjoy a bit of fame that a lot of her peers don’t. Both of her vicious head-kick knockouts gained some viral traction, which meant some serious attention for the 20-year-old – both in her current home in the U.S. and in her native Colombia.

While for some the added eyeballs can prove to be a bit much, Mazo welcomes the chance to prove just how far she’s come.

“They’re super happy (in Colombia),” Mazo said. “A lot of people didn’t really believe in me. They were kind of thinking I was crazy, because the sport is not as popular as it is over here in the United States. So, you know, a lot of people were like, ‘I mean, she is good, but.’

“But they didn’t believe I had a future in this. So it really makes me happy that I can prove a lot of people that really didn’t think I could do it. It’s just the beginning. And I’m really proud I can really show everyone – not only in Colombia, but all over the world that we can do it.”

As for how these head-kicks keep coming by? Well, it requires some studying and analyzing of her opponent’s movement. It requires some patience. But, at the end of the day, there’s this other thing.

“It just comes naturally, you know,” Mazo said.

To hear more from Mazo, check out the video above.

And for more on upcoming MMA schedule, check out the MMA Rumorssection of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Sabina Mazo, Marlon Vera, Joshua Medley, Jason Buchamer

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Radio, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Sabina Mazo, Marlon Vera, Joshua Medley and Jason Buchamer.

Up-and-comer fighter Mazo picked up another dazzling head-kick knockout win at LFA 23. Vera, a UFC bantamweight, is our in-studio guest host. Medley is the promoter of Knockout Promotions. “Jason the Intern” recaps the latest episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 26.”

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 23 highlights: Sabina Mazo strikes again with another nasty head kick KO

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos

A pair of titles were on the line Friday night at LFA 23, but it was Sabina Mazo who stole the show again.

Mazo (4-0) picked up her second straight first-round head-kick knockout when she took out Linsey Williams (0-2) to continue building her name in the women’s flyweight division.

The fight took place at LFA 23, which aired on AXS TV from Bossier City Casino Hotel in Louisiana.

In the main event, James Nakashima (8-0) took the welterweight title from Derrick Krantz (20-10) with a split decision in a fight plagued by an eye poke and low blow that Krantz’s corner said contributed to the loss.

In the co-feature, women’s flyweight champion Andrea Lee (8-2) defended her belt with a second-round submission of Jamie Thorton (4-4). In addition, check out Peter Stanonik’s (5-2) second-round knockout of Kendrick Williams (1-1).

Check out all the highlights above.

For more on LFA 23, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Viral sensation Sabina Mazo delivers another stunning high-kick knockout

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured, Videos

Five months after a vicious head-kick KO earned Sabina Mazo viral backing, she has repeated the feat.

Mazo (4-0) used another high kick to the dome to score another first-round knockout. This time, it was a finish of Linsey Williams (0-2) at LFA 23, which took place Friday at Bossier City Hotel Casino & Hotel in Louisiana and aired on AXS TV.

Mazo, just 20, is a Colombian native who made her professional debut in 2015, picking up a pair of decision wins on the international scene. She came to LFA in April and has quickly picked up a pair of knockout wins via her now-signature strike.

Check out video of the previous knockout below.

For more on LFA 23, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Why tonight's LFA 23 title headliner could be a '5-round blistering, bloody slugfest'

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We’ve got two grapplers in tonight’s LFA 23 main event, and one of them knows it could produce a perhaps-unexpected result.

Reigning welterweight champion Derrick Krantz (20-9) meet challenger James Nakashima (7-0) in the AXS TV-televised main event at Bossier City Hotel Casino & Hotel in Bossier, La.

Krantz, who’s on a 6-1 run, won the inaugural belt with a second-round TKO win over Ben Neumann. However, his preference is to grapple – something Nakashima also reverts to.

“Down to heart, we’re both grapplers,” Krantz told AXS TV’s Phoenix Carnevale. “In that aspect, it’s going to look to be a good fight. Since we’re great grapplers, we might cancel each other out.

“You might see a five-round blistering, bloody slugfest. Hopefully not, though.”

So, what’s the ideal scenario? It’s neither grappling nor a drawn-out battle, according to Krantz.

“I prefer for me to go out there and hit him with the first punch, and he just falls down and calls it quits,” he joked. “But he doesn’t look like the type of guy who will do that.”

Nakashima certainly knows durability. He’s never lost or been finished – but he’s also never finished an opponent. All seven of the 28-year-old RFA vet’s wins have come via decision.

Tonight, he want a belt – and a stoppage win. And he’s channeling the likes of Pat Miletich, Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor to mentally prepare for it.

“Absolutely (I want the finish),” he said. “And if the finish doesn’t come, I want me to continue to elevate the fight for the 25 minutes.”

Check out the full interviews above.

And for more on LFA 23, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

LFA 23 is live on AXS TV tonight at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT). Make sure to tweet along using #LFA23. AXS TV airs new, live fights almost every Friday night in 2017. Find AXS TV on your TV right here: www.axs.tv/fights.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA champ Andrea Lee returns tonight at LFA 23, but why isn't she on 'TUF 26'?

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Officials say 14 fighters – 14! – turned down a fight tonight with LFA champ Andrea Lee. So why didn’t she just take a slot on “The Ultimate Fighter 26”?

Lee (7-2), the inaugural and reigning LFA women’s flyweight champion, co-headlines tonight’s LFA 23 event against challenger Jamie Morton (4-3), which airs on AXS TV from Bossier City Hotel Casino & Hotel in Bossier, La.

Morton has lost two straight – she was on the receiving end of a brutal Sabina Mazo head-kick KO earlier this year – but she was willing to fight Lee when so many others apparently weren’t.

So why didn’t Lee take a spot on the cast of “TUF 26,” the latest installment of the UFC’s long-running reality series – one that crowns the UFC’s first 125-pound female champion and would guarantee the 28-year-old “KGB” would have no trouble securing matchups?

“Well, I chose not to do it,” she told AXS TV’s Phoenix Carnevale.

More specifically, an injury and an aversion to reality TV also factored in to her decision.

“At the time, I had a back injury, and I just thought that it was probably better for me not to go to the ‘TUF’ house,” Lee said. “I felt like I was already established enough that I didn’t need the ‘TUF’ house to get me into the UFC.

” … I’m scheduled to fight again for (Invicta FC) before the end of the year, and I’m looking forward to that. So hopefully at the beginning of next year y’all will see me in the UFC. Who knows?”

Of course, sharing a house with 15 or so other fighters and possible opponents – on reality TV – wasn’t exactly a selling point either.

“Not my thing,” Lee said. ” … I think I need my time, and I need my space to prepare and get mentally ready for all of my fights.”

As for Morton, who’s likely to be a significant underdog when the odds open today, she simply wouldn’t pass up an opportunity so many others did.

“In this MMA game, you can not be afraid,” she said. “It’s sad that everybody missed a great opportunity. This is a wonderful opportunity – win, lose or draw – because I get to fight an awesome competitor, and I get my name out there too. So all of those other girls? They lost an awesome opportunity.”

Check out the full interviews above.

And for more on LFA 23, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

(Photo credit: Mike Jackson of mikethetruth.com)

LFA 23 is live on AXS TV tonight at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT). Make sure to tweet along using #LFA23. AXS TV airs new, live fights almost every Friday night in 2017. Find AXS TV on your TV right here: www.axs.tv/fights.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Why Sabina Mazo has so much buzz heading into Friday's LFA 23 return

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

What a difference a highlight-reel knockout makes.

Colombia’s Sabina Mazo entered an LFA 9 meeting with Jamie Thorton in April as a promising but largely unknown flyweight face. Thanks to one beautiful head kick, however, she comes into Friday’s LFA 23 event with some newfound recognition as the author of one of the most talked-about knockouts of the year.

LFA 23 takes place at Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel Casino & Hotel in Bossier City, La. The main card, headlined by 170-pound champ Derrick Krantz vs. challenger James Nakashima, airs on AXS TV.

The 20-year-old Mazo moved to California less than two years ago looking to focus on her MMA career under Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA. While she’s only three fights into her pro run, Mazo fed her competitive nature by taking part in muay Thai, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu tournaments throughout South America before.

“I love to compete,” Mazo said before her last LFA outing. “I was born for that, so boxing, jiu-jitsu, everything and MMA. It’s everything.”

Ahead of Friday’s meeting with Linsey Williams (0-1), check out the footage of Mazo (3-0) honing her well-rounded game Rocky style, at both the beach and Kings MMA’s headquarters.

And for more on LFA 23, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie