MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for November: Which KO led an insane month?

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

Tywan Claxton def. Jonny Bonilla-Bowman at Bellator 186

Tywan Claxton (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) recently secured a frontrunner for “Knockout of the Year” honors, but his reaction to it was rather simple: “The fight’s over, and I’ve got all of my teeth.”

Claxton blasted fellow featherweight Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman (1-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a flying knee – one that seemed to glide halfway across the cage – before the knockout video quickly went viral.

Instagram Photo

Ricardo Ramos def. Aiemann Zahabi at UFC 217

In a close fight, Ricardo Ramos (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) fell back on a technique he tried earlier – and got it to land for an emphatic knockout win that will be on highlight reels for a long time to come.

Ramos brutally knocked out Aiemann Zahabi (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) with a spinning back elbow in the third round of the bantamweight bout. The thunderous finish knocked Zahabi from the ranks of the unbeaten and came as Zahabi was unleashing combinations on Ramos against the fence.

Ovince Saint Preux def. Corey Anderson at UFC 217

Ovince Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC) had trouble with Corey Anderson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) through the first two and half rounds of their UFC 217 affair, perhaps owed to the fact he took the fight on less than two weeks’ notice.

But in the third, when it looked like he could be on his way to a momentum-halting decision loss, Saint Preux planted Anderson with a wicked head-kick knockout less than 90 seconds into the third round of the light heavyweight bout.

Matt Brown def. Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120

It didn’t go as long as some might have hoped, but it delivered everything one might expect, as Matt Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) was almost finished but came back to score a first-round knockout of Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC).

After being stunned with a kick, “The Immortal” caught Sanchez’s next shot and threw a pinpoint right elbow over the top that landed flush to the head and sent Sanchez crashing to the floor. There would be no need for a follow-up blow after the highlight-reel walk-off.

Instagram Photo

Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter at UFC Fight Night 121

With a leaping right knee, Tai Tuivasa (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) announced his arrival to the UFC’s heavyweight division against Rashad Coulter (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

Tuivasa took out Coulter with a first-round knockout in his promotional debut, getting the stoppage with 25 seconds left in the first round. It was another first-round knockout for “Bam Bam” Tuivasa, who has finished every opponent thus far.

Instagram Photo

* * * *

The Winner: Tywan Claxton

Tywan Claxton

Claxton’s professional MMA debut was one to remember.

Just short of 90 seconds into his Bellator 186 fight with featherweight Bonilla-Bowman, “Speedy” rushed in, leaped in the air, reached for Bonilla-Bowman’s head for a Thai plum, and threw a massive flying left knee – all at the same time.

Bonilla-Bowman was out cold on the canvas. It took him nearly two minutes to get to his stool, and he needed help getting out of the cage.

Claxton, who had a lengthy undefeated amateur run before turning pro for his Bellator 186 bout, hopes his buzzy win leads to bigger opportunities. He wants a big-name opponent, such as James Gallagher.

He said he also tried to troll Bellator top prospect Aaron Pico into a fight by sending a “gift” to his gym.

“Look, the thing with Pico is, if you send a man tampons to his gym and he doesn’t respond, you can’t say too much more because then you become a bully, and I’m not big on being a bully,” Claxton said. “So, I kind of backed off the Aaron Pico situation.

“If he ever wants to fight and prove his manhood, then let’s do it. If he doesn’t want to fight, I’m not going to pressure him to fight me. It kind of is what it is with him. I just thought that he was getting the hype, and I told him that was my hype, and I was going to take it.”

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Source: MMA Junkie

Not retired? Then Siyar Bahadurzada wants Matt Brown (but don't bring the kids)

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Dann StuppIf Matt Brown isn’t going to retire just yet, at least one fellow welterweight is willing to give him a fight.

Siyar Bahadurzada (23-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC), a fellow hard-hitting knockout artist, today issued a challenge to Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC), who picked up a vicious first-round knockout victory over fellow vet Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) in this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 122 co-headliner.

Prior to Saturday’s bout, which aired on FS1 from Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., Brown suggested it could be his last fight, though he backed off the retirement plans after the fight.

“I’ve definitely had more people tell me not to retire than to retire,” Brown, who was on a 1-5 skid prior to the win, said after the event. “But nobody other than me and my family really has any bearing on that – and close friends. So I’m not even going to allow anybody else’s opinions to get into my mind like that.”

Bahadurzada, though, is doing his best to goad “Immortal” into a fight. Here’s his Twitter callout, which isn’t exactly a polite one:

“Hey @IamTheImmortal if you’re still fighting, take some rest and let’s fight end of January or early February. I’ll give you a proper goodbye from the sport. Don’t bring your wife and kids to the fight this time. You’re a smart man. You know what I mean!#YouWillBeUnimmortalized”

Bahadurzada, a 33-year-old vet who joined the UFC in 2012, recently returned from an 18-month layoff and scored a TKO win over Rob Wilkinson in September. Bahadurzada, a longtime welterweight, fought at middleweight for the bout, which marked his second straight win.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out 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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Matt Brown's win, Diego Sanchez's loss, and a conflict as old as the fight game

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History told us what was going to happen when Matt Brown met Diego Sanchez in UFC Fight Night 120’s co-main event on Saturday. Not just in the fight itself, but in everything that came after.

You take a grizzled old junkyard dog like Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC), up a weight class and in there against a human woodchipper like Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC), who swears it’s his last fight? You look at the knockouts that never used to find their way to Sanchez’s door, but only recently seemed to figure out exactly where he lives. You factor in the chance for Brown to get a finish that might be the finish.

What you have there is a recipe for sudden unconscious that would leave one man in doubt and the other as resolute as ever.

What’s too bad is that each of those post-fight feelings found their way to the wrong man. But then, you knew that would happen too, didn’t you?

Start with Brown, who was offered a fond farewell on a silver platter here. Sanchez doesn’t have the size or power or resiliency for welterweight these days. He also no longer has the quickness or speed that might otherwise be the smaller man’s saving grace. As Brown caught Sanchez’s kick and used it to walk him back into the fence, you could almost see him doing this math in his head.

Then came the elbow, an almost disdainful blow that went arcing down through Sanchez’s hopeless defenses. One was all it took to turn Sanchez upside-down and inside-out. The way Brown lingered over his crumpled body before being shoved away and into his victory celebration, you kind of got the sense that he was wishing it would have required more of him.

So yeah, of course retirement doesn’t sound like such a great idea now. Of course he’s doubting his own decision. Why wouldn’t he?

He felt great out there, man. He had a great training camp. He was fit and focused and determined, which sometimes happens to fighters when they tell themselves it’s the last time they’ll ever have to put themselves through this. Then he went out there and smashed the guy who seemed tailor-made for smashing.

On one hand, what are the odds he’ll ever find a better win to end on? On the other, why quit when you clearly don’t have to yet?

But then you have to ask yourself what it will look like when you have to. And chances are, it’ll look a lot like what’s been going on with Sanchez lately. Not that he is in any way capable of seeing it for what it is.

Sanchez, to the surprise of absolutely no one, was grinning through the scar tissue over on Instagram after his second straight knockout loss, assuring us, “I’m not done.”

“I still have fight in me,” Sanchez wrote.

In a way, you know that’s probably true. Even if he doesn’t have any more wins left in him, he still has the will and the desire to march directly into the cannon fire. That’ll probably be the last thing to go, which is a good way to get yourself badly hurt in this sport.

But what else is he supposed to do? He doesn’t want to go out like that. Plus, while he’s somehow only 35, in terms of chronological age, this has been Sanchez’s life for the last 15 years. He broke into the UFC by winning “The Ultimate Fighter’s” first season, for crying out loud. You think after all that he’s going to, what, go and get a job at a bank?

These are some of the oldest conflicts in the fight game. It’s relatively easy to start this life, especially when you’re young enough that you can’t even imagine ever getting old. It’s stopping that proves to be the hard part, because whether the game tries to spit you out by force or whether it gives you the gentlest push at the end of a last loving embrace, you’re always going to wonder if it has more to offer.

Maybe just one more. And then we’ll see. But yeah, probably one more after that, just to be sure.

Because to even make it this far, you had to build up that brand of stubborn momentum, the kind that’ll carry you crashing through one wall after another – and there are a lot of them in this sport.

You can tell yourself you’re going to slow down gradually. Or you can vow to keep picking up speed. Either way, it’s probably not going to prepare you for the sudden force of that final stop.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Matt Brown after UFC-Norfolk knockout win: Retirement decision can wait until later

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NORFOLK, Va. – The question of whether Matt Brown’s highlight-reel knockout of Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120 will be his last will have to wait to be answered.

Brown isn’t ready to make the call yet, despite announcing that Saturday’s appearance would be his last in the octagon.

“To be honest, I’m not even thinking about it right now,” Brown told MMAjunkie after his FS1-televised win at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. “It’s not even really a thought in my mind. I’m thinking about enjoying tonight, and we’ll talk about it later.”

In the cage after his win, Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) said he would discuss the subject of retirement with friends and family before making a final decision. Until the final weeks prior to the fight, that appeared to be made. But then he walked back his declaration that he would call it a career after his meeting with Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC).

A stellar training camp made Brown reconsider his end date. But there were also plenty of people telling him he shouldn’t hang it up.

“I’ve definitely had more people tell me not to retire than to retire,” Brown said. “But nobody other than me and my family really has any bearing on that – and close friends. So I’m not even going to allow anybody else’s opinions to get into my mind like that.”

Brown’s win not only added another impressive win to his resume. It also snapped a losing skid that likely motivated his decision to give himself one final chance of turning things around.

“Ending (the skid) feels good, but I felt like I needed a finish, because I wasn’t getting the job done, Brown said. “I had to at least show myself that I’m better than I’ve been fighting.”

Now that he’s done that, it’s hard to imagine Brown deciding he’s finished. But that’s a decision he’ll make for himself.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Diego Sanchez after brutal KO loss to Matt Brown at UFC-Norfolk: 'I'm not done yet'

Those pleading for Diego Sanchez to retire after his highlight-reel knockout loss to Matt Brown at UFC Fight Night 120 won’t have their wish granted.

Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC), who suffered a brutal first-round knockout courtesy of a vicious elbow from Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) in Saturday’s FS1-televised welterweight co-headliner at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., said he intends to fight on despite a 3-6 record in his past nine octagon appearances.

“The Nightmare” released an update on social media at the conclusion of the event (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

I love y’all fans hope you guys liked the fight, what can I say but it hurts to let down the family. But that’s the fight game. I still have fight in me I’m not done yet I know that @iamtheimmortal what a classy competitor

Sanchez, who was making his 27th UFC appearance at the event after winning Season 1 of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2005, suffered his third knockout loss in his past four fights. He’d never suffered a true loss due to strikes prior to that, but even his latest streak of results apparently won’t deter him.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 120 bonuses: Yeah, Dustin Poirier got his money

Following his thrilling win over Anthony Pettis at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event, Dustin Poirier shifted his gaze to UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, demanding they award him a $50,000 bonus.

They listened.

Poirier and Pettis were each awarded “Fight of the Night” honors for Saturday’s event, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. Their contest served as the main event of the FS1-broadcast main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, and Poirier took home a third-round TKO.

The headliners weren’t the only fighters to take home an extra check, with both Matt Brown and Rapahel Assuncao also earning an additional $50,000 in the form of “Performance of the Night” awards.

Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) devastated fellow veteran brawler Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) in the night’s co-feature, landing a devastating elbow to score a first-round knockout. Meanwhile, Assuncao (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) picked apart Matthew Lopez (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) for two full rounds before knocking him out in the third.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Matt Brown's UFC-Norfolk KO of Diego Sanchez … that no one saw

Whether it’s his retirement fight or not, Matt Brown got another high moment in his career Saturday when he defeated Diego Sanchez in the UFC Fight Night 120 co-main event.

Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 MMA) flip-flopped on retirement going into the fight, but it didn’t appear to impact his performance because he delivered a vintage performance to defeat “The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) by first-round knockout in the FS1-televised welterweight bout at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Brown’s victory over Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120.

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http://twitter.com/alexvolkanovski/status/929581852846780418

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 120 results: Matt Brown survives near finish, devastates Diego Sanchez

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It didn’t go as long as some might have hoped, but it delivered everything one might expect, as Matt Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) was almost finished but came back to score a first-round knockout of Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC).

The welterweight bout was the co-main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 120 event at Ted Constant Convocation Center on the Old Dominion University campus in Norfolk, Va. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Sanchez sprinted forward at the start and immediately shot inside for a takedown. Brown sprawled well at the fence and looked to drop in a few elbows but wisely focused on position, instead, keeping himself upright. Sanchez eventually had to back away, and the two looked to strike. Sanchez again changed levels, but Brown was able to push him away with no issue. Another takedown attempt came up short shortly after, and Brown seemed in complete control of the positioning.

A firefight followed, and Sanchez landed a beautiful left kick to the liver that saw Brown wince noticeably, but there was no follow-up attack. It was a terrible mistake, as Brown would catch another kick shortly after and back his opponent to the fence. “The Immortal” then threw a pinpoint right elbow over the top that landed flush to the head and sent Sanchez crashing to the floor. There would be no need for a follow-up blow after the highlight-reel walk-off.

Brown, who openly discussed retirement prior to the fight, remained non-committal in his post-fight speech.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 120 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in Norfolk.)

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

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2562 with Matt Brown, Daniel Weichel, Ricky Palacios

Stream or download Thursday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with Matt Brown, Daniel Weichel, Ricky Palacios, and Jason Buchamer.

Brown talked about his fight this Saturday against Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120. Weichel, who faces Patricio Freire on Nov. 16 at Bellator 188, stopped by to talk about the preparation for his featherweight title fight. Palacios talked about Saturday’s Copa Combate tournament he’s participating in. Buchamer called in to recap the latest episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 26.”

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

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

Matt Brown having second thoughts about retirement heading into UFC-Norfolk

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NORFOLK, Va. – Matt Brown is only a couple months removed from telling the world his UFC Fight Night 120 co-main event against Diego Sanchez would be his final walk to the cage.

But with the promise of retirement looming just two days away, Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) isn’t so sure anymore he’s going to want to leave his gloves in the cage after he fights Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC).

“(Retirement is) not really on my mind, to be honest,” Brown today told MMAjunkie after a workout for fans in Norfolk, Va. “I’m focused on Saturday. I’ll revisit that next week (and) over the holidays with family and friends and we’ll figure everything out then.”

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1, including Brown-Sanchez in the welterweight co-feature, following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Brown’s UFC run the past three-plus years has been a rough one, which may have helped motivate his initial announcement that he was going to walk away after the Sanchez fight.

Brown, who will turn 37 in January, has gone just 1-5 his past six fights. After decision losses to former champs Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks, he submitted Tim Means in July 2015. But since then, he’s had three straight stoppage losses to Demian Maia, Jake Ellenberger and Donald Cerrone.

So did he just let his emotions get the best of him and make a hasty announcement when he was having a bad day?

“It was kind of a moment thing,” Brown said. “But at the same time, I think a huge part of it is I’m scared of retirement. I don’t know what I’m going to do – I never gave myself a Plan B. I never gave myself a way out. And that kind of motivates me. I can’t be afraid of something. It could end at any day. I could tear an ACL or have a heart attack. You don’t know. I’ve never been one to back down from things I fear. That’s probably the biggest fear right now – retirement.”

After a head-kick knockout loss to Cerrone at UFC 206 11 months ago, he took nearly a year off with the goal being to figure out what life after fighting was going to be like. But here he is, ready to fight Sanchez, and he still isn’t sure.

Brown said he never fully committed to figuring it out while he was off – though he does know after fighting he’ll want to be a regular around the gym, coaching and training with other fighters.

It may be weeks or months before we know if “The Immortal” truly will be done fighting after he takes on Sanchez, against whom he’s more than a 3-1 favorite.

But Brown said he can’t think about the skid he’s on – even if he does sort of still have the potential for retirement in his peripheral vision.

“The past few fights have not been indicative of what I can actually do,” he said. “I try to just kind of put it out of my mind. I’m approaching this fight like I’ve never fought before and I’m never going to fight again. Just (Saturday) is the only thing on my mind, and I don’t have anything else that’s affecting my mental state at all.”

For more from Brown, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie