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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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

ONE Championship's Michael Schiavello says Friday's main event features move 'more epic than the Ronda Rousey armbar'

Michael Schiavello may have upped sticks and left Las Vegas for Melbourne, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard the last of the exuberant Aussie commentator at MMA events. Far from it, in fact.

Schiavello recently inked a long-term deal with Singapore-based ONE Championship to be the promotion’s main play-by-play man, and after making his promotional debut at the company’s last event, “ONE: Kings and Conquerors,” the man known as “The Voice” is set to work again on Friday when he calls the action at “ONE: Quest for Greatness” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chatting to MMAjunkie ahead of the event, Schiavello was typically pumped ahead of what looks set to be another exciting night of fights at Stadium Negara, as featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (15-0) looks to extend his perfect record when he puts his title on the line against Martin Nguyen (8-1).

“We’ve got two Aussies on the card, so I’m thrilled about that,” Schiavello enthused. “We’ve got Reece McLaren, who almost beat (current ONE bantamweight champion) Bibiano Fernandes when they fought. He broke Bibiano’s nose. He lost by decision, but he’s only 25 years old, and he’s an absolute gun. He could be the future bantamweight champion, but he needs a big win here in Kuala Lumpur to get himself back onto that quest for another title shot.

“And we’ve also got Martin Nguyen. He’s from Sydney and they call him ‘The SituAsian’, which I think is one of the best nicknames in MMA. He fought (current ONE featherweight champion) Gafurov last time for the title, but he only did so on very short notice and he got beaten in 41 seconds. Now he’s had a full camp to prepare. You know he’s going to be a completely different martial artist to what we saw last time against Gafurov. The Aussie could pull off what would be an upset here.”

But in order to score that marquee win, Nguyen will have to unseat current champ Gafurov, whose remarkable run of identical finishes has captured the imagination of ONE Championship fans ahead of the clash. It’s a prospect that has Schiavello fascinated ahead of Friday night’s main event.

“Can Gafurov continue this crazy run of his where he just slaps on a rear-naked choke on everybody he meets and just taps them out?” Schiavello asked. “The last six wins in a row for Gafurov have all been via rear-naked choke. I don’t think that’s ever happened in the history of martial arts. So he’s going for seven rear-naked chokes in a row, which is unbelievable. That’s more epic than the Ronda Rousey armbar. That’s crazy!

Ev Ting is also on that card from New Zealand. I’m looking forward to seeing him. Agilan Thani’s back in action – he lost to Ben Askren last time out, so he’s in pursuit of another shot at the championship. So for this show, ‘Quest for Greatness’ is a very apt name, because you’ve got a lot of guys who are on that title radar and that’s their quest, that’s the path they’re on. They’re looking for gold at the end of the tunnel, that’s what they’re aspiring towards. But they’ve got to get past Kuala Lumpur first, then that title contention is going to get really serious.

“Stadium Negara is an arena I’ve always wanted to commentate in. There’s been so many big acts that have performed there and so many fights that have taken place there – the World Tae kwon do Championships, and the likes of Kylie Minogue, Bon Jovi and Kanye West – and to be sitting in that arena calling ‘Quest for Greatness’ is going to be something surreal.”

“ONE: Quest for Greatness” streams live on Friday via online pay-per-view.

For more on ONE Championship 59, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Simon Head is a freelance sports writer and MMA reporter. You can also find his work at mma365.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie