Fast finishes are a crucial part of MMA as they can completely change the course of a fighter’s career. A fast finish can be defined as a fight that ends in less than a minute or a quick knockout that leaves the opponent incapacitated. These finishes often occur when fighters are able to land clean, decisive blows that end the fight before it has a chance to go the distance.
Fast finishes are important because they not only allow fighters to save energy and avoid unnecessary damage, but they also enable fighters to quickly move up the rankings and gain more recognition within the MMA community. In addition, fast finishes can also have a significant impact on the morale of the fighter’s team and can give them a psychological edge over their future opponents.
The top fastest finishes in MMA history are a testament to the importance of fast finishes. While these finishes are undoubtedly impressive, they are also a testament to the skill and precision of the fighters who were able to execute them.
UFC 239: Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren (5 seconds)
The welterweight bout between Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019, was highly anticipated as both fighters had a lot on the line. Masvidal was a veteran of the sport and known for his striking skills, while Askren was an undefeated wrestler with a reputation for trash talking.
As soon as the fight began, Masvidal sprinted across the Octagon and launched a flying knee that connected with Askren’s head, knocking him unconscious and ending the fight in just five seconds. The spectacular knockout quickly became one of the most memorable moments in UFC history.
The impact of the fight on Masvidal’s career was immense, as it not only earned him a Performance of the Night bonus but also propelled him to new heights of fame and popularity. Masvidal went on to win the BMF (Baddest Mother F*****) title in his next fight and became one of the most sought-after fighters in the UFC.
The loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 was a major setback for Ben Askren’s career. It was his first defeat in MMA and it came in devastating fashion with a flying knee knockout just five seconds into the fight. The loss also ended Askren’s undefeated record and dashed his hopes of potentially challenging for the welterweight title. Despite the setback, Askren continued to compete in the UFC, but he suffered another loss in his next fight against Demian Maia. Askren retired from MMA in November 2019 with a professional record of 19 wins and 2 losses, and a legacy as one of the most dominant wrestlers to ever compete in the sport.
UFC 16: Tank Abbott vs Steve Nelmark (8 seconds)
The 8-second knockout at UFC 16 was a historic moment in MMA history, as it remains one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history. The fight took place on March 13, 1998, at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana, USA, and featured a heavyweight bout between UFC veteran Tank Abbott and newcomer Steve Nelmark.
Before the fight, Tank Abbott was a well-known figure in the UFC, having competed in several high-profile bouts and earning a reputation as a fearsome striker. Steve Nelmark, on the other hand, was a relatively unknown fighter making his UFC debut, with a record of 3-1 in regional promotions.
The fight began with both fighters coming out aggressively, but it was Tank Abbott who landed the decisive blow. He threw a wild right hand that connected with Nelmark’s jaw, instantly knocking him out cold. The referee quickly stepped in to stop the fight, and Abbott was declared the winner by knockout in just 8 seconds.
It further solidified Abbott’s reputation as one of the most feared strikers in the UFC. He went on to compete in several more high-profile bouts, including a memorable showdown with former UFC champion Vitor Belfort at UFC 13. However, his career eventually stalled, and he retired from MMA in 2013 with a record of 10-15.
Although Steve Nelmark experienced a setback after the loss, he persevered and continued to participate in regional MMA events for a few more years. He ultimately retired from the sport in 2002, with a record of 4-3.
World Series of Fighting 5: Derrick Mehmen vs Rolles Gracie (9 seconds)
The World Series of Fighting 5 bout between Derrick Mehmen and Rolles Gracie on September 14, 2013, was a fight that ended almost as quickly as it began. The heavyweight bout saw Mehmen, a former Bellator fighter with a record of 15-5, take on Rolles Gracie, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and member of the famous Gracie family.
Gracie was coming into the fight with a record of 8-2, having previously fought in promotions such as the UFC and Strikeforce. However, the fight would not go his way, as Mehmen quickly took control. The fight began with both fighters looking to find their range, but it was Mehmen who landed a devastating right hand that sent Gracie crashing to the canvas.
Mehmen quickly followed up with ground and pound, prompting the referee to step in and stop the fight just nine seconds into the first round. The result was a stunning upset, as Gracie was considered by many to be the favourite heading into the bout.
The fight helped establish Mehmen as a legitimate heavyweight contender. He went on to compete in several more high-profile bouts in the World Series of Fighting, including victories over former UFC fighter Dave Huckaba and former Bellator champion Alexander Volkov. However, he retired from MMA in 2018 with a record of 20-10.
Although the loss to Mehmen was a setback for Gracie, he did not let it deter him from continuing to compete in both MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions. Gracie’s talent and skills as a grappler helped him to rebound from the loss, and he has since amassed a record of 9 wins and 4 losses in MMA. As of 2021, Gracie remains an active competitor and continues to demonstrate his mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in various competitions.
Bellator 242: Romero Cotton vs Justin Sumter (10 seconds)
The 10-second knockout at Bellator 242 was a stunning moment in MMA history, as it remains one of the fastest knockouts in Bellator history. The fight took place on July 24, 2020, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA, and featured a middleweight bout between Romero Cotton and Justin Sumter.
Romero Cotton was a rising star in Bellator, with a record of 4-0 heading into the fight. He was a two-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion and had made a successful transition to MMA. Justin Sumter, on the other hand, was a veteran fighter with a record of 7-3 in regional promotions, making his Bellator debut.
The fight began with both fighters coming out aggressively, but it was Cotton who landed the decisive blow. He threw a powerful right hand that connected with Sumter’s jaw, instantly knocking him out cold. The referee quickly stepped in to stop the fight, and Cotton was declared the winner by knockout in just 10 seconds.
The fight helped establish Cotton as a top prospect in the middleweight division. He went on to compete in several more high-profile bouts in Bellator, including a victory over former UFC fighter Jason Butcher. However, his career was temporarily stalled due to injury, but he is expected to return to the Bellator cage soon.
Despite the loss, Sumter showed great resilience and continued to compete in various regional promotions after the fight. As of 2021, he holds a record of 8 wins and 6 losses. While the loss to Cotton may have been a setback, Sumter’s determination to keep fighting and improving is a testament to his commitment to the sport of MMA.
UFC Fight Night 96: John Lineker and John Dodson (13 seconds)
The fight took place on October 1, 2016, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, USA, and featured a bantamweight bout between John Lineker and John Dodson.
John Lineker was a heavy-handed striker with a record of 28-7 heading into the fight. He was known for his aggressive style and knockout power, having finished 13 of his previous 28 wins by knockout. John Dodson, on the other hand, was a former UFC flyweight title challenger with a record of 18-7. He was known for his speed and quickness, having previously defeated the likes of Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw.
The fight began with both fighters coming out aggressively, but it was Lineker who landed the decisive blow. He threw a powerful left hook that connected with Dodson’s jaw, instantly knocking him out cold. The referee quickly stepped in to stop the fight, and Lineker was declared the winner by knockout in just 13 seconds.
The win established Lineker as a top contender in the bantamweight division, and he went on to compete in several more high-profile fights in the UFC. However, Lineker’s career was plagued by weight cutting issues, which led to several missed weight cuts and forced him to move up to the featherweight division. Despite his impressive record and fighting style, he was eventually released by the UFC in 2020.
Dodson has continued to compete in the UFC and has since moved up to the bantamweight division. Although he has had mixed success in the division, Dodson remains a skilled and respected fighter in the MMA community.
UFC 102: Todd Duffee vs Tim Hague (14 seconds)
One of the fastest finishes in UFC history occurred at UFC 102 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on August 29, 2009. The fight featured a heavyweight bout between Todd Duffee and Tim Hague, both relatively unknown fighters at the time.
Duffee came into the fight with a record of 4-0 and was known for his powerful striking and athleticism. Hague, on the other hand, had a record of 10-1 and was a veteran of the Canadian MMA scene.
The fight began with both fighters looking to establish their range, but it was Duffee who landed a thunderous right hand that sent Hague crashing to the mat. Duffee quickly followed up with ground and pound, prompting the referee to step in and stop the fight just 14 seconds into the first round.
The fight helped establish Duffee as a rising star in the heavyweight division. He went on to compete in several more high-profile bouts in the UFC, including a victory over Mike Russow. However, his career was derailed by injuries and he was released from the UFC in 2015.
Hague continued to compete in MMA for several more years. Tragically, Hague passed away in 2017 following a boxing match in Canada.
ONE Championship: Total Victory: Alain Ngalani and Mahmoud Hassan (31 seconds)
The fight between Alain Ngalani and Mahmoud Hassan at ONE Championship: Total Victory in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 16, 2017, was a historic moment in MMA history. The fight lasted only 6 seconds, making it the fastest knockout in ONE Championship history and one of the fastest finishes in MMA history.
Before the fight, Alain Ngalani was a highly regarded heavyweight fighter known for his impressive striking skills and explosive power. He had a record of 3-3, with all of his wins coming via knockout or TKO. Mahmoud Hassan was a newcomer to the ONE Championship promotion, having previously competed in various promotions in the Middle East. He had a record of 3-4, with two of his wins coming via knockout or TKO.
The fight began with both fighters coming out aggressively, but it was Ngalani who landed the decisive blow. He threw a spinning heel kick that connected with Hassan’s face, instantly knocking him out cold. The referee quickly stepped in to stop the fight, and Ngalani was declared the winner by knockout.
The fight solidified Ngalani’s status as one of the most exciting fighters in the heavyweight division. He went on to win his next fight at ONE Championship: Hero’s Dream against Hideki Sekine, but has since faced mixed results in his subsequent bouts.
Despite the loss, Hassan didn’t let it hinder his MMA career as he continued to compete in various promotions in the Middle East. He went on to build an impressive record with several knockout victories, establishing himself as a dangerous striker in the region.
Some of the common themes and patterns that can be observed in these fast finishes include the use of powerful strikes such as punches, elbows, and knees, as well as the exploitation of weaknesses in the opponent’s defences. Additionally, these fast finishes often occur in the early rounds of a fight, when both fighters are fresh and still trying to establish their rhythm.
Every fight has the potential to make or break a fighter’s career. Whether it’s a victory that propels them to the top of the division or a devastating loss that sends them back to the drawing board, each fight is an opportunity to prove oneself in the world of mixed martial arts. The fighters mentioned in this article all experienced setbacks in their careers, but they each found a way to keep pushing forward and achieve success in their own way. It’s a testament to their resilience and dedication to the sport that they were able to overcome the challenges they faced and leave a lasting impact on the world of MMA.