3 of the best head kick knockouts in UFC history

Watch three of the best head kick knockouts the UFC has ever had.
Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm
Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm / PAUL CROCK/GettyImages

Head-kick knockouts are always exciting. There's something to be said about putting someone's lights out with your foot. The UFC has had many and many of those have been jaw-dropping moments. But these three are some of my personal favs in terms of optics, technique and significance.

1. Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort - UFC 126, February 2011

The visual of this kick is one of the most viral and iconic images in UFC history. The fight took place on Saturday, Feb. 5 in the main event of UFC 126. The fight took place in Las Vegas when the UFC was still holding fights at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Belfort was initially scheduled to fight Yushin Okami at UFC 122 but that was scrapped and he was moved to the title fight, as challenger Anderson Silva. This fight had been previously booked for UFC 108 the year prior but Silva was injured and the bout was called off, it was rescheduled for for UFC 109 and that was called off as well.

The front kick to the face from Silva came at 3:25 seconds in the very first round and shocked everyone watching around the world. The moment earned Silva a Knockout of the Night bonus for his efforts. It was the first frontkick knockout in UFC history. Silva retained his UFC title.

2. Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm - UFC 193, November 2015

This fight still might be the most iconic no-way-it-could-happen moment in UFC history. Up until Nov. 14, 2015, Ronda Rousey had never been beaten. She was unbeatable in many people's eyes. That was until Holly Holm came along. The pair met in the main event at UFC 193 which took place in Melbourne, Australia.

The initial main event of the night was supposed to be Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit but a thumb injury forced the bout off the card and Rousey vs. Holm into the spotlight. It was clear early on that Rousey was in trouble when she wasn't able to land her iconic armbar and ended round two coming off the first losing round of her career. Then Holm landed a brutal headkick that dropped Rousey and essentially ended her career (she was never the same after that).

Rousey and Holm won Fight of the Night honors and Holm earned a Knockout of the Night to boot. This still goes down as one of the biggest upsets of UFC history.

3. Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2 - UFC 278, August 2022

Though this one doesn't hold as much historical significance as the Rousey KO or as much visual significance as the Belfort knockout .... this one might be the most brutal.

Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards faced off in the main event of UFC 278. The Aug. 20, 2022 event took place in Salt Lake City and was a rematch of their December 2015 fight (Usman won). Usman was the champion now and a dominant one at that. He was looking to be one just seconds away from retiaining is title yet again when BAM. The headkick from Edwards landed with just 56 seconds remaining putting Usman out cold.

Edwards won the Performance of the Night bonus, and he also won their trilogy fight which took place the following year.


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