30 of the best MMA knockouts of all time [UPDATED AUGUST 2023]

Nothing gets the blood of an MMA fan going quite like a good knockout ... so here are 30 of our favorites.
UFC 239 Masvidal v Askren
UFC 239 Masvidal v Askren / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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16. Shonie Carter crushes Matt Serra with a spinning backfist

From UFC 31 – Locked & Loaded - 2001

Any time you have the first knockout of it’s kind in a combat sport, it deserves a shoutout on a top knockouts list.

Particularly when you do it against a future champion and a pioneer of the sport, it becomes spectacular.

If you can recall back to 2001, Carter was getting his tail handed to him by Serra. Serra had controlled the majority of the fight on the ground, and was really sticking it to Carter for the first two frames.

Then, like a bat out of hell, with nine seconds to go in the fight, Carter throws a front kick and couples it with a spinning backfist that cracked Serra on the side of the dome. Serra looks like he got hit with a baseball bat, and Carter gets an unsuspecting miraculous victory that makes it to No. 16 on our list.

The spinning backfist, while a very powerful strike, is one that leaves the back of your head exposed. It takes a truly fast and smart fighter to be able to throw it successfully, and that’s exactly what Carter did.

Whether Carter deserved to win the fight is irrelevant, because he earned the victory with a perfectly timed strike. There’s a bit of luck involved, but you need to have the guts to spin yourself around against a ground wizard-like Serra.