Midway through 2023, MMA fans have already been treated to a handful of spectacular finishes inside the cage. From broken bones to settled scores, we have seen some jaw-dropping knockouts across the first half of the year. While some of them were about cementing legacies, others were standout statements made by an up-and-coming sensation.
Let’s take a look at the five top MMA knockouts this year so far.
5. Patchy Mix vs. Raufeon Stots - Bellator 295
The Bellator 295 headliner saw Patchy Mix obliterate interim champion Raufeon Stots to win the bantamweight grand prix and capture the belt.
All Mix needed was less than 2 minutes to land the knockout knee flush on Stots’ chin. No follow-up shots were needed, as Stots went down flat on the canvas, losing his title and the $1 million prize money in the process.
After the victory, Mix revealed that he had been practicing the knee strike that dropped Stots at the 1:20 mark of the opening round.
“People think I’m just a ground guy. I just knocked out 19-1 Raufeon Stots in a minute with my backside knee. I’ve been working that for months. I knew he dipped, and I knew I could catch him,” Mix said in his post-fight interview with John McCarthy.
Stots was expected to have a striking advantage in the contest, especially after the stellar head kick that knocked Juan Archuleta out on the opening night of the Grand Prix last April. However, Mix successfully
Mix, 29, looked invincible throughout the tournament, first defeating former champion Kyoji Horiguchi by a dominant decision and then choking out Magomed Magomedov with a guillotine. The first-round win will likely secure Patchy Mix a chance to unify the belt against Sergio Pettis, who ran through Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire in June after a hiatus over a torn ACL.