UFC fighters with the best recovery after being knocked down

Take a look at some UFC fighters who we think had great knockdown recovery.
Dec 16, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights Paddy Pimblett (blue gloves)
Dec 16, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights Paddy Pimblett (blue gloves) / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

For any UFC fighter, a knockdown is usually the beginning of the end of a fight because a good follow-up shot can shut your lights out completely. However, some fighters exist to defy MMA math and everything we know about fighting.

Recovery post-knockdown differs from having a granite chin like Chito Vera, Jon Jones, and Max Holloway who are yet to take a knee during their long careers. It requires peak conditioning, cardio, reflexes, fight IQ, and, of course, the heart of a lion, to continue fighting after being stunned due to a clean hit.

So, from Tony Ferguson to Frankie Edgar, these are the UFC fighters who recovered the best following a knockdown.

Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping has been knocked out in his career, but there should be no shame if those losses are against Kelvin Gastelum, Vitor Belfort, and Dan Henderson. As for his recovery post-knockdowns, there are some great examples.

During UFC 186, CB Dollaway knocked down Bisping with a clean left hook with 45 seconds remaining in the first round. Dollaway immediately rushed to end the fight, but Bisping not only avoided any major shots but also got up within 20 seconds. Bisping went on to win the fight via decision.

Although this is more of a testament to Henderson's unreal power, at even 46, he rocked and busted Bisping up in the first round during UFC 204. Follow-up elbows, hammer fists, and whatnot, but Bisping survived. Another knockdown came in the second round with a minute left. Bisping didn’t go out and bagged a rather controversial decision win.

Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier had a spectacular chin which isn’t talked about enough. On top of that, a couple of fights proved how quickly he could recover after a knockdown.

Anthony "Rumble: Johnson, out of all people hit Cormier with a clean right during their UFC 187 bout and it would have knocked the lights out of most fighters on the roster. Cormier recovered in seconds and managed to take Johnson's back which definitely changed the momentum.

Cormier took many scary punches in subsequent rounds but finally became the UFC light heavyweight champion in the third round.

Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson hasn't been the same since losing to Justin Gaethje in 2020. But let’s talk about prime Ferguson. You could hit him with a truck and he would do something absurd to get back up.

Against Lando Vanatta at UFC Sioux Falls, Ferguson was knocked down around four times in 10 seconds with one minute remaining in the round. He pushed Vanatta, did some rolls to get back up, and won the fight via submission in the second round.

Against Michael Johnson at UFC 196, Ferguson was knocked down with a clean left but quickly got back to his feet. He then threw some counters to create distance and survived the whole three rounds.

The best example is Ferguson's banger with Pettis on UFC 229. After being hit with a clean right, he hit the ground for the first time but got back up quickly and cut Pettis open with a spinning elbow. Another shot to the temple and Ferguson was down again but he avoided follow-up shots with a front roll. He eventually got the stoppage and broke down in one of the most iconic post-fight sequences.

Mateusz Gamrot

Mateusz Gamrot is having a career similar to Frankie Edgar, as he’s getting rocked in every other fight and is managing to win through adversity somehow.

At UFC 299, Gamrot's fight against Rafael dos Anjos started on the worst note possible for the former as dos Anjos hit him with a clean kick and a flurry of follow-up shots for 30 seconds. Gamrot survived, constantly shot for takedowns, and then won the unanimous decision.

Although Beneil Dariush won against Gamrot at UFC 280, the fact that the fight lasted five rounds and didn’t end when Dariush landed a massive clean left in the third round is unbelievable. Gamrot immediately shot for a takedown and avoided follow-up shots. He lost the decision but showed an insane recovery.

Frankie Edgar

To be fair, Frankie Edgar is the inspiration behind this list and it's hard to argue that there’s a fighter with better post-knockdown recovery than him.

Edger was on the end of some crushing KO losses towards the end of his career, but don’t let that fool you. In his prime, Edgar was arguably the toughest fighter out there, and despite the obvious size disadvantages in plenty of his fights, he simply wouldn’t stop getting back up.

In the first round against Maynard in their second fight, Edgar was knocked down over 5 times and despite being wobbly for most of the round, he quickly tried to get takedowns whenever Maynard landed the biggest shots and covered his face with palms to absorb incoming damage. In a surprisingly superhuman manner, Edgar put the pressure in the upcoming rounds and the fight was a draw.

In the third fight against Maynard, Edgar again went down in the first round after absorbing massive uppercuts. As usual, he followed up with a quick takedown attempt, and within 2-3 seconds, he was back up and ready to brawl again. Edgar changed the course of the fight in the second and third rounds and won through TKO in the fourth. To this day, it is one of Edgar's most talked-about wins.

In his bout against Jeremy Stephens, who was actually one of the hardest-hitting 145ers at the time, at UFC 205, Edgar took a perfectly timed front kick followed by an illegal knee. All he needed to recover was a takedown attempt. Soon, he was back on his feet and got the judges’ nod.

Of course, it is impossible to mention all the fighters with great recovery following knockdowns. Some honorable mentions include the Diaz brothers, Dan Henderson, Benson Henderson, and Robert Whittaker. But we can talk about these marvels some other day, right?


Next. 3 possible next opponents for Alex Pereira. 3 possible next opponents for Alex Pereira. dark