The Strike Is One Of The Most Effective Techniques In MMA, Especially If You Are Trying To Knock Out Your Opponent
There is a huge amount of debate about what is the most effective fighting style in the world of MMA. The data shows that basing your style around the sport of kickboxing will give you the best chance of winning. Boxing is a close second.
It is not surprising to us that most fighters have taken on board one of the most powerful moves in both boxing and kickboxing – the strike.
A well-aimed strike can knock an opponent out just a few seconds into the match – striking queen Amanda Nunes has shown us that multiple times.
Today, we are going to be looking at the most deadly strikers in 5 different weight categories.
Women’s Bantamweight – Amanda Nunes
Honorable mentions: Sarah Kaufman; Liz Carmouche; Germaine de Randamie; Raquel Pennington; Jessica Eye; Cat Zingano
Nunes isn’t the all-time great of female MMA fighting for nothing. This woman has perfected nearly every element of her game over the years. However, she had an impeccable strike from the start.
8 of Nune’s 9 first victories came via a strike knockout. She has gone on to knock out 5 more women with strikes. In her career so far, well over half of her victories have been won by her striking ability.
Nunes is more than her striking obviously, she has fast feet and strong legs that allow her to get close to her opponents, hit them, and then back away before they can get anywhere near her.
Nunes is currently championship-less for the very first time in a long time, do you think she will regain her bantamweight title? You can find the odds on that and other best MMA betting odds here.
Featherweight – Conor McGregor
Honorable mentions: Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas; Dennis Siver; Chan Sung Jung; Jeremy Stephens, Jose Aldo; Cub Swanson
You have to talk about Conor McGregor if you are going to talk about the best strikers of all time – it’s the rule. We don’t make them, we just follow ’em.
We know that he is also a Lightweight, and Welterweight fighter now too, but we have put him in this category as this is where he started.
McGregor’s incredible ability to knock people out helped 2021’s highest-paid athlete to break numerous records at the UFC and to become a household name here and across the pond.
19 of his 22 career wins have come via knockout. Most of which happened within the first five minutes of the fights.
Men’s Bantamweight – Michael McDonald
Honorable mentions: Mike Easton; Erik Perez; Francisco Rivera; Sergio Pettis; Eddie Wineland; Renan Barao
If you were lucky enough to be following the UFC in the late 1990s and early 2000s then you will have fond memories of the wonder boy Michael McDonald.
He appeared on the scene with an otherworldly set of fists that seemed impossibly fast and strong. He made a huge impact in a very short amount of time and was even able to challenge for the UFC Bantamweight Championship at the age of 22.
Before he retired, there was no one in the men’s Bantamweight division who could punch as hard as McDonald. This made him a terrifying opponent – he only needed one good hit on you to knock you out.
He retired in 2018 after injuring his hand.
Middleweight – Vitor Belfort
Honorable mentions: Michael Bisping; Luke Rockhold; Cung Le; Gegard Mousasi; Costa Philippou; Uriah Hall; Lyoto Machida; Anderson Silva
If you don’t know how good Belfort’s strike was then listen to this fact – he has the 2nd most knockouts in the whole history of the UFC.
Belfort jumped around from weight category to weight category and was able to knock out people in all of them.
Most recently, he took part in a boxing event against Evander Holyfield (a professional boxer and former champion) and knocked him out too. Belfort is 46 and still able to knock opponents out with ease.
He ended his career with 19 wins via knockout – most of which came from his fast-moving and impossible to see coming strikes.
Belfort retired from the UFC in 2018.
Heavyweight – Junior dos Santos
Honorable mentions: Alistair Overeem; Antonio Silva; Roy Nelson; Stipe Miocic; Gonzaga; Pat Barry; Mark Hunt; Travis Browne
Dos Santos was by far the best boxer that the Heavyweight division of the UFC has ever seen. Maybe even one of the best strikers in the whole history of the UFC.
While he was fighting there was no one in his division who could compete with his strikes, and even after he left the sport, no one has emerged with any similar kind of power.
Dos Santos won half of all the fights he took part in via knockout (15 out of 30 fights, with a total of 21 wins). He has knocked out multiple opponents in under a minute because of his powerful strike.
The last match that he won, back in 2019 was a knockout with punches (strikes). He retired in 2021 and now uses his fists to aid him in his wrestling career.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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