2013 MMA Awards: Knockout of the year

Elias Cepeda

On the first two days of the year, we presented awards for Male & Female Fighters of the Year and Fight of the Year. Today, we announce our pick for Knockout of the Year, 2013.

First, check our schedule for the rest of our 2013 MMA Awards below. After that, the Yahoo! Sports 2013 MMA Knockout of the Year.

Jan. 4: Submission of the Year

Jan. 5: Comeback Fighter of the Year & Comeback Fight of the Year

Jan. 6: Breakthrough Fighter of the Year

Jan. 7: Event of the Year

Jan. 8: Trainer of the Year, Television Commentator of the Year, Referee of the Year, Biggest upset of the Year

And now, the 2013 MMA award for Knockout of the Year...

How does one pick the "best" knockout in a year? Certainly, there are elements like technique difficulty and/or proficiency, apparent devastating effect, surprise, the significance of the win and so many others.

There were many incredible KO finishes this past year in the world of MMA. Male Fighter of the Year nominee Vitor Belfort has at least a couple entries to consider in the KO category.

Take, for example, his stoppage of the previously virtually unstoppable Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32. Or, Belfort's masterful and technical spinning heel kick KO of Luke Rockhold last May.

Speaking of crazy spinning kick knockouts, who could forget Junior Dos Santos' KO over Mark Hunt at UFC 160 which earned him another shot at the heavyweight title? That one had technical mastery, nuts stopping power and career significance all rolled into one.

So does our ultimate pick for Knockout of the Year. As much as we enjoyed that bout and others like Wanderlei Silva's come back, throw back KO over Brian Stann in March, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's ruthless knockout of James Te Huna last month and Antonio Silva's revenge stoppage over the cocky Alistair Overeem, one KO stands out above the rest in terms of significance, shock-value and skill.

Yahoo! Sports 2013 MMA Knockout of the Year: Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva I

Many thought that the younger, larger Weidman might give Silva problems in their middleweight title bout in July but few thought it would be on their feet with his striking. In the first round, Weidman took Silva down with ease and controlled him there before going for a submission, missing and letting the champ up to his feet.

In the second, "The Spider" goaded Silva into a stand-up striking fight and Weidman obliged him, to the tune of not one but three consecutive left hooks flush to the jaw of Silva that knocked the all-time great out cold.

Weidman's win was the shock of the year not just because it ended Silva's near seven year run at the top of the UFC but also because he did it at his own game. No win was more seismic in 2013 and no fight-ending was more dramatic..except perhaps for Weidman's stoppage win over Silva in their rematch last month.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

What to Read Next