With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best knockouts from April 2023: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s Knockout of the Month award for April.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.
Nominee: Amber Leibrock def. Martina Jindrova at 2023 PFL 2
No stranger to first-round finishes, Amber Leibrock (7-4) added another opening-round stoppage to her highlight reel by catching Martina Jindrova (6-4) in the first round of their women’s featherweight clash.
Leibrock only needed only 2:19 to find the chin of Jindrova with a massive head kick that instantly floored her. Leibrock followed with a pair of ground shots to close the show, making a big impression in her PFL debut.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) April 8, 2023
Nominee: Kevin Holland def. Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 287
Kevin Holland’s (24-9 MMA, 11-6 UFC) fight-ending accuracy and power was on display once again in his welterweight showdown with Santiago Ponzinibbio (29-7 MMA, 11-6 UFC).
After doing some good work on the feet, Holland sparked Ponzinibbio with a beautiful left hook to faceplant the Argentina-born fighter. Holland looked for a right hand after catching the kick, and then charged forward with a hard left hook that dropped Ponzinibbio face-first into the mat. The follow-up punches landed with no response, prompting the referee to rush in to stop the fight.
Nominee: Israel Adesanya def. Alex Pereira at UFC 287
Israel Adesanya (24-2 MMA, 13-2 UFC) made good on what was likely his last chance to beat Alex Pereira (7-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) when he recaptured the middleweight title from his rival in stunning fashion.
After losing twice in kickboxing and then again in the octagon, Adesanya finally got one over against Pereira when he landed a pair of violent punches on the feet followed by a nasty punch on the ground to make history and become the first two-time UFC titleholder at 185 pounds.
Nominee: Edson Barboza def. Billy Quarantillo at UFC on ESPN 44
Edson Barboza (23-11 MMA, 17-11 UFC), one of the most decorated knockout artists in UFC history, proved he’s still dangerous as ever when he added Billy Quarantillo (17-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) to his highlight reel.
Quarantillo fought somewhat recklessly in the early going, leading him straight into a right knee from Barboza that slumped him face-first into the canvas.
— UFC (@ufc) April 16, 2023
Nominee: Patchy Mix def. Raufeon Stots at Bellator 295
Patchy Mix (18-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) delivered one of the all-time great highlights in Bellator history when he knocked out Raufeon Stots (19-2 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) to win the promotion’s bantamweight grand prix.
Mix needed just 80 seconds to land a perfect step-in knee to the chin of Stots that put him down and out cold, giving him the interim title and $1 million grand prix prize.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) April 23, 2023
The winner: Israel Adesanya
Adesanya finally landed the punches he sought for years – and when they landed, he once again became the UFC middleweight champion.
In the UFC 287 main event in Miami, Adesanya defeated Pereira by knockout at 4:21 of Round 2.It was rivalry’s fourth in combat sports and the second in MMA. It was also the first Adesanya won.
Pereira entered the bout at 3-0 in the lifetime series, with two kickboxing wins (one by knockout and one by decision) and a UFC title-earning TKO victory over Adesanya at UFC 281 in November. Both of Pereira’s stoppage victories were late-round comebacks, further igniting the uneasy feelings with Adesanya.
The first round was a leg kick battle. Adesanya utilized his technical striking as Pereira leaned on his signature power. A close opening five minutes of point-fighting was followed by a more aggressive second round from both fighters, particularly Pereira, who landed a hard knee and punches combination.
With Adesanya against the cage, Pereira attempted more strikes but was met by two conscious-stealing right hands. Adesanya landed one massive hammerfist follow-up before referee Dan Miragliotta dove in to save the stiffened Pereira.
That’s when the celebration began. Adesanya stood over his long-time rival and pretended to shoot arrows at his downed opponent, a play on Pereira’s signature walkout motions. Breakdancing followed before the UFC middleweight title was once again wrapped around Adesanya’s waist.
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