It wasn’t all that long ago when the flyweight division’s days in the UFC appeared to be numbered. Today on August 26, 2022, its greatest fighter of all time will be competing in another promotion and, thankfully, the weight class survived and has continued providing some of the UFC’s most entertaining and high-level fights.
The promotion recently put out a video naming their Top 10 Flyweight Knockouts in UFC History, and the list includes everything from impressive title defenses to fighters you may have forgotten were ever in the UFC at all.
10 & 9: On The Road To Title Fights
Opening the list is a knockout from Joseph Benavidez, considered by many to be one of the best fighters to never hold a UFC belt. The Team Alpha Male member nearly became the UFC’s inaugural flyweight champion when he lost a split decision to Demetrious Johnson in 2012.
As part of what turned into a 3-fight win streak leading to another title shot, Benavidez swarmed Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on Fox 7 before dropping him with a hook to the body.
Coming in at #9 is former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt’s rude welcome to the flyweight division. Kai Kara-France initially dropped Garbrandt with a right hand before “No Love” got to his feet, but he only ended up sustaining another brutal series of punches to end the bout.
This victory was part of the win streak that eventually led Kara-France to a meeting with Brandon Moreno for the UFC’s interim flyweight title at UFC 277.
7 & 8: Just Plain Brutal
Knockout #8 features one of the more unique finishes in UFC history, regardless of division. Alex Perez continually battered the lead leg of Jussier Formiga throughout the first round of their fight at UFC 250, although Formiga did attempt to counter after eating the kicks.
The damage eventually added up, and after already hitting the mat once Formiga was unable to rise to his feet a second time following a few more kicks.
We travel back to a 2019 scrap between Alexandre Pantoja and Matt Schnell for #7. Schnell has made a name for himself lately as a kill-or-be-killed fighter, and he was pressing the action late in the first round at UFC Fight Night 165 but eating counters in the process.
The American came forward to throw a hook to the body and begin a combination, but ended up eating a massive overhand right from Pantoja that sent Schnell tumbling to the canvas.
6 – 4: The Ones You Forgot
A throwback with two flyweights no longer in the UFC slots in as #6. Ashkan Mokhtarian looked confident after landing a clean counter left hand in the third round against Ryan Benoit at UFC Fight Night 121.
After taking a brief moment to reset, Benoit returned the favor with a brutal head kick in the next exchange that dropped Mokhtarian.
It may seem ridiculous to list the #5 knockout from current flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo under “The Ones You Forgot”, but after missing weight this wasn’t the fight where the Brazilian won the title. Figueiredo still fought as if he could claim the belt and brutalized Benavidez with a series of punches punctuated by a final right hand.
“Deus Da Guerra” only had to wait a few months before formally becoming the UFC flyweight champion in his rematch with Benavidez.
A matchup between The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America contestants provides knockout #4 on the list. In what ended up being his only UFC bout and the final fight of his MMA career, Bentley Syler tried to advance on Fredy Serrano only to be finished by a huge uppercut and follow-up hammer fist.
This performance ended up being the first of only two UFC victories for Serrano, but the Colombian did produce one of the best knockouts in flyweight history.
3 -1: Defending The Title
The first (but not only) Top 10 entry from longtime UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson comes in at #3. Many fans will recall that Henry Cejudo bested “Mighty Mouse” by narrow decision to win the title in 2018, but their first meeting in 2016 was a very different story.
Johnson was able to control Cejudo in the clinch early and land several hard knees, the last of which had the former Olympian backpedaling across the cage. “Mighty Mouse” pursued and landed another knee to the body to defend his title with a first-round finish.
Cejudo immediately gets some redemption by slotting in with the #2 knockout on the UFC’s list. After besting Johnson to win the title, “The Messenger” welcomed bantamweight king T.J. Dillashaw to flyweight as his first title defense.
The fact that Cejudo knocked out his opponent in just over 30 seconds was made all the more impressive after the fight, when it was revealed that Dillashaw had tested positive for EPO.
Demetrious Johnson had already defended his flyweight title twice before his rematch with Joseph Benavidez at UFC on Fox 9, but it was his second victory over Benavidez that stands as one of his most impressive wins and features as the #1 knockout on the UFC’s list.
While their first fight for the UFC’s inaugural flyweight title ended via a split decision, Johnson left no doubt about the winner in the rematch. “Mighty Mouse” floored Benavidez with a right hand just over two minutes into the fight before unloading several follow-up punches to secure his victory.
You can view each of the above knockouts in the video below!
If you enjoyed the UFC’s list of Top 10 Flyweight Knockouts in UFC History, be sure to check out the MMA News’ Top 10 Finishes of the Week!