Welcome to this week’s edition of MMA News’ Top 10 Finishes of the week! Every week there’s highlight-reel finishes all across the MMA world, and we’ve found some of the absolute best ones to showcase.
This week already had plenty of highlights to fill out the Top 10 thanks to action-packed events from promotions like Cage Warriors and KSW, but then UFC 281 ended up setting a promotional record for first-round finishes. A few of the best results from that event helped to round out a list that features unique submissions, one-punch knockouts, and violent knees.
#10: Weili Zhang Reclaims Her Title
“Magnum” used her legs to isolate one of Esparza’s arms in a crucifix position before securing a rear-naked choke to reclaim the UFC strawweight title.
#9: Alexander Soldatkin Brutalizes Souza
Alexander Soldatkin earned his sixth-straight first-round finish when he stormed through Roggers Souza at Open FC 26.
The Russian heavyweight showed no mercy as he backed Souza to the fence with strikes before teeing off until the ref stepped in.
#8: Jimmy Wallhead Wins Cage Warriors Gold
Jimmy Wallhead made his pro debut at Cage Warriors 10 in 2005, but the 38-year-old earned the biggest victory of his career at Cage Warriors 146.
“Judo” landed a huge combination that dropped Mateusz Figlak before following up with hammer fists to claim the Cage Warriors interim welterweight title.
#7: Henry Fadipe Ties Up Odzimkowski
Henry Fadipe made Albert Odzimkowski pay for attempting a takedown in their middleweight bout at KSW 76.
“Herculeez” made sure to get his hips free before securing a Peruvian necktie that Odzimkowski had no chance of escaping from.
#6: Matt Frevola Fires Up Madison Square Garden
Matt Frevola entered UFC 281 as an underdog to the undefeated Ottman Azaitar, but the 32-year-old ended up delighting the New York crowd with a first-round knockout.
“Steamrolla” was backed to the fence by Azaitar but landed a left hand in a wild exchange that put the formerly undefeated fighter on the canvas.
#5: Makoto Takahashi Wins A Second Belt
Makoto Takahashi was already the DEEP flyweight champion, but the 22-year-old added another belt to his collection at CFFC 114 against Diego Paiva.
“Shinryu” go ahold of Paiva’s neck early in the first round and rolled with the Brazilian until his opponent had no choice but to tap.
#4: Rae Eun Lee’s Amateur Debut
Rae Eun Lee started his amateur career off with a violent finish of Micah Lopez in a lightweight bout at Brawl International 2 in Guam.
The South Korean got control of Lopez’s head and landed a few knees before a final knee with his back against the fence sent Lee off to celebrate his victory.
#3: Chris Gutierrez Retires Edgar
The finish was a bit overshadowed by it being Frankie Edgar’s retirement fight, but Chris Gutierrez still scored the most visually impressive win of his career at UFC 281.
“El Guapo” was comfortably working along the outside of the cage until he timed a jumping knee that left Edgar on his back and gave Gutierrez back-to-back stoppage wins.
#2: Kauã Fernandes Freezes Pereira
Kauã Fernandes earned his third-straight first-round win and extended his undefeated record when he stopped Felipe Pereira at Shooto Brasil 112.
The 26-year-old handed Pereira the first loss of his career when he threw a left hand that completely froze “Franco Atirador” and sent him falling into the cage.
#1: Ryan Spann Sleeps Reyes
On a night that saw a whole lot of violent finishes, perhaps the most brutal one occurred when Ryan Spann knocked out Dominick Reyes just over a minute into their fight at UFC 281.
Spann appeared to be landing at will through the first minute of the fight until a power jab and follow-up right hand starched the former title challenger.
Want to catch up on previous installments of The MMA News Top 10 Finishes of the week?! You can do so right here!