The new year started out with many fights that could be knockouts of the year both on the elite and rising levels:
10) Abdul Razak Alhassan defeated Sabah Homosi via knockout – UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou
One of two Performance of the Night winners for UFC 220, this is just the first of many knockouts for this month.
9) Gian Villante defeats Francimar Barroso via split decision victory – UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou
Gian Villante returns to his winning ways in this close fight against Francimar Barroso to secure his UFC place.
8) Daniel Cormier defeated Volkan Oezdemir via technical knockout – UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou
This was considered a quest for redemption by Daniel Cormier and he certainly achieved it by defending his title. Not only that but he also earned a title shot against heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic following their TUF stints.
7) Stipe Miocic defeated Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision – UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou
Stipe Miocic seemed uncharacteristically gassed after the first round but he did out cardio Francis Ngannou. He also made history by becoming the only UFC Heavyweight Champion to successfully defend his title three times.
6) Ian Heinisch defeated Daniel Madrid via knockout – Legacy Fighting Alliance 31: Moffett vs. Le
One of several knockout wins from Legacy Fighting Alliance fight shows over the past month that delivered.
5) Christian Aguilera KOs Maycon Mendonca – Legacy Fighting Alliance 30: Millender vs. Barnes
Christian Aguilera demonstrated how much of a rising star he is when he knocked out Maycon Mendonca.
4) Curtis Millender knocks out Nick Barnes – Legacy Fighting Alliance 30: Millender vs. Barnes
The main event of Legacy Fighting Alliance 30 delivered as Curtis Millender continued to make a name in MMA.
3) Jordan Wright submits Craig Wilkerson – Legacy Fighting Alliance 30 – Submission of the Month
Jordan Wright had one of the few submissions this month making him one of the sub of the month contenders.
2) Aaron Pico defeats Shane Kruchten via TKO victory – Bellator 192 – Knockout of the Month
In his third fight, Aaron Pico showed he’s clearly doing well at featherweight and how well rounded he actually is. It is still hard to tell how Pico will do in the long term but one can only assume that he’ll keep improving right now.
1) Rory MacDonald defeats Douglas Lima via unanimous decicion – Bellator 192 – Fight of the Month
Rory MacDonald fought a hard fight with Douglas Lima to win the Bellator Welterweight Championship and he paid for it with the huge contusion on his shin and an again messed up face, both of which will set him back a bit.