What a decade of facepunching, folks! As 2019 draws to a close, we'd be wrong not to take stock of the very best of belligerence across the worlds of mixed martial arts and boxing. To make room for the greatest striking stoppages in both sports, 12uppercut has decided to go for -- you guessed it! -- an all-decade top 12.
Before we begin, we must extend a special shout-out to Francis Ngannou's spectacular first-round uppercut showstopper against Alistair Overeem two years ago at UFC 218. It just, just barely missed out, as did Canelo Alvarez's crushing KO blow against Amir Khan, because catchweight fights violate 12uppercut's charter. And now, on with the show.
12. Deontay Wilder vs. Artur Szpilka (2016)
Seriously, pick any Wilder KO. Eric Molina, the Bermane Stiverne rematch, Luis Ortiz I and II, Dominic Breazeale... if there was an Knockout Artist of the Decade, it's the Bronze Bomber. We're going with his crushing baptism of Artur Szpilka because of the way the poor dude's body helicoptered on its way down.
11. Nonito Donaire vs. Fernando Montiel (2011)
Think little guys don't hit hard? Just watch Fernando Montiel squirming around on the canvas like an upside-down bug. Good gracious, Nonito.
10. Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort (2011)
A front kick?? Anderson Silva belongs on every all-decade, all-century, and general all-violence team due to the creativity, pinpoint skill, and sheer audacity he brought to mixed martial arts. Perhaps no moment stood out more than when he ended Vitor Belfort in Round 1 at UFC 126 with a straight-on mighty boot. Don't sweat it, Vitor -- NOBODY saw that coming.
9. Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg (2018)
On Dec. 28, 2018, Amanda Nunes became the GOAT. Already sporting the women's bantamweight belt, the Lioness snatched the 145-pound strap by delivering a level of power the seemingly invincible Cris Cyborg had never before seen. Voila, the first two-division champion in women's UFC history.
8. Carl Froch vs. George Groves II (2014)
A crowd of 80,000 watched this super middleweight title fight that was indeed super. Carl Froch's cracking right-handed shot sent George Groves to the canvas faster than gravity tends to allow, earning Knockout of the Year honors from The Ring magazine. Groves climbing all over referee Charlie Fitch as he hopelessly tried to remember where the hell he was remains a brilliantly jarring sight.
7. Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren (2019)
6. Adonis Stevenson vs. Chad Dawson (2013)
The most explosive upset of 2013! Lineal light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson said out loud that he considered his meeting with weight division debutante Adonis Stevenson a tune-up; a rip-roaring left hook in the very first round said otherwise. Stevenson later earned Fight of the Year and Knockout of the Year honors from The Ring magazine.
5. Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva (2013)
A legendary champion like Anderson Silva would seem to know exactly when to showboat and when to hunker down and do the work. At UFC 162, he didn't. The stunning defeat to Chris Weidman began what remains an active run of just one win in *eight* fights for the all-timer. Spider, wyd?
4. Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey (2015)
The one that started it all. The unstoppable Ronda Rousey opened as a massive -1250 favorite against former boxing champion Holly Holm at UFC 195, but the Preacher's Daughter had the last laugh -- and changed MMA forever with a head kick heard 'round the world.
3. Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo (2014)
13 seconds. That's all it took to knock featherweight GOAT-to-date Jose Aldo off his perch at UFC 194 and rocket Conor McGregor to superstardom. It's the fastest KO ever seen in a UFC title fight, and arguably the greatest knockout in mixed martial arts history.
2. Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua I (2019)
Sure, Andy Ruiz Jr.'s weak, excessively flabby showing in his December rematch against AJ makes this one lose a bit of shine. But that doesn't change the fact that Mexican Rocky was a +1200 underdog facing a statuesque unified heavyweight champion at Madison Square Garden. The Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas comparison will never really die, but this summer night will never be forgotten in the annals of boxing upsets.
1. Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao IV (2012)
You weren't wrong if you thought, at least for a second, that Manny Pacquiao was dead. Pac and Juan Manuel Marquez saved their best for last, and there's something beyond cinematic about the way Dinamita ended the all-time pound-for-pound great in Round 6. The moment is legend. Campfire stuff. Chills. Chills to this day!