For the past two weeks, I’ve been enjoying this crash course of every season of The Ultimate Fighter (Wednesdays at 10 PM ET on Fox Sports 1), as I’ve broken them down into rankings, recaps and dream fights, but I figured for today’s in-depth look into our favorite reality fighting series, I’d focus on the fun stuff. Mainly, I’m talking about some of the show’s greatest knockouts, as the title of this post so clearly implies, and there have been plenty of big and sometimes brutal moments throughout this series.
TUF has clearly had plenty of knockouts in so many seasons, and some of these moments are more obvious than others, and some may have even been long forgotten as each new season has come and gone. But that’s why the Internet is so fantastic, as we can go back and re-watch many of them and wonder how some of these fighters even bothered to get back up and fight again.
We’re going to get the two most obvious knockouts out of the way first, because even as this season of The Ultimate Fighter starts to get into the real action, all people still talk about are Uriah Hall’s two awesome knockouts from The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen. The first and arguably greatest came against Adam Cella in the elimination round last season, and it was the spinning hook kick that was heard around the world/Internet. It was also one of my picks for the 10 best TUF fights and it will be for a long, long time.
As if he hadn’t already established himself as the favorite early on last season with that last KO against Adam Cella, Uriah Hall made quick work of Bubba McDaniel in his quarterfinal match on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen. Hall would next take out Dylan Andrews via second round TKO before running out of luck against the season’s eventual champion, Kelvin Gastelum, but it’s safe to say that a lot of us are still hoping that Hall recaptures that early magic sooner than later.
During the fourth episode of 2009’s The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom, UFC President Dana White predicted that America’s Mark Miller would pull off the win over England’s Nick Osipczak. Wrong. While it wasn’t as pretty or simple as Uriah Hall’s kick that KO’d Adam Cella, Osipczak’s head kick was just as powerful and helped send him to the semifinals that season, as he’d eventually lose to America’s DaMarques Johnson.
This fight didn’t technically take place during an episode of The Ultimate Fighter, but it did take place at The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback Finale, so I’m counting it. Also, it’s just way too awesome not to include and I already felt bad enough leaving it out of my list of best TUF fights. Basically, Scott Smith and Pete Sell went back and forth in one hell of an even fight before Sell landed a nasty body shot on Smith, who showed that he was in hellish pain. Sell went for the KO, but Smith shook it off long enough to land a night-night shot of his own and win the fight. It was the "Instant Classic" before Uriah Hall even knew what a spin kick was. Okay, maybe not.
I still can’t watch the footage of this knockout from the second episode of the seventh season, The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest, without cringing and turning away. Just nine seconds into the second round, Matthew Riddle caught Dan Simmler with a hard right that not only knocked him out, but his following shots broke Simmler’s jaw in two places and left him moaning on the mat. Riddle’s coach, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson called it the “knockout of the century.” I don’t know about that, but I need an ice pack just watching it all these years later.