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Half-Year Awards - The Knockouts

The highly unofficial half-year awards season continues with the best knockouts of 2015 thus far...
The best knockout category is always the most hotly debated, simply because the number of impressive knockouts that take place in the Octagon consistently supersedes the amount of slots on lists like this. But we must carry on, and while there may not be full agreement with the top five knockouts of the first half of 2015, you can’t deny that these were pretty damn good.

5 - Fredy Serrano-Bentley Syler (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASSSerrano kicks Syler in their bout during the UFC Fight Night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
For the first two rounds of the Fredy Serrano vs. Bentley Syler bout, it was clear that the meeting of flyweight prospects wasn’t going to produce a Fight of the Night candidate. But with one uppercut in the third and final round, Serrano lifted Syler off his feet and left him sprawled on the canvas, with a KO victory and a Performance of the Night bonus being the result for the Olympic wrestler from Colombia.

4 - Shawn Jordan-Derrick Lewis  Jordan elbows Lewis in their bout during the UFC event on June 6, 2015. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Mixed martial arts is not gymnastics, but in compiling lists like this, there should be points awarded for degree of difficulty. Having said that, Shawn Jordan lands here because his hook kick to the head that dropped Derrick Lewis and led to a finish on the ground by strikes certainly was difficult, especially considering that Jordan gave up three-inches in height to Lewis on fight night. It was a move showing off the athleticism of the former LSU football player, and of course when it was over, he had to deliver his trademark flip as well.

3 - Matt Dwyer-William Macario (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASSDwyer punches Macario in their bout during the UFC Fight Night in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC) 
Fights have ended in the UFC by Superman Punch before, but I never understood why. It always seemed to be a maneuver that an opponent could see coming, and even if they got hit with it, everything looked to be against it being a fight-ending technique. William Macario will say otherwise after getting finished by Matt Dwyer’s Superman Punch in February, and when you consider that Dwyer has ended all his wins by knockout, it’s not that surprising anymore. And if the win wasn’t enough, kudos to Dwyer for bouncing back from a knockout loss against Albert Tumenov four months earlier to earn a Performance of the Night bonus.

2 - Andrei Arlovski-Travis Browne (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS) Arlovski punches Browne in their bout during UFC 187 in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC)
What is there not to love about this fight? Sure, the ending wasn’t as jaw-dropping spectacular as others, but a) when the referee stepped in there was no doubt that Travis Browne was done for the night and b) it was more the culmination of a spectacular comeback run by Andrei Arlovski, and a win that saw him pick himself off the deck to get it. If you’re a true fight fan, there should be no complaints about this one here.

1 (tie) - Paul Felder-Danny Castillo (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASSFelder kicks Castillo in their lightweight bout during UFC 182 in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC) 
One of only a handful of fights in UFC history to end by way of a spinning backfist, Paul Felder’s finish of Danny Castillo made it impossible to not have a tie for the top spot on this list. And though some fights featuring a spectacular and unorthodox technique end moments after that technique lands, as soon as Felder landed on the always tough Castillo, the Californian was out, with the subsequent fall to the canvas a mere formality. It was flashy and final, a rare mix.

1 (tie) - Thiago Santos-Steve Bosse Santos lands a kick to the head of Bosse in their  bout during the UFC Fight Night on June 27, 2015. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
While Paul Felder’s knockout of Danny Castillo was sudden, making you jump out of your chair, Thiago Santos’ head kick finish of Steve Bosse made you tense up and cringe for the split second when you saw him throw it and knew it was going to land. And oh, when it landed, you knew Bosse was out. In a classy gesture, Santos knew it too, and refused to add another punch or two as the referee moved in. Sometimes, you let the masterpiece speak for itself.

HONORABLE MENTION – Alves-Mein, Johnson-Gustafsson, Sicilia-Corassani, Amirkhani-Ogle, Mir-Silva

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