A famous Irish man once said “who the f*ck is that guy?”. But what doesn’t get talked about enough is the line that brought this response from Conor McGregor. “This guy TKOs people, when I knock people out, they don’t f*cking move”. Jeremy Stephens actually had a great point when he said this. It’s just a pity his life is now destroyed forever by one of the most infamous comebacks in MMA history.
But to be clear, there is a big difference between finishing a fight via a volume of punches compared to serious one-punch knockout power. Every fighter on this list possesses the latter. This is the list of top 7 hardest hitters in UFC history.
#7. Derrick Lewis
Derrick Lewis is widely regarded as one of the most powerful strikers in the history of the UFC. Known for his explosive right hand, Lewis has the ability to end fights in the blink of an eye with a single punch.
Nicknamed “The Black Beast” Lewis has racked up an impressive 21 KO/TKO victories over the course of his career so far. Perhaps his most notable win came at the expense of Russian heavyweight Alexander Volkov. Volkov was clearly winning the fight until Lewis landed a devastating right hand seconds before the end of the fight to give him the victory.
#6. Mark Hunt
Super Samoan Mark Hunt lands at number 6 on this list of hardest hitters in UFC history. Hunt is known for his signature walk off KO and has done it on many occasions.
Perhaps his most notable walk off KO came against Skyscraper Stefan Struve. A fighter who stands at an incredible 7 feet tall. In round three of their fight, Hunt landed a right hand followed by a left to send the Skyscraper crashing down. Hunt walked off only for the referee to tell the fighters to continue fighting. Although, just seconds later, the fight was ended when it was revealed that Struve had a broken jaw. Now that’s knockout power.
#5. Dan Henderson
Dan Henderson is next on the list. Hendo is well known as a knockout artist in the MMA world. One of his most iconic knockouts came in his fight against Michael Bisping at UFC 100 in 2009. In the second round, Henderson delivered a devastating right hook counter that landed flush on Bisping’s chin, instantly knocking him unconscious and sending him crashing to the canvas. The knockout was so powerful that it became one of the most replayed and talked-about knockouts in MMA history.
#4. Shane Carwin
Another UFC heavyweight to make the list is Shane Carwin. Carwin had a rare ability to turn fighters’ lights out just by touching them. The Engineer had something known as 1 inch knockout power where he could knock guys out with short punches. A testament to the man’s power that he didn’t even need to wind up to knock people out.
#3. Sergei Pavlovich
Sergei Pavlovich is the latest in a long line of fighters to be revered for his knockout power. And for good reason. At the time of writing, Pavlovich has won his last 6 fights in a row via first round TKO against some of the heavyweight divisions biggest names. Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa and fellow list-member Derrick Lewis are just three of the men who have fallen victim to Pavlovich.
Pavlovich’s power is a hot topic right now and some fans are even questioning if he could dethrone the number one man on this list. It’s too early to tell for now but all will be revealed in due course as the Russian’s career progresses.
#2. Anthony Johnson
The late, great Anthony Johnson unfortunately passed away in 2022 at just 38 years old. Nicknamed “Rumble” due to his devastating knockout power, Johnson had the ability to finish fights in seconds.
Perhaps his most impressive knockout came against Glover Teixeira at UFC 202. A fight that lasted just 13 seconds before Anthony Johnson landed a fight-finishing right uppercut to the future light-heavyweight champion.
#1. Francis Ngannou
Was there ever really a doubt of who the number one hardest hitter in UFC history would be? Francis Ngannou is almost a household name at this point due to how impressive he is as a knockout artist. An ability that landed him a cameo role in the Fast and The Furious movie franchise.
The Predtaor’s most impressive knockout is undoubtedly his KO of dutch legend Allistair Overeem. A knockout that will be played in highlight reels from now until the end of time.
Francis Ngannou has since signed for PFL (professional fighters league) but perhaps we will see the Cameroonian back in the UFC some day.