As reported by Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com, the unofficial awards for the best knockouts for the first half of 2008 were released yesterday. The top five is as follows:
5. Tim Boetsch defeats David Heath by “Barbarian Toss” in the first round. — Late replacement Boetsch, who was filling in at the last minute for Anthony Ruiz, ruled his bout against Heath at UFC 81 in Febuary. Displaying excellent striking, highlighted by a very effective push-kick, Boetsch eventually wins in the bout late in the first round by brutally throwing Heath to the ground and landing a few strikes before the referee saved Heath from further damage.
4. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson destroys Tommy Speer in 51 seconds at Ultimate Fight Night 13 in April. — Coming off of his disapointing loss to Mac Danzig at the “TUF” season six finale, Tommy Speer hoped to leave UFN 13 with a win and a future in the UFC. Unfortunately for Speer, he ended up leaving with a concussion and a bruised ego instead. Although he did lose to Rich Clementi by submission at UFC 76 last Sepember, Johnson showed how dangerous he can be against the farmboy Speer. Couple that win with his 13 second desomation of Chad Reiner, and the welterweight division has a new striker to look out for.
3. Thiago Alves knees and punches his way to victories over Karo Parisyan and Matt Hughes. — “The Pitbull” looked as impressive as ever in his wins against top welterweights Parisyan and Hughes. The American Top Team trained Alves needed only 11 minutes combined to run through two of the sports top athletes at 170. Next up for Alves is Diego Sanchez in October. Expect that match to make the ballot for fight of the year.
2. Wanderlei Silva mauls Keith Jardine at UFC 84 in May — After his loss to Chuck Liddell in an epic battle of warriors, Silva returned to the octagon refocused and determined to make a run at the 205lb. title. To do so, he needed to defeat Jardine, who just months prior had defeated Liddell, who then went on to beat Silva. Well, Silva proved that there is no such thing as MMA math as he walked through and stiffened Jardine in just 36 seconds. The “Axe Murderer” is officially back!
1. James Irvin Superman punches Houston Alexander to score eight second KO. — Everyone knew what to expect in this fight. It could’ve gone either way. Two sluggers, neither known for their technical prowess, were going to walk across the octagon and throw fists of fury. When the smoke cleared, it was James Irvin who was the victor. In his next fight, Irvin faces his toughest test to date in Anderson Silva, a man highly regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. At the end of the year, expect to see this fight getting a KO of the year nod. I’ll let you decide who you think will be the one looking up at the lights.
Coming Soon: Half-Year Submission Awards