One of the most vicious knockout artists in the game today will be stepping into the Octagon at UFC Fight Night Melbourne this weekend; care to guess who it is?
It's not #AnthonyJohnson, who faces #DanielCormier in a light heavyweight title rematch at #UFC206 next month, and it's not Shane Carwin, who hasn't fought in the UFC since 2011 (seriously, get with the times). It's not #DonaldCerrone, Cody Garbrandt, Yoel Romero, or pretty much any other fighter we've come to associate with skull-shattering knockouts over the years, really. No, it's #DerekBrunson, who has quietly been building up a thunderous KO streak in the UFC's middleweight division.
In fact, it was Brunson's first round TKO win over #UriahHall at UFC Fight Night Hidalgo back in September that tied #AndersonSilva for the most consecutive knockouts ever registered by a middleweight (4). And should he manage to finish the similarly hard-hitting Robert Whittaker via knockout, Brunson will have achieved an unheard of feat that not even the G.O.A.T. could.
Of course, Brunson's current streak already places him in some pretty rare company, historically speaking.
Heavyweight champion #StipeMiocic has currently finished four straight opponents by way of knockout -- K1 kickboxing champions Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt included -- and since you're so insistent on talking about him, who can forget the terrifying four-fight streak that Shane Carwin went on from 2008 to 2010? You know, the one that saw him send Christian Wellisch's mouthpiece into the third row, pancake Gabriel Gonzaga, and annihilate former champ Frank Mir with one of the most vicious series of uppercuts ever seen in the Octagon?
Looking back, there are only a handful of fighters who have ever accomplished what Brunson has in the UFC. Anthony Johnson may be known as a human wrecking ball on two feet, but his longest KO streak tops out at three (on two occasions). The same goes for Vitor Belfort, Derrick Lewis, Travis Browne, and former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
Currently, the only active fighters with longer KO streaks than Brunson are Matt Brown -- who stopped five straight fighters between 2012 and 2014 -- featherweight/lightweight champion #ConorMcGregor, who scored (T)KO wins over Diego Brandao, Dustin Poirier, Dennis Siver, Chad Mendes, and Jose Aldo in just a year and a half, and #ThiagoAlves, who rattled off five-straight KO/TKOs from 2006-2008.
But there can only be one king of the knockout in the UFC, and unsurprisingly, that honor goes to #ChuckLiddell.
When we talk about "dominant" streaks in the UFC, there are often a few familiar names that make their way to the top of the list: Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, and Demetrious Johnson. With an incredible 35 defenses between them, it's not as if their inclusion in the discussion is unwarranted, but none of those fighters have ever come close to matching the finishing streak of "The Iceman."
Between 2004 and 2006, Liddell finished seven straight opponents by way of knockout. Arguably, the most impressive of the streak was the first one, which came via a now immortalized combination against Ortiz at UFC 47.
Liddell would follow-up that KO with a first round finish of Vernon White, which would earn him another crack at rival (and fellow future Hall of Famer) Randy Couture. In one of the quickest performances of his career, Liddell would sleep Couture with his patented right hand just two minutes into the opening round. TKO victories over Jeremy Horn, Couture, Renato Sobral, and Ortiz would follow before Liddell's streak finally came to an end against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 71, marking the end of an era for one of the UFC's biggest stars.
Now, it's one of the most unlikely and overlooked knockout artists who will be chasing history this weekend.