If the flying knee is the single most devastating strike in all of MMA (which some have so boldly claimed), then the spinning attack is a close number two.
Like the flying knee, spinning attacks combine style and substance (with a little centrifugal force for good measure) to devastating effect. And whether it's a backfist, wheel kick, or liver shot, spinning attacks can be best described as a the "one hitter-quitters" of mixed martial arts, sacrificing positioning for power in the hopes of ending a contest in a quick and highlight reel-worthy fashion.
With MMA ninja #UriahHall headlining this weekend's UFC Belfast card against #GegardMousasi, it's time to examine some of the UFC's most memorable spinning attacks, beginning with #ShonieCarter's UFC 31 spinning backfist of #MattSerra, the first such finish of its kind inside the #Octagon.
The 'TUF' KO Heard Round the World
Otherwise known as the strike that put Hall on the map, "Primetime" first demonstrated the awesome power of his trademark spinning hook kick during the seventeenth season of the UFC's reality series, #TheUltimateFighter.
Facing off against Adam Cella in an elimination round fight, Hall unleashed the kick with just 7 seconds remaining in the opening round, flooring Cella instantly and leaving him unconscious for a frightening few minutes afterward.
Like everyone else who happened to be watching the fight, UFC president #DanaWhite was left speechless by the knockout, later declaring it to be "one of the nastiest knockouts I've ever seen in the fight business, let alone on The Ultimate Fighter."
Sleeping "The Dreamcatcher"
Seemingly not content with having just one "once in a lifetime" knockout to his credit, Hall delivered a Knockout of the Year-worthy spinning attack in his fight with Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi just two years later.
After being dominated on the mat for most of the first round by his veteran opponent, Hall wasted no time catching lightning in a bottle in the second, dropping Mousasi with a jumping spinning back kick, just four seconds into the round. If that wasn't crazy enough, he then followed the attack with a flying knee and a barrage of punches to seal the deal, scoring one of the biggest upsets of the year in the process.
Belfort Blasts Rockhold
Definitive proof that you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks, #VitorBelfort put the cherry on an already highlight-filled career when battling former #Strikeforce middleweight champion #LukeRockhold back in 2013.
Though known the world over for his incredible power and speed as a striker, Belfort had never knocked out an opponent with a technique as flashy as a spinning back kick before, which made the complete lack of a setup he used to do so for the first time against a talented striker in Rockhold all the more impressive.
After landing a flush heel to Rockhold's jaw about midway through the first round, Belfort followed up with a signature onslaught of punches, clattering the future UFC middleweight champion's head off the canvas until referee Leon Roberts was forced to bring a merciful end to the contest.
Barboza Blisters Etim
One can't exactly discuss spinning attacks without mentioning #EdsonBarboza's masterful wheel kick knockout of Terry Etim at UFC 142.
There isn't much that can be said about Barboza's attack, really, other than the picturesque beauty with which it landed. Like Wile E. Coyote after realizing that he had run off a cliff, Etim appeared to freeze in time before crashing to the canvas like a felled oak ... just nasty.
Spinning Attacks Gone Wrong
Perhaps attempting to mirror Vitor Belfort, #ChrisWeidman attempted an ill-timed spinning back kick in the fourth round of his title fight against Luke Rockhold at #UFC194 that he would never recover from. #ChaelSonnen suffered a similar fate in his UFC 148 rematch with #AndersonSilva, after slipping while throwing a spinning backfist, Sonnen received a hellacious knee to the sternum for his troubles. There's also Roger Hollett's poorly placed spinning back kick, which connected well below the belt on Fabio Maldonado at UFC on FX 8.
For the most part, however, the spinning attack has stood out as a technique only executed by the elite of the elite. In the case of someone like Uriah Hall, it can be a career-maker. For others, its use can be far more insidious -- a secret weapon in an arsenal of already vicious strikes. It will forever serve as a shining example of the graceful, yet destructive capabilities of the human body.
More Great UFC Spinning Attacks:
- UFC 193: James Moontasri vs. Anton Zafir
- TUF 21 Finale: Stephen Thompson vs. Jake Ellenberger
- UFC 182: Paul Felder vs. Danny Castillo
- TUF China Finale: Dong Hyun Kim vs. John Hathaway
- UFC on FOX 21: Daron Cruickshank vs. Mike Rio
- UFC 165: Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland
- UFC 160: Junior Dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt
- UFC 129: John Makdessi vs. Kyle Watson
- UFC 105: Dennis Siver vs. Paul Kelly
- UFC 93: Dennis Siver vs. Nate Mohr
- UFC 53: David Loiseau vs. Charles McCarthy