ONE Championship got off to a fast start in 2019, and the world’s largest martial arts organization never took its foot off the gas pedal.
From start to finish, it has been a banner year in The Home Of Martial Arts, and our world-class athletes executed a plethora of thrilling knockouts that ignited the global fanbase.
As the year comes to a close, take this opportunity to check out the best mixed martial arts knockouts of 2019.
#1 Joshua Pacio vs. Yosuke Saruta
However, the Team Lakay standout got his redemption at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR in Manila, Philippines three months later.
The first three rounds of the rematch were very competitive, but “The Passion” closed the show in the fourth stanza. The Filipino faked a jab and then launched a roundhouse kick. At the same time, Saruta ducked forward to throw an overhand right.
As “The Ninja” lowered his head to throw the punch, Pacio’s knee connected flush against the Japanese star’s temple and instantly sent him face-first into the canvas.
That highlight-reel finish earned the 23-year-old Baguio City native the victory, the ONE Strawweight World Title, and ONE Championship’s Best Mixed Martial Arts Knockout Of 2019.
#2 Martin Nguyen vs. Narantungalag Jadambaa
ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen started his 2019 campaign off with one thing in mind — to continue building his legacy as the best featherweight mixed martial artist the sport has ever seen.
The 30-year-old Vietnamese-Australian hero strengthened his case by defeating former titleholder and Mongolian legend Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa in the main event of ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR this past April.
Nguyen brilliantly attacked his adversary with hard leg kicks in the opening stanza. Those strikes would impair the challenger’s movement and lead to an extraordinary finish.
In the second round, two more kicks sent Jadambaa reeling to the fence. “The Situ-Asian” noticed this, immediately ran at his rival, soared into the air, and connected with a flying knee. Once the impact was made, the Mongolian crumpled to the canvas and the bout was over.
#3 Timofey Nastyukhin vs. Eddie Alvarez
Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin had the privilege of welcoming the world-famous Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez to The Home Of Martial Arts in March, and it was not a warm and pleasant greeting.
The 30-year-old battled the American in the quarterfinal round of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix at ONE: A NEW ERA in Tokyo, Japan, and he spoiled the icon’s promotional debut with a magnificent highlight-reel finish.
Throughout the opening frame, Nastyukhin stayed in his rival’s face and found a home for his straight right hand. But with nearly a minute left in the round, he connected with a jab-cross-left hook combination, which initially stunned “The Underground King.”
Alvarez calmly backpedaled to the fence, but the Russian followed him with a sense of urgency. He threw more punches, with an overhand right dropping the American to the canvas. After a few more follow-up punches, the referee stopped the bout and Nastyukhin earned the biggest win of his career.
#4 Robin Catalan vs. Gustavo Balart
The 29-year-old local hero battled through a well-contested opening stanza with his Cuban adversary, Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling sensation Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart, but he finished this strawweight tilt in exciting fashion with just seconds remaining in round two.
Catalan kept attacking his rival with strong body kicks late in the stanza. But then, with just 17 seconds left in the round, the Filipino switched tactics and went high with a kick. His shin landed against Balart’s chin and instantly knocked him out.
#5 Cosmo Alexandre vs. Sage Northcutt
He dove straight into the deep end against multiple-time Muay Thai and kickboxing World Champion Cosmo “Good Boy” Alexandre. Ultimately, it proved to be deeper than the American had imagined.
The 36-year-old Brazilian put him on the back foot, stalked him, and then launched a meteoric right hand. Northcutt fell face-first into the canvas, causing the referee to immediately halt the action just 29 seconds into the welterweight showdown and award the victory to “Good Boy.”
The Best Of The Rest
- #6 Jeremy Miado vs. Miao Li Tao
- #7 Niu Kang Kang vs. Sunoto
- #8 Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev vs. Amir Khan
- #9 Yuya Wakamatsu vs. Geje Eustaquio
- #10 Thanh Le vs. Yusup Saadulaev