Jorge Masvidal KO's Ben Askren in 5 seconds

It took just five seconds for Jorge Masvidal to etch his name in UFC history.

The two fighters were in the Octagon, the door was locked, referee Jason Herzog began the match and a charging Masvidal handed Ben Askren his first loss in professional MMA by way of flying knee to the face.

Masvidal’s knockout heard ’round the world is The Body Lock’s 2019 Knockout of the Year.

The fight had everything leading up to it. Masvidal was coming off of a triumphant return from a long layoff to knock Darren Till out, while Askren was fresh off of a controversial victory over Robbie Lawler in his UFC debut.

Askren’s trash-talking garnered attention from the moment he transitioned to the UFC from ONE Championship, and he didn’t shy away from calling his shots. Ultimately, matchmakers compared the stocks of the two fighters and made the match on the main card of UFC 239.

Askren continued his verbal digs in the leadup to the bout, and the excitement for the third fight on the main card outweighed that of both the headlining UFC light heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and Thiago Santos and the co-main event women’s bantamweight title bout between champion Amanda Nunes and Holly Holm. Fans and pundits alike itched to see the matchup play out.

What we all got was the fastest knockout in UFC history.

The knockout sent an already surging Masvidal into superstardom. His catchphrase “super necessary” — derived from his answer to a post-fight press conference asking about how necessary the ground and pound strikes were after the knee — became a mainstream hit and an internet meme, only further heightening Masvidal’s profile.

The MMA veteran rode the wave into a “BMF” title fight with fellow fighting mainstay Nate Diaz. Masvidal would win the bout via TKO after round three due to a doctor’s stoppage and had the belt wrapped around his waist by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, putting a cherry on top of an incredible 2019 for “Gamebred.”

Honorable mentions

Davy Gallon knocks Ross Pearson out by Rolling Thunder

Davy Gallon is far from a household name in MMA, but he had his moment of fame in 2019 when his knockout of Ross Pearson in the main event of MTK MMA: Probellum.

The bout was Pearson’s return to the sport after retiring in March and successfully starting his professional boxing debut with a second-round stoppage of Salar King. The UFC veteran, who had just two wins since 2016, didn’t have the return he expected.

Gallon sent social media into a frenzy after video of his Rolling Thunder knockout made its rounds. He flipped and connected his heel to the head of Pearson to earn the biggest win of his career and his second of 2019.

Douglas Lima knocks Michael “Venom” Page out in Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix

Douglas Lima was on a mission to get his Bellator welterweight title back in 2019. He had already completed the first step by concluding his trilogy with Andrey Koreshkov with a fifth-round rear-naked choke in the first round of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix, setting him up for a bout against the undefeated Michael “Venom” Page at Bellator 221.

“MVP” was fresh off of an unconventional unanimous decision win over his rival Paul Daley in which the kickboxer Daley opted to use takedowns to avoid exchanging on the feet with the unorthodox striker Page.

Page held his own in the first round against the former champion but met his demise in round two when Lima knocked him off balance with a leg kick and followed up with a right hand that immediately separated Page from his consciousness.

Lima would ultimately complete his mission when he rematched champion Rory MacDonald in the final of the tournament and picked up a unanimous decision victory to take his title back.

Kevin Lee knocks Gregor Gillespie out by head kick

After a failed experiment at welterweight earlier in 2019, Kevin Lee made a triumphant return to 155 pounds at UFC 244.

Lee had a difficult task ahead of him in undefeated prospect Gregor Gillespie, whose wrestling and all-around dominance in his six UFC fights had many viewing him as the next lightweight contender.

Instead, the Gillespie train came to a screeching halt in Madison Square Garden.

Lee’s striking was on display, and a right hand followed by a perfectly timed head kick stiffened Gillespie before he even hit the ground.

Niko Price knocks out James Vick by upkick

Niko Price has made a habit of bringing violence to the cage in each of his UFC appearances.

On the opposite side, James Vick has been on the wrong end of a number of highlight-reel finishes.

In some sick, twisted, very-MMA way, this was a match made in heaven — and it delivered.

Vick appeared to be in the advantageous position above Price, but one flailing leg from Price nullified that completely and produced yet another wild finish.

Voting Results for Knockout of the Year

  • Jorge Masvidal def. Ben Askren (52)
  • Davy Gallon def. Ross Pearson (37)
  • Douglas Lima def. Michael “Venom” Page (28)
  • Kevin Lee def. Gregor Gillespie (26)
  • Niko Price def. James Vick (13)

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