Spinning kicks offer some of the most exciting knockouts in combat sports. They’re all the more exciting because they are relatively rare. Few fighters possess the dynamism, athleticism, flexibility, and speed required to land one to the head. That’s why everybody remembers Edson Barboza’s spinning wheel kick KO from years ago.

On UFC Fight Island 5, fighters treated fans to two unbelievable knockouts. Cory Sandhagen pulled off an outstanding TKO win over fellow bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes. But the KO of the night – and possibly of the year – goes to Joaquin Buckley. Honestly, this was scintillating.

Neither of their opponents saw these kicks coming. Fans couldn’t believe what they had seen. Check out these two devastating finishes below. Was there a better knockout in 2020 than Buckley’s? For sheer invention, it’s hard to say there was. Honestly, you have to see it to believe it.



Joaquin Buckley and Impa Kasanganay had a fun first round. The two middleweights threw heavy shots and it looked like someone was destined to land a knockout. So it proved, but in circumstances that nobody could have imagined. It came in round two and it was savage. Kasanganay caught Buckley’s foot but then his opponent somehow spun and executed a flying back kick in the air.

It landed flush on Kasanganay’s jaw. The hapless fighter crashed to the canvas unconscious. He had no idea what had just happened. Immediately, fans and journalists debated whether this was the greatest knockout ever. It’s definitely one of the best of the past five years. The likes of Jorge Masvidal’s flying knee and Yair Rodriguez’s spinning back elbow on the Korean Zombie also spring to mind. But in terms of shouldn’t work in real life, this was magnificent.


Later, Cory Sandhagen also pulled off an excellent spinning back kick in his win over Marlon Moraes. It didn’t finish the Brazilian but it was the beginning of the end. ‘Magic’ fell to the floor and Sandhagen was all over him like a rash. He battered him until the referee stopped the fight. Some called it a quick stoppage but it was great work from Sandhagen and Moraes had no complaints.

Sandhagen lost to Aljamain Sterling last time out. For some reason, the UFC appears determined not to give A-J a title shot. However, this effectively cleared Sterling’s path to a meeting with champion Petr Yan. Let’s hope that the UFC makes that fight and stops messing him around.


On the same night, Edson Barboza took a unanimous decision over ‘Mr. Finland’ Makwan Amirkhani. The SBG Ireland fighter was a late replacement but had no answer for the Brazilian’s striking. Tom Breese and Tracy Cortez took wins as well in great style.

The next UFC card will see Justin Gaethje take on the might Khabib Nurmagamedov for the lightweight title. We can’t wait for that one. It has to be said, the promotion has done a fine job of keeping their fighters active throughout the current pandemic.

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