8 First Round Knockouts In Women's MMA
Knockouts in women’s MMA are something that many think are rare or a novelty, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, some of the most aggressive data finds that for women in the higher MMA weight classes (bantamweight and featherweight), the KO bout rate compared to their male counterparts is about the same.
In order to show that women can be as technically skilled, powerful, and ferocious in their approach to stand up, we’re going to give you a short list of 8 of the most signficant first round knockouts in women’s mma, at the highest levels of the sport.
Let’s do it!
1. Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rose Namajunas: UFC 217
This is the first round knockout of first round knockouts! With one perfectly placed left-hook, challenger Namajunas was able to stun the then champion and claim the strawweight belt at 3:03 of Round 1 (which is also ironically the name of the gym she trains at in Colorado- 303 Training Center).
2. Ronda Rousey vs Sara McMann: UFC 170
Although both are Olympic medalists in grappling arts (Rousey in Judo and McMann in wrestling), this fight only took place on the feet. A few vicious knees to the body put McMann down and out, with Rousey retaining her bantamweight title.
3. Cris Cyborg vs Gina Carano: Strikeforce: Carano vs Cyborg
One of the biggest female fights of all time, Carano vs Cyborg was the first women’s MMA fight to be the main event on a Showtime card. A highly anticipated matchup, these two fighters entered the contest undefeated, with the action going back and forth until Cyborg was able to get a better ground position and put an end to Carano’s undefeated record and fighting career at 4:59 of Round 1.
4. Germaine de Randamie vs. Anna Elmose: UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Arlovski
Most people know her for her quick title victory and vacation in the featherweight division of the UFC, but Germaine de Randamie is much more than that: with a solid background in Dutch kickboxing, the Holland native holds an undefeated 37-0 record in the sport. In this fight against Elmose, De Randamie was able to secure a solid win with a dominant KO victory over the then UFC newcomer Anna Elmose in her home country.
5. Amanda Nunes vs Germaine de Randamie: Fight For the Troops UFC Fight Night
This fight happened before many people knew of either of these women’s names, on a small Fight Night card that was dedicated to and attended by members of the armed forces. The fight resulted in a controversial stoppage victory for Nunes, who was in mount raining down elbows...without causing any visible damage.
6. Ronda Rousey vs Alexis Davis: UFC 175
Personally, I think this is one of the most stunning wins of Rousey’s career. Called “poetry in motion,” this quick knockout of Davis is one of the fastest wins in UFC championship history, with Rousey disposing of her opponent in just 16 seconds.
7. Cris Cyborg vs Leslie Smith: UFC 198
This bout would be Cris Cyborg’s UFC debut, which was long awaited by many MMA fans. She was matched against veteran of the sport Leslie Smith, a bantamweight fighter who met Cyborg at a catchweight of 140 lbs. Although the weight agreement allowed the two fighters to meet in the middle, Smith proved to be no match for Cyborg’s power, as she was quickly finished in the first round.
8. Amanda Nunes vs Ronda Rousey: UFC 207
Finally, perhaps the most significant fight on this list comes down to Nunes vs Rousey. The story is one that you probably already know- Rousey was on a comeback from her loss to Holly Holm. Instead of a rematch with Holm, she would now face Nunes because of the bantamweight belt having changed hands from Holm, to Tate (who choked out Holly Holm at UFC 196), to Nunes (who submitted Tate at UFC 200), all less than 8 months.
There were so many questions leading into UFC 207; would Rousey be able to bounce back from defeat? Would she be gun shy? Could Nunes deal with Rousey’s forward pressure?
Nunes was easily able to defend Rousey’s takedown attempts, lighting her up on the feet and landing the biggest victory of her career in just 48 seconds.