One of the things that makes mixed martial arts unique is the use of strikes on the ground. Martial arts that focus on ground fighting, like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, and sport Sambo, do not allow strikes on the ground.
The practice of attacking a grounded opponent with strikes is termed “ground-and-pound” in mixed martial arts, and it’s led to some of the most brutal finishes in the history of the sport.
The Eight Best Ground And Pound Finishes In Mixed Martial Arts History
Ready to find out who has the best ground-and-pound finishes in MMA history? Let’s jump right into our list:
1) Gary Goodridge Vs. Paul Herrera
Goodridge was part of the early days of mixed martial arts, coming from a kickboxing background. That didn’t stop him from scoring one of MMA’s most impressive ground-and-pound finishes. The UFC 8 showdown took place in 1996, and Goodridge couldn’t have looked any better.
He successfully defended against a takedown attempt by sprawling and transitioned to a crucifix from there. He then hammered away with vicious elbows until Herrera was unconscious.
2) Cain Velasquez Vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
Velasquez was one of the scariest heavyweight champions in mixed martial arts history during his prime. His first run as the champion was short-lived, as Junior dos Santos knocked him out a little over a minute into his first title defense.
Velazquez avenged the loss during his rematch with dos Santos, reclaiming the heavyweight title. His first title challenger during his second reign was Antonio Silva, and Velazquez sent a strong message to other challengers. He brutalized Silva from start to finish, taking him down and bombarding him with strikes. Silva was a bloody mess by the time the referee finally stopped the fight.
3) Christian Lee Vs. Kotetsu Boku
ONE Championship lightweight and welterweight champion Christian Lee is one of the most fun mixed martial artists to watch right now. His well-rounded skills, tenacity, and endless cardio make him a tough out for any lightweight or welterweight.
Boku was one of the fighters Lee faced as he worked his way toward title contention, and he delivered one of the most impressive ground-and-pound finishes in mixed martial arts history. After frustrating Boku with his pressure for the first few minutes of their ONE Championship: Warriors of the World showdown, Lee secured standing-back control and slammed Boku, ending up in side control. He followed up with a vicious mix of punches and hammer fists, prompting the referee to stop the contest.
4) Jon Jones Vs. Chael Sonnen
The bad blood was at an all-time high when these two collided in the Octagon at UFC 159. It started when Chael stepped up as a replacement for Dan Henderson after the latter pulled out due to an injury three days before UFC 151. Henderson and Sonnen were training partners, and it was reported the injury had occurred three weeks earlier.
Jones felt it was a setup since Sonnen likely had three weeks to prepare for the fight, while Henderson officially pulled out three days before the event. It led to the first canceled card in UFC history and soiled Jones’ relationship with UFC president Dana White.
“This is one of the most selfish, disgusting decisions that doesn’t just affect you. This is affecting 16 other lives, their families, kids are going back to school,” White said about Jones. “The list goes on and on of all the things, the money that was spent for fighters to train, and the list goes on and on. Like I said, I don’t think this is going to make Jon Jones popular with the fans, sponsors, cable distributors, television network executives, or other fighters.”
Sonnen used the opportunity to call Jones every insult you can imagine, claiming Jones was scared to fight him. He finally got his opportunity at UFC 159, and fans got to see one of the most brutal finishes in MMA history. Jones came out more aggressively than usual during the opening seconds, taking Sonnen down at will. He secured top position and unleashed vicious ground strikes, brutalizing Sonnen with powerful elbows, punches, and knees to the chest until the referee stepped in to save him.
5) Brandon Vera Vs. Aung La N Sang
Vera’s quest to become a two-division champion ended when he challenged La N Sang for the light-heavyweight belt. Aung softened him up with a spinning elbow that landed flush and left Vera shaky; then, he followed up with some vicious knees and punches after pinning Vera against the cage.
6) Khabib Nurmagomedov Vs. Thiago Tavares
Very few fighters come close to being as effective as Khabib when it comes to ground-and-pound. The former UFC champion quickly rose through the ranks thanks to his unmatched wrestling abilities and vicious ground-and-pound.
Nurmagomedov’s fight against Tavares is the perfect example of how brutal things can get for fighters who find themselves under him. He sent Tavares to the canvas with a hook and followed up with relentless elbows and punches that ended the fight.
7) Eduard Folayang Vs. Shinya Aoki
Folayang scored an impressive ground-and-pound finish during the third round of his ONE Championship: Defending Honor showdown with Aoki. It started when he successfully sprawled out of a takedown attempt and kept his weight on Aoki. He kept his weight on Aoki and bombarded him with a relentless mix of punches and knees that eventually forced the referee to step in and stop the contest.
8) Jarrod Cannonier Vs. Derick Brunson
Cannonier needed a win against Brunson to earn a middleweight title shot, and it turned out to be one of the most impressive performances of his career. Brunson got the better of the exchanges during the first round, securing a couple of takedowns, and it looked like he’d be able to outwrestle Cannonier for three rounds.
However, Cannonier turned things around during the second round, dragging Brunson to the canvas and securing half guard. He only needed to fire off a few elbows before Brunson was compromised, forcing the referee to stop the contest.
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