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20th Dec 2016

Conor McGregor is one of four selections for UFC knockout of the year

Up against three other stunning stoppages.

Darragh Murphy

It was to be expected.

The exquisite four-punch combination that knocked the UFC lightweight belt right off of Eddie Alvarez’s waist was always going to be in the running for knockout of the year.

Not only did the magnitude of the event and the unprecedented nature of the outcome make it a special stoppage but, more simply, it was easy on the eye.

Never did Conor McGregor’s notorious counter speed and striking accuracy look as polished as it did on November 12. Alvarez’s chin may as well have been a stationary target, such was the frequency with which the Irishman was finding it.

Conor McGregor with Eddie Alvarez 12/11/2016

And the fluid way with which McGregor finally outed his opponent’s lights has made it an undeniable contender for the most aesthetically pleasing finish of 2016.

There are three other knockouts that are in the running and one wouldn’t begrudge any of Paige VanZant, Jimi Manuwa or Stipe Miocic if they were to be voted the best.

VanZant’s switch kick KO of Bec Rawlings in August showed just how far her stand-up had progressed at Team Alpha Male as she planted a testing leg kick on Rawlings before taking to the air and whipping her other foot into the Australian fighter’s jaw.

You don’t often see nimble-footed heavyweights in the UFC but the reigning baddest man on the planet, Stipe Miocic, proved he’s one big man who can move as he danced out of range of the pursuing Fabricio Werdum before uncorking a stunning short right hook while moving backwards. Now that’s power!

The final option is possibly the most difficult to watch due to the way that Ovince Saint-Preux landed when his consciousness was robbed by the returning Jimi Manuwa at UFC 204.

All great knockouts but, given McGregor’s popularity on social media, don’t be surprised to see his UFC 205 triumph voted the winner.

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live: