Top 10 MMA Fighters With the Best Head Kicks
Top 10 MMA Fighters With the Best Head Kick
No one likes getting kicked in the head, at least most right minded people don’t. There are some who enjoy the adrenaline rush of taking a full on a blast to the head, like the force of a 12-Gauge. But even that small demographic of adrenaline junkies find themselves complaining of the nauseating headache brought on after being kicked in the head. Unfortunately, I speak from experience. But, you have to respect the utter, annihilating power to be had from a good kick to the head.
Where is the best place to witness such a display of human power? Kickboxing and Muay Thai competitions are a good place to start. But here in the states, it’s hard to find networks that regularly display these combat sports. But you probably weren’t thinking kickboxing or Muay Thai when you hear “head kick.” You were likely thinking MMA
MMA has been quenching our need to witness another man’s bloodlust for years. There have been many fights over the years that ended with another man in an astronomical amount of pain, for various reasons. Joints have been disclosed, bones have been cracked like porcelain and faces left beaten beyond recognition.
As I mentioned, there are various deadly techniques in MMA, capable of wanton cruelty to the human anatomy. But the most electrifying one of these techniques is a good old fashioned head kick. Witnessing a head kick brings on an adrenaline rush, powerful enough to fight a rhino. Well maybe not that strong, but you do get a good kick out of it (bad pun).
The sport of MMA has been home to many fighters with an aptitude for kicking. Here I have compiled a list of some of the best head kickers in MMA.
Anderson Silva is one of the most awe inspiring fighters of all time. Silva’s pin point accuracy has been the reason of his success for years. The most difficult thing about head kicking is not entirely about speed and power, it’s about accuracy and Silva has that down to a science. Silva’s wiry frame gives the illusion that he does not possess much power behind those kicks, but thanks to his perfect timing, he does not require an abundance of power to KO someone with a kick.
Silva started grinding his teeth in Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai. There is no doubt that learning from an art based in kicking, got him to where he is now. Silva’s most memorable head kick has to be when he KO’d Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. Silva delivered a front kick to Belfort, knocking him out cold. There was no way anyone could have predicted that kick to the head, that kick is usually utilized to attack the body. But then again it was Silva and he makes believers out of all of us.
Carlos Condit is beyond viscous with his kicks. God help the fighter who takes one of Condit’s round house kicks. The most dangerous aspect about Condit’s kicks is their chaotic nature. Condit’s length allows him to deliver a successful high speed roundhouse from a distance, a lesser fighter may judge as safe.
Condit is one of the better Muay Thai specialists in the UFC. His unorthodox means of attack are a dangerous aspect. If you all recall UFC 154, when Condit and Georges St-Pierre had their brutal battle, Condit delivered a wicked round house, knocking GSP to the canvas. If not for GSP’s quick recovery, Condit may now be the UFC Welterweight Champion. Still Condit has some of the quickest, powerful legs in the sport.
Anthony Pettis, legs are fast like lighting and devastating like an earthquake. Pettis is one the best Tae Kwon Do specialist in the UFC. Pettis is an absolute joy to watch for fans of kicking. Out of almost any implausible angel, Pettis pulls off a devastating kick that leaves you confused.
Pettis naturally got his start in Tae Kwon Do, holding a 3rd degree rank in the art. Pettis favors the round house kick, like most strikers, but he is not one to shy away from some of the more dynamic aerial kicks you only see in the pictures.
Jon Jones has frightening kicks. Jones is a wrestler by nature, but thanks to years of molding a dangerously athletic body, his kicks are amazing. Jones is another fighter with unorthodox attacks. His insane head kicks come when it is least expected. It really is no wonder that he is the youngest UFC fighter in history to win a title.
Thanks to Jones’s physique, he possesses the ability for some very dynamic kicking. Although he actually has never KO’d anyone with his kicks, he uses them wisely as a means for setting up other attacks. And that in itself is just as dangerous as a straight up KO.
“Right leg, hospital; left leg cemetery”, is my favorite quote uttered by any fighter. Mirko Filipović has the most dangerous kicks to grace the world of MMA. I would rather take one of Bruce Lee’s patented one-inch punches to the face, than to suffer a kick to the head from Filipović, definitely not from his left leg. Filipović, being a kickboxer, naturally possesses the technique and thanks to his hardy stature, he has monstrous power.
Filipović is consistent with his kicks; he has 6 KO’s or TKO’s from kicking. Any fighter that survives the onslaught of one of Filipović’s head kicks has a head made of stone. Sadly, his career as of late has been slipping, suffering three consecutive losses in the UFC. Yet Filipović has come back strong, submitting Wakakirin Shinichi with an armbar at Inoki Bom-ba-ye 2012. Filipović is expected to face UFC veteran Pedro Rizzo, another kicker at Royal FC 1.
Alistair Overeem is a man who represents the pinnacle of strength and brute ferocity. Overeem is a human goliath, with the ability to kick with the swiftness of a much smaller opponent. When you see Overeem kick, you can’t help but feel the pain of it, even if you’re in the comfort of your living room or bar stool. Overeem is a highly decorated kickboxer, he is a man of speed, agility and with a body fit for the title: Mr. Universe.
Overeem, is a former student of UFC veteran and legendary, bar brawling savage, Bas Rutten. Take Rutten’s tutelage combined with Overeem’s freakishly muscular physique and the result is a human weapon. Overeem’s most impressive KO’s are usually from his devastating knees.
Alan Belcher is a solid head kicker. Belcher’s aggressive nature makes his kicks incredibly dangerous. However, Belcher does tend to get wild with kicking, which can often leave him vulnerable to more technical fighters. None the less, Belcher’s dangerous Tae-Kwon Do kicks, matched with kickboxing, have served him well.
Belcher’s most devastating KO has to be when he round house kicked in the head, Jorge Santiago, which came out of nowhere. Belcher’s swift kick sent Santiago out of the UFC and on to a more fruitful MMA career. You can always count on Belcher to pull off those impressive kicks to add extra flare to the match.
I had to fit Chuck Liddell in here somewhere. It’s somewhat of a shame that some remember his career falling off more than the way he rocked people in the ring with his kicks. Liddell started kicking when he began studying Koei-Kan Karate as a youth. Liddell is also a very accomplished kickboxer. Naturally, these aspects about his fight plan served him well in the Octagon.
Liddell is an incredibly strong striker, his head kicks, although from time to time could be a little sloppy, could take heads clean off. Although Liddell did preferred to use his hands, his legs were just as, if not more dangerous.
Cung Le, the man of a thousand kicks. Le’s dangerous kicks have been the subject of fear for years among fighters. Le uses his legs skillfully. With Le, it’s all about the set up approach. Le often delivers a kick to put his opponent in the best position possible. Before you know it, Le catches you off guard and leaves you broken on the canvas, a painful shell of a fighter.
Le is by far, the most technical kicker in the sport. Le uses his kicks as decisively as a boxer uses his hands. This is a feat that requires the upmost athleticism and discipline. Although, Le’s career has been on the decline, reasons unrelated to a lack of skill, but a change of pace, wanting to be an actor. Le’s head kicks will be remembered for their technical beauty.
The man with thighs like tree trunks, Georges St-Pierre, is one of the strongest head kickers in MMA. GSP has a strong karate background and I mean strong. GSP holds three black belts in three different styles of karate. I believe the reason behind his head kicking success, is from years of karate training.
Over the years, GSP has used precise kicking to break opponents down, chopping at their limbs, leaving them open for powerful head kicks. It was because of GSP’s legendary head kicks that got his title. I’ll never forget the way he used his kicks to take apart Matt Hughes, leaving his defenses open and knocking the former Welterweight Champ’s head clean off. God bless the art of karate for giving GSP the most dangerous head kicks in the game.