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MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for August: A kick that earned a UFC contract

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With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best knockouts from August. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for August.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

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Julian Marquez def. Phil Hawes at Dana White’s Contender Series 4

Julian Marquez (6-1) earned his way into the UFC with a crushing knockout of Phil Hawes (4-2) at the Dana White’s Contender Series 4 event.

After an opening round in which both men had some shining moments, Marquez took over in the second, walking forward with strikes and wobbling Hawes before finishing him off with a vicious high kick.

Dustin Ortiz def. Hector Sandoval at UFC Fight Night 114

In less time than it takes most people to tie their shoes, Dustin Ortiz (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) put Hector Sandoval (14-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) to sleep with an offensive outburst as swift as it was brutal.

A counter right hand from Ortiz put Sandoval on his heels, and the followup put him away just 15 seconds into the fight, giving Ortiz the fastest finish in UFC flyweight history.

Humberto Bandenay def. Martin Bravo at UFC Fight Night 114

Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made his UFC debut as a heavy underdog against Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), but he needed only two kicks and 26 seconds to prove the oddsmakers wrong.

A head kick from Bandenay knocked Bravo out cold in the opening minute of the fight. It gave Bravo his first professional loss in a violent upset finish.

Mike Rodriguez def. Jamelle Jones at Dana White’s Contender Series 5

After a cautious start, Jamelle Jones (7-5) was forced to move in and out of range against a taller Mike Rodriguez (9-2). He eventually shot for a takedown that didn’t materialize.

Confident on his feet, Rodriguez launched a flying knee that landed flush, sending Jones to the floor. A few more punches sealed the result, giving Rodriguez a highlight-reel finish and a UFC contract.

Martin Nguyen def. Marat Gafurov via punches at ONE Championship 59

A perfect counter by Martin Nguyen (9-1) ended the undefeated run of Marat Gafurov (15-1), and ONE Championship got a new featherweight champion in the process.

Nguyen saw himself in a rough spot early, but a low kick by Gafurov paved the way for a massive overhand that had the now-ex-champ landing face down on the mat for the brutal stoppage.

* * * *

Marquez ended Dana White’s Contender Series 4 with a bang, laying out Jon Jones training partner Hawes with a head kick to cap off the show.

The fight was over at the 2:20 mark of the second round, when Hawes dropped limp to the canvas with a scary thud.

“I was tired,” Marquez admitted after the fight. “The weight cut yesterday was pretty rough, but I just knew he was going to keep coming. I just knew if I weathered the storm, he would leave an opening, which he did.”

Hawes’ early drive to take the fight down to the mat may have sapped his energy reserves. Marquez proved a tough challenge to take down, and when he hit the mat, he escaped bad positions and returned to his feet. A guillotine attempt had Hawes scrambling not to tap.

At the start of the second round, Marquez landed a combination that badly hurt Hawes and put him on autopilot. A sloppy takedown attempt put Marquez on top, and when Hawes finally managed to escape, he was ready.

The head kick was perfectly timed and provided a highlight-reel finish that brought a UFC contract to Marquez.



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