Out of all the fights at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum (also known as UFC Fight Night 106), the craziest knockout happened in the Edson Barboza versus Beneil Dariush fight. It is so peculiar that it is sparking mixed martial arts (MMA) versus boxing debates among the combat sports fandom.
For those who did not see what happened at UFC Fight Night 106, “Junior” and “Benny” were a couple of minutes into the second round of their fight when Beneil Dariush was able to rush in and connect with a punch to Edson Barboza’s face. However, Barboza was able to shake it off to attempt a flying knee which hit Dariush square in his face. Everyone in the arena knew the fight was over including Barboza.
A video of Edson Barboza delivering the knockout blow with his flying knee to Beneil Dariush has been attached below. Take note that Barboza knows he won the fight with the move as he actually stops himself from following up with ground-and-pound.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) March 12, 2017
Apparently, Edson Barboza’s knockout win against Beneil Dariush is the topic of debate among fans in the combat sports community. Specifically, MMA enthusiasts are saying that anyone that depends on boxing would not be able to handle a well-rounded MMA fighter. Even For The Win (part of USA Today) analyzed the knockout in an MMA versus boxing situation. In it, they explain that Dariush dropping his head towards the canvas after connecting with a right jab to Barboza’s face is a “pretty smart move” in boxing as it limits the chances of being hit with a hard counter-punch. They even provide the following video in which the duck is considered a basic boxing skill, one that Floyd Mayweather does all the time.
Unfortunately for Beniel Dariush, he is not in a boxing match in which legs and feet are omitted as offense. As a matter of fact, the only attack in a pure boxer’s arsenal that could counter the duck is an uppercut, but it is very hard to connect with one after receiving such a hit to the face. Dariush’s head moving downward actually made Edson Barboza’s flying knee moving upwards far more lethal. It is like two trains charging at full speed at each other. The collision would be more of an impact compared to one train hitting a train just sitting on the tracks.
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Edson Barbosa’s flying knee knockout win over Beniel Dariush’s boxing is just one of many arguments that will occur between boxing purists and MMA enthusiasts. Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor are prime examples of fighters often utilized for such debates. Many MMA enthusiasts claimed that “Rowdy” was champion for so long because she was excellent in Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, two martial arts often used in MMA. However, boxing purists had their day when Rousey was KO’d by both Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, two fighters who specialize in some form of boxing. The argument for “The Notorious” went the other way as he was a phenomenal striker with a boxing and kickboxing background. He dominated UFC until he fought Nate Diaz.
As for Edson Barboza, he is already looking forward to the future. According to a written article by Bloody Elbow, he would like a chance to fight Tony Ferguson for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. The current champion, Conor McGregor, is on hiatus for the birth of his first child. Also, he is training in boxing for a potential fight against Floyd Mayweather. If Barboza is able to get a chance to become the interim champion, he would surely put on a great fight especially now that he has more riding on the line than just avenging his submission loss to Ferguson at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale.
[Featured Image by John Locher/AP Images]