At UFC 149 in Calgary, Canadian light heavyweight Ryan Jimmo introduced himself to fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship with a 7-second knockout of Anthony Perosh. The knockout, which tied the UFC record for the fastest knockout in the promotion’s history, instantly made Jimmo a marketable attraction in future cards. In honor of Jimmo’s electrifying debut, here are the top 10 UFC promotional debuts in history, taking into account the impressiveness in the cage and the significance of the performance.
10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – UFC 106 (November 21, 2009), Knocked Out Luiz Cane
At the time Cane was 11-1 with his only loss coming via disqualification due to an illegal knee against James Irvin. In addition, the luster of former Pride stars entering the octagon was starting to wear off, with less-than-inspired performances turned in by Mirko Cro Cop, Shogun Rua, and Nogueria’s brother, to name a few. However, “Little Nog” delivered, knocking Cane out in the first round , winning the Knockout of the Night Award. Nogueria’s time in the UFC since has been up and down, with wins over Jason Brilz and Tito Ortiz, and losses to Ryan Bader and Phil Davis.
9. Glover Teixeira – UFC 146 (May 26, 2012), Submitted Kyle Kingsbury
Teixeira, a protégé of octagon legends Chuck Liddell and Pedro Rizzo, had won 15 straight fights in Brazil before coming to the UFC. Kingsbury never stood a chance and was quickly knocked down and submitted by Teixeira in the first round. The Glover hype train is now leaving the station full steam ahead, as he next fights former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 153 in October.
8. Kimo – UFC 3 (September 9, 1994), Submitted by Royce Gracie
After the first two UFC tournaments, it did not seem like anyone could stop Royce Gracie. Enter Kimo, Gracie’s first-round opponent in the UFC 3 tournament. When it comes to first impressions, no one made a more noticeable one than Kimo, as he carried a full size cross down the aisle to the octagon. While Kimo eventually came up short, he beat Gracie like no one had up to that point, causing him to withdraw from the tournament due to exhaustion, leading to alternate Steve Jennum being one of the biggest anomalies in UFC history and the tournament winner.
7. David Terrell – UFC 49 (August 21, 2004), Knocked Out Matt Lindland
The UFC Welterweight Title was vacant in the middle of 2004, and the UFC set up an unofficial 4 person tournament to crown a champ. Lindland’s wrestling ability put him as a favorite out of himself, Terrell, Evan Tanner, and Robbie Lawler. However, he was steamrolled by Terrell in 24 seconds with a dangerous barrage of punches. Terrell would be defeated by Tanner for the title and would fight only one more time due to a litany of injuries , ending his career as one of the most enigmatic fighters in the UFC’s history.
6. Todd Duffee – UFC 102 (August 22, 2009), Knocked Out Tim Hague
To this day Duffee remains one of the most impressive-looking competitors ever to grace the octagon. In his debut against Hague, he backed up the look with a Jimmo-esque 7-second knockout win. With that performance Duffee was immediately thought of as a future threat in the heavyweight division, even adorning the cover of “Muscle and Fitness” prior to his next fight. Duffee would never win in the UFC again, however, and a combination of withdrawn fights and a loss to Mike Russow led to his release from the promotion and a better spot on this list.
5. Brock Lesnar – UFC 81 (February 2, 2008), Submitted By Frank Mir
It was a fight that arguably catapulted the UFC into the mainstream sports world. Brock Lesnar, the former World Wrestling Entertainment Champion, entered the octagon to a mix of equal parts excitement, curiosity, and detraction. Lesnar started the fight with a thunderous takedown until Steve Mazzagatti infamously stopped the fight to questionably deduct a point for illegal strikes to the back of the head. Upon the restart, Mir was able to lock in a knee bar and get the tap out. The loss re-established Mir as a star and set the stage for the most purchased UFC pay per view in history, UFC 100, which was headlined by the Lesnar-Mir rematch.
4. Pete Williams – UFC 17 (May 15, 1998), Knocked Out Mark Coleman
Coleman was one of the first dominant UFC fighters, winning two heavyweight tournaments and the first-ever UFC Heavyweight Title. Williams debuted at UFC 17, fighting out of the legendary Lions’ Den with Ken Shamrock. In one of the most spectacular visuals in UFC history, Williams knocked Coleman out with a head kick. This was before shoes were outlawed, which contributed to the striking scene of Williams’ shoed foot leaving Coleman’s face looking completely bewildered as he fell to the mat.
3. Tank Abbott – UFC 6 (July 14, 1995), Knocked Out John Matua
Still in the freak show days of the UFC, Matua was billed as being 6’2, 400 pounds, and a master of Kuialua, described as the Hawaiian art of bone breaking. In reality, he looked about the same size as Abbott (billed as 6’2, 280 pounds) and was nothing more than an overweight man in a tee shirt and sweatpants. Abbott would go on to deliver arguably the most brutal beating in the history of the UFC , knocking Matua out cold when the back of his head hit the canvas after a bunch. Not satisfied, Abbott leaped in for a forearm smash to the already unconscious Matua, which left him arms and legs stiff in the air. Abbott then proceeded to mock his downed opponent, who had to be helped out of the cage with oxygen as the crowd looked on in horror. As poor of a sport as Abbott was, this fight introduced him as one of the UFC’s early and most dangerous draws, as people were buzzing about what Tank Abbott would do next.
2. Joe Lauzon – UFC 63 (September 23, 2006), Knocked Out Jens Pulver
Jens Pulver was the first-ever UFC Lightweight Champion, making his return to the promotion after leaving as the champion. Lauzon was an unknown 22-year old making his UFC debut. In under a minute, Lauzon knocked Pulver out in one of the bigger upsets in UFC history. In an ironic turn, Lauzon would then move on to be a contestant in The Ultimate Fighter…and Pulver was a coach.
1. Junior Dos Santos – UFC 90 (October 25, 2008), Knocked Out Fabricio Werdum
There was a lot of talk of Werdum possibly getting a title shot, so when instead he was tapped to face newcomer Dos Santos, there was word that Werdum was not exactly motivated to train for the fight. It showed, as Werdum was noticeably overweight. What is unclear, however, is if it mattered, as Dos Santos steamrolled Werdum with a first round uppercut knockout in under two minutes. From there Dos Santos has continued to be dominant, with dominant wins against Roy Nelson, Mirko Cro Cop, Shane Carwin, and Frank Mir, and a UFC Heavyweight Title win against Cain Velazquez in the most watched fight in UFC history.
Time will tell Jimmo’s place on the list, as much may depend on his future fights. Will he follow the path of Todd Duffee and never win again in the octagon? Or is Jimmo on the path to UFC gold like Junior Dos Santos? Weigh in below.
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