On November 12th 2022, the UFC community almost witnessed an incredible moment during UFC 281 that has only happened twice in the companies’ 29-year history.
It all happened when Seungwoo Choi faced off against Michael Trizano, just seconds into their third fight of the featherweight scrap. The Early Prelim bout almost ended early when both fighters landed strikes on each other, downing both fighters in the exact same spot. Thankfully both fighters managed to return to their feet and continue the fight with Trizano securing the win with a KO of Choi late into the round.
Both fighters being knocked out at the same time is one of the rarest moments in any mixed martial arts or combat sports, so rare that if Choi and Trizano had failed to return to the fight, it would’ve been the third time in UFC history where we have experienced a ‘double knockout’.
But how many fights have ended in a double knockout? And which fighters have taken part in the rare moment?
What is a Double Knockout?
A double knockout in combat sports is an extremely rare ending in which both participants knock each other out at the same time, leaving them unable to get back up before the referee count is over. A double knockout can occur via takedowns and strikes, most common when both fighters land a knockout shot on each other at the same time or in similar motion.
UFC Double Knockouts
Gray Maynard vs Rob Emerson
The most famous of all double-KO finishes in MMA occurred in 2007 when Gray Maynard and Robert Emerson were both unable to continue in their bout following an attempted takedown from Maynard. Maynard double leg lifted Emerson off of his feet to slam him down on the canvas, instantly crushing ‘The Saints’ ribs and forcing him to tap out of the bout. In his attempt, Maynard knocked himself out while delivering a rib injury to Emerson who was unable to continue the fight. The incredible incident took place at the Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale and still remains one of the rarest finishes in UFC history.
Matt Hughes vs Carlos Newton
Interestingly, the second double-KO finish in UFC history also came from a slam when Matt Hughes and Carlos Newton fought at UFC 34 in 2001. The bout took place in Las Vegas, Nevada with Newton officially being named the victor despite the actual chain of events on that day.
While attempting to escape Newton’s triangle choke, Hughes responded by lifting his opponent up against the cage and slamming him down into the canvas. Newton was knocked unconscious in the slam however Hughes was also revealed to be unconscious from the choke hold. With Hughes being on top of his knocked-out opponent, he was awarded the victor of the fight despite also being unable to compete further. This would be the end of Newton’s last significant title run during his career while Hughes would go on to defend his welterweight title a total of seven times during two separate title reigns.
What Happens when a Double Knockout Occurs?
On the rare occasion when a double knockout occurs, the fight is immediately ruled as a ‘no contest’ as both fighters are unable to compete further.
Furthermore the bout is ruled as a draw and likely results in a rematch further down the line for the both fighters to officially end with a winner.