2023 once again delivered a plethora of amazing fights and knockouts. The kickboxing scene has been diverse as ever, with great fights happening all over the globe. But which fighters earned the top spots? Which knockouts were the most brutal, the most flashy, and the most memorable? Beyond Kickboxing has compiled this year's top knockouts throughout all the promotions. As always, context matters, and finishes in high-stakes fights are weighted more.
TOP 10 KNOCKOUTS OF 2023
10. KOYATA YAMADA VS SEIKI UEYAMA
Koyata Yamada challenged for the first title of his professional career when he took on Seiki Ueyama for the Shoot Boxing Super Bantamweight (55 KG) title in February. With power in both of his hands, the only 20-year-old is quickly making himself a name as one of the best finishers in the division, having ended 10 of his 13 wins inside the distance. After a slugfest over five rounds, Yamada caught Ueyama with a vicious left hook to end the fight.
9. SHINPEI KIYOSHIGE VS. RYOMA YAMASHITA
One of the most spectacular knockouts of the year – Shinpei Kiyoshige with a crazy rolling thunder kick at KROSS×OVER.
8. HIROKI SUZUKI VS. GENJI UMENO
With Chihiro Suzuki becoming one of the hottest Japanese combat sports commodities in 2023, his older brother Hiroki also got time to shine at RIZIN 43. Bouncing off the ropes, he caught the unsuspecting Genji Umeno with a flying knee to the chin, leaving him unconscious instantly.
7. FURKAN GUNBEYI VS. YASIN ARDUC
Furkan Günbeyi took out Yasin Arduc with a close-range high kick in the opening round of their fight.
6. SUPERBON VS. TAYFUN OZCAN
In a clash of top Featherweight contenders, Superbon took on Tayfun Ozcan. The Thai fighter proved once again why he's one of the most sublime technicians in the sport, landing a lead leg high kick while exiting the pocked. Despite Ozcan having his guard up, he was caught completely flush and was out cold before hitting the canvas.
5. KAN NAKAMURA VS. AHMED AKOUDAD
It doesn't get more vicious than Kan Nakamura's knockout over Ahmed Akoudad at RISE World Series 2023 Final Round. In the RISE vs. GLORY portion of the card, the muscle-bound Japanese fighter made sure to represent his promotion in style, first knocking down Akoudad, and then brutally sending him crashing face-first to the canvas.
4. KAZUKI OSAKI VS. NICOLAS RIVAS
The ISKA belt was on the line when pound-for-pound great Kazuki Osaki took on Nicolas Rivas in the headlining bout at RISE 167. The knockout in the fourth round was as spectacular as it was measured. Set up by a spinning back kick to the body moment earlier, Osaki launched Rivas through the air when he then went upstairs after parrying a jab.
3. NORDINE MAHIEDDINE VS. ABDARHMANE COULIBALY
No best knockouts of the year list without the big boys. Nordine Mahieddine clashed with Abdarhmane Coulibaly at GLORY 88 in Paris, France. With only 50 seconds left in the fight, the French kickboxer found the chin of Coulibaly with a perfectly placed kick, sending his sweat flying through the air and his body collapsing backward.
2. KIAMRAN NABATI VS. PHAL SOPHORN
Undefeated Kiamran Nabati (19-0) has long been one of the brightest prospects on the Russian scene. He delivered one of the flashiest knockouts of the year against Cambodian Kun Khmer veteran Phal Sophorn.
1. CHINGIZ ALLAZOV VS. SUPERBON
An obvious choice for this year's knockout of the year – Chingiz Allazov's crushing stoppage over Superbon Singha Marynn to claim the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing title and more importantly his spot as the best fighter in the sport. Allazov's win was no surprise by any means, but the way he came out and dominated Superbon to emphatically take the belt on one the biggest stages this year will be remembered for years to come.