MMA Junkie's Knockout of the Month for November: Tom Aspinall claims interim gold in 69 seconds


With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best knockouts from November 2023: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s Knockout of the Month award for November.

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


Nominee: Elves Brener def. Kaynan Kruschewsky at UFC Fight Night 231

Elves Brener (16-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) continued the hot start to his octagon tenure on Saturday when he violently finished newcomer Kaynan Kruschewsky (15-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

Brener had some early struggles figuring out Kruschewsky in the 165-pound catchweight bout, but he got the big highlight he was looking for when he landed a huge overhand that clipped his opponent and sent him crashing face-first into the mat for the knockout inside the opening round.

Nominee: Benoit Saint-Denis def. Matt Frevola at UFC 295

Benoit Saint-Denis (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) continued his violent rise through the lightweight division when he knocked Matt Frevola (11-4-1 MMA, 5-4-1 UFC) out cold.

Saint-Denis extended his octagon winning streak to five fights in the most vicious way imaginable when he unloaded a perfect left head kick that caught Frevola on the jaw and instantly dropped him. A couple of shots on the mat forced the referee to jump in and call it off just 91 seconds into the contest.

Nominee: Tom Aspinall def. Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295

Tom Aspinall (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) took a big step in completing his career potential when he picked up the interim heavyweight title against Sergei Pavlovich (17-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC).

With Jon Jones injured, Aspinall claimed the interim belt, ending the winning streak of Pavlovich with a 69-second knockout. The Brit took a big shot early, but then turned the tables and landed a combination that dropped his opponent and set up the fight-ending sequences.

Nominee: Jason Jackson def. Yaroslav Amosov at Bellator 301

Jason Jackson (17-4 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) shocked the MMA world and became Bellator welterweight champion with a stunning knockout of the previously unbeaten Yaroslav Amosov (27-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA).

Considered by many as a hefty underdog, Jackson found in a combination that ended in a hard right hand. Down went Amosov, who tried to survive. Amosov absorbed blows as he got to his feet. A sloppy takedown was once again countered by an uppercut – but this one put him out, and a new titleholder was crowned.

Nominee: Aboubakar Younousov def. Moustapha Aida at ARES 17

The first knockout of Aboubakar Younousov’s (4-0) young MMA career was a spectacular one, and Moustapha Aida (10-3) had to pay the price for it.

Younousov became the first to finish Aida, and he did so early in the second round of the bantamweight championship bout with an incredible spinning back elbow that instantly floored his foe.

The winner

The winner: Tom Aspinall

Aspinall gave Pavlovich a taste of his own medicine – and now he owns a piece of the UFC heavyweight championship.

Pavlovich entered the UFC 295 co-main event with six consecutive wins by first-round knockout, but Aspinall stole Pavlovich’s gimmick as the heavyweight division’s premier knockout artist and finished him in 69 seconds to claim the interim title at Madison Square Garden.

Aspinall absorbed one clean right hand from Pavlovich in the early going, getting caught as he closed distance. That might’ve woken up Aspinall, who responded moments later with not one, but two right hands to Pavlovich’s temple. The first one wobbled him, and the second dropped him. All Aspinall needed was a few more hammerfists to make referee Dan Miragliotta stop the fight.

“It’s been a crazy two-and-a-half weeks,” Aspinall said during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. “I just want to say to everyone at home: If you ever get a chance to do something, and you’re scared to do it, you should definitely f*cking do it, because there’s a chance it could pay off.”

Aspinall got the call to fight Pavlovich on two weeks’ notice after the original undisputed heavyweight title fight between champ Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic was canceled because of an injury to Jones.

Aspinall said prior to the fight that he didn’t love the circumstances for his first shot at UFC gold, but it was worth the risk.

“He’s a big, scary guy,” said Aspinall, who dedicated the win to his father in the cage. “I’ve never been this scared in my life as fighting this guy. But, you know what, I’ve got a lot of power, too, and I believe in myself.”

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