Photo courtesy of MFC

Putting a wrap on the Maximum Fighting Championship’s schedule for 2010 is the annual look back at the best of the best.

The Top 10 Submission and Knockouts of the Year are ready to be handed out, honoring a long list of top-quality fighters and scintillating results from both the MFC and Heat XC.

It’s now time for the Knockouts of the Year. Nominees over the last couple years have included Marvin Eastman, Dwayne Lewis, and Josh Bryant, while the past two years saw Aron Lofton and Pete Spratt take the No. 1 spot.

So here are the MFC’s Top 10 Knockouts of 2010:

10. Pete Spratt def. Luigi Fioravanti, MFC 25: Vindication – Two solid veterans worked their way through two tough rounds of action, and while Spratt was likely ahead on all cards, the decision was still up for grabs. But as Fioravanti faded Spratt came on and found a quick burst to end the bout. Sharp and precise shots – chin and body – brought it all to an end at 4:02 of the third round, and earned the Knockout of the Night award.

9. Yves Edwards def. Derrick Noble, MFC 24: Heat XC – “The Texas Gunslinger” took out his six-shooters and put a hole through Noble in lightning-quick fashion. Once Edwards had Noble pinned into a corner it was lights out with a fast and furious combination followed by a barrage of rights. Edwards was so pumped with win he bolted from the ring to find his wife in the front row. It was all over at 4:44 of Round 1.

8. Dwayne Lewis def. Mike Nickels, MFC 26: Retribution – A former Fight of the Year winner, Nickels should have ready for the heavy hands of Lewis. But Nickels’ come-forward style left himself wide open by Lewis who popped through a series of uppercuts that twice floored Nickels. Lewis followed the second knockdown with vicious ground-and-pound that capped off a tidy victory for the popular figure only 1:30 into the fight. Lewis took home the Knockout of the Night award.

7. Dhiego Lima def. Bill Fraser, MFC 27: Breaking Point – Lima showed few nerves in his fight big fight, one that was also the opening bout on TV and would be followed later in the night by his brother’s title shot. Lima kept Fraser at distance with a stiff jab and then timed a perfect straight right for the one-punch knockout at 2:36 of the second round. Lima also picked up the Knockout of the Night bonus (later in the night, his brother Douglas went on to win the MFC welterweight title and Submission of the Night award).

6. Keto Allen def. Jason Gorny, Heat XC 5: Punishment – Knockouts by punches and kicks are certainly impressive, but Allen’s KO was something special. The powerfully built welterweight set it all up by crushing Gorny with a pair of belly-to-back suplexes, the second of which dropped him completely on the back of head and also separated his shoulder. Allen rolled from the second suplex into ferocious grond-and-pound but it was all over before those hammerfists even landed – a mere 1:16 into the fight.

5. Jesse Juarez def. Nathan Gunn, MFC 24: Heat XC – Gunn was built up as the more potent striker while Juarez was well-regarded for his wrestling. But in a flash, the whole scenario reversed. Juarez spotted Gunn leaning in as he approached and he fired off a kick that caught Gunn flush on the side of head. Gunn was face down with the lights turned out just 11 seconds into Round 1.

4. Jason High def. Keto Allen, Heat XC 6: Bragging Rights – With Allen still riding the wave of his last victory, this was expected to be a thrilling clash. The more-experienced High didn’t waste any time going on the offensive, exploding all over Allen in the middle of the ring with a lethal combination. High scored right on the chin and dropped Allen, finishing the fight at just 2:08 of Round 1.

3. Antonio McKee def. Luciano Azevedo, MFC 26: Retribution – McKee threatened to quit if the Brazilian could hang five rounds with him in this lightweight title fight. McKee made sure he wouldn’t have to hang up his gloves, first taking Azevedo down with a thunderous slam. A first elbow strike rattled Azevedo and opened a bad cut. A second elbow split the challenger wide open, blood gushing, and a half-conscious Azevedo waving submission at 3:11 of Round 1. It was the most vicious victory in McKee’s impressive career.

2. David Heath def. Solomon Hutcherson, MFC 26: Retribution – Hutcherson had control early even though he was cut on the bridge of the nose. But in Round 2, Heath decided to get creative. He opened the round, and nearly ended the fight, with a perfectly timed spinning backfist that wobbled Hutcherson. But Hutcherson hung in there … though only momentarily. Heath set up the end with a dynamic Superman punch in the middle of the ring, dropping Hutcherson flat on his back. Heath followed and put Hutcherson out with hammerfists, drawing a standing ovation at 3:46 of Round 2.

And the MFC’s 2010 Knockout of the Year goes to ….

1.Tom Watson def. Travis Galbraith, MFC 24: Heat XC – Watson’s credentials were that of an impressive striker who loved to finish his fights in style. He did just that against Galbraith. Off a break, Watson put his Muay Thai kickboxing skills on display, firing a head kick at Galbraith that landed point-blank in the side of the chin. Galbraith never saw it coming and landed face down on the mat – stunned, shocked and blown away by the atomic bomb that had struck him. A clear-cut Knockout of the Night winner at 1:56 of Round 1 … and the best of “big kiboshes” this year.

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