The Khamzat Chimaev hypetrain rolls on to Demian Maia and rightfully so after he made quick work of Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds. I definitely did not bet $30 on Meerschaert only to have it snatched away from me in seconds. Wasn’t me at all.
Chimaev talked a lot of shit leading up to this fight including these gems:
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 17, 2020
Khamzat Chimaev at his first UFC press conference, interrupting Gerald Meerschaert, asking him why he’s lost so many fights. Meerschaert says if Chimaev submits him he cave have his black belt. Chimaev says, ‘When I submit you, you are done with this sport.’
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 17, 2020
Well, these all aged like fine wines.
A hype train as defined by Urban Dictionary is “When something is so anticipated, like anything new, that you must board the Hype Train.” And hype trains happen in all sports, but never more so than in MMA. A huge win for a hype train can build unreal expectations and standards. When those fighters inevitably lose, they crash and burn. But when they win, the feeling of joy, excitement and anticipation is off the charts. Khazmat’s big win and the hype train rolling on got me thinking of what the 5 biggest wins ever by a UFC hypetrain fighter were. Also, yes, all of these hypetrains (except for Khamzat) have all been derailed at least once by now.
Anderson Silva vs Chris Leben UFC Fight Night 5 (Silva KO in 49 Seconds)
Francis Ngannou KOS Allistair Overeem (UFC 218)
Darren Till beats Stephen Thompson (UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Till)
Todd Duffee beats Tim Hague at UFC 102 in 7 Seconds
Uriah Hall kills Adam Cella The Ultimate Fighter 17
BJ Penn KOS Caol Uno in 11 seconds at UFC 34
Khabib Nurmagomedov dominates Michael Johnson at UFC 205
5) Jorge Masvidal beats Ben Askren in 5 Seconds
In a way, Masvidal was the fame-snatcher when he went on this run. His legend grew when he knocked out Darren Till and took all of his shine. Then he magically knocked out Ben Askren and took all of his shine – literally all of it. That led to the hypetrain full speed ahead at Nate Diaz for the BMF Belt which he dominated, but it started with this incredible 5 second KO of Ben Askren. 5 seconds (although it was over much quicker) was and is the fastest KO in UFC history. Those two punches on Askren after he was unconscious? Super necessary.
4) Khazmat Chimaev knocks out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds
This was a huge win for Khazmat because of how quick it was and also the fact that he showcased his work on his feet which was something he hadn’t utilized in his two previous UFC fights much. That is because he really didn’t need to as he pummeled both of his opponents with ground and pound – even picking up a 10-7 in one round. Now Demain Maia is the next man up to try and derail this hypetrain, and I would be a little concerned if I were him. When Khamzat says he can fight, and beat, multiple top guys on the same night… Well now more people will start to believe him
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 20, 2020
3) Brock Lesnar TKO’s Randy Couture at UFC 91 for the UFC Heavyweight Title
Despite only 9 professional fights and 8 in the UFC, Brock Lesnar was one of the biggest draws in UFC and combat sports history. The former heavyweight champion wrestler in the WWE and the NCAA was a star the moment he stepped in the cage. It was tough to pick between this win and the win of Frank Mir for which should be on this list, but in the end I have to go with his TKO win over Couture. It was Brock’s first taste of UFC Gold and UFC 91 (per my records) was the first UFC Pay-Per-View to break the 1 million buy threshold. Brock would go on to defend/unify against Frank Mir and then Shane Carwin before the hypetrain was derailed by Cain Velasquez and then Allistar Overeem and then…USADA. But he beat the Undertaker’s streak and that is all that matters.
2) Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds at UFC 190
It is easy to get lost in the slander thrown Ronda’s way and forget how dominant she was as a UFC Bantamweight champion. Her two fights prior were all finished under 40 seconds and this one against Bethe Correia was the sweetest as she mouthed “Don’t Cry” to Bethe after the finish – something Bethe had said to her during the trash talking build up to this fight. This win was just another example of how Ronda was not human and would not be beaten as long as she lived. That of course lasted up until her next fight against Holly Holm where she lost by head kick and then the fight after that where she lost to the eventual GOAT Amanda Nunes. But godamn, this was a fun run.
1) Conor McGregor knocks out Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in 13 seconds
I like to think as Conor McGregor pre UFC 194 and post UFC 194 as two different people. The Conor McGregor pre UFC 194 was driven, motivational and inspiring. He spoke things into reality. He slayed through the featherweight division with the pressure of putting an entire country on his back. First it was against Diego Brando where after he told the crowd “We’re not here to take part, we’re here to take over.” Then rattled Dustin Porier to lengths we’ve never seen before, eventually knocking him out at UFC 178 in under two minutes. That is the first fight where I realized that this kid was, indeed, legit. Then he fought Dennis Siver… how did that get there? Then he silenced a lot of doubters when he beat Chad Mendes and his wrestling style… albeit Chad was fighting on two weeks noticed and was beating McGregor for the majority of the fight. However, that comeback win over Chad mendes fueled the hypetrain as it was headed straight towards one of the most dangerous fighters ever.
Conor got his long anticipated match against Jose Aldo. He had been shit talking Aldo for over a year to this point, and many considered him crazy and in over his head. Aldo was one of the best fighters in the world at that time. Shit, he was one of the best fighters of all time at that point. And Conor knocked him out in 13 seconds and went on to be the biggest star the UFC has ever seen – and may ever see.