4. Lando Vannata over John Makdessi
In July of this year, Lando Vannata made a short notice debut against Tony Ferguson, one of the very best lightweight fighters on earth. Though Vannata ultimately lost this short-notice fight via a second round D’Arce choke, his tremendous success in the first round immediately revealed him as a fighter with tremendous talent.
When Vannata took on veteran Canadian striker John Makdessi on the undercard of December’s UFC 206, his talent was on full display, as he let loose an unforgettable wheel kick that landed perfectly on his foe’s jaw. Makdessi went down, and no further strikes were required. While it might not have been the best knockout of the year, it was absolutely the flashiest, as it looked like it belonged in Tekken or Street Fighter rather than the UFC’s Octagon.