2010 Bloody Elbow Reader Awards: Knockout of the Year

Photo by Dave Mandel for Sherdog

Paul Daley Knocks Out Scott Smith

The sports landscape was filled with tales of redemption through performance in 2010. Mike Vick served nineteen months in prison after being convicted on charges of dogfighting. In 2009, he signed a contract for the Philadelphia Eagles, backing up quarterback Donovan McNabb. The Eagles traded McNabb in the off-season, which opened up the starting job for Vick after a short battle with fellow backup Kevin Kolb. Vick juked and jived the Eagles into an NFC East division title and a playoff berth. His past as the ringleader of a dogfighting kennel is largely ignored outside of animal rights circles.

The NFL suspended Ben Roethlisberger for the first four games of the season after a second round of sexual misconduct allegations emanated from Milledgeville, Georgia. He returned in week six, and led the team to a 9-3 record to finish 12-4 overall and with the AFC North trophy. Discussion of Roethlisberger's penchant for creeping on young coeds is largely contained to the confines of the world of comedy.

LeBron James left his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat after a long, drawn-out media circus perpetuated by media titan ESPN. TV cameras spotted Cleveland fans burning James' jerseys following his aptly named "Decision" special. James (and new teammates Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade) took heat (pun intended) following the team's 9-8 start to the season. A 21-1 record in the interim pushed the Heat into first place in the Eastern Conference, and the tone in the sports media miraculously changed course. Most people still think James is a dick, however.

At UFC 113 in May, Paul Daley met Josh Koscheck in a fight hyped up by a lot of trash talking from both sides. Koscheck held Daley down like an annoying uncle, all the while whispering sweet taunts in his ears. When the final bell rang, Daley stood up, marched over to Koscheck, and landed the most effective punch he had thrown all night. UFC President Dana White did not wait long to enact judgement; Daley left the Bell Centre without a UFC job.

Daley took fights with Impact FC in Australia and the Shark Fights promotion in Texas before landing a deal with San Jose-based Strikeforce. Strikeforce convinced Scott Smith to fight Daley in lieu of a rubber match with San Shou kickboxer Cung Le. The company could count on Smith for two things: standing up with Daley and taking an incredible amount of punishment.

The fight had the making of a mismatch rather quickly. Smith crept forward, allowing Daley to pick his shots. A one-two combination from Daley sent Smith on his ass a minute in. Smith recovered, but found himself in trouble a minute later. Daley landed four hard shots with his left hand that visibly hurt Smith, who proceeded to administer his only known defense: attack. He came forward with a wild three-punch combo that sent Daley backward.

There's one cardinal rule when you fight Paul Daley: keep your hands close to your face. Otherwise, you end up hitting the canvas as dead weight.

I suspect we won't hear much more discussion about Daley's sucker-punching past.

Full results after the jump.

Bloodyelbow_reader_awards_medium

Knockout of the Year Voting
Knockout Points %
Daley vs. Smith 15.2
Condit vs. Hardy 12.7
Lawler vs. Manhoef 11.6
Penn vs. Hughes 9.2
Rua vs. Machida 8.5
Garza vs. Paixao 7.1
Russow vs. Duffee 6.7
Gomi vs. Griffin 5.8
Harris vs. Branch 5.8
Franklin vs. Liddell 2.9
Velasquez vs. Lesnar 2.9
Roop vs. Jung 2.2
Aldo vs. Gamburyan 1.8
Kaufman vs. Modaferri 1.1
Bader vs. Jardine 1.1
Lawler vs. Lindland 0.9
Velasquez vs. Nogueira 0.9
Warren vs. Soto 0.7
Overeem vs. Duffee 0.7
Silva vs. Kyle 0.7
Henderson vs. Babalu 0.4
Sandro vs. Kanomata 0.2
Danzig vs. Stevenson 0.2
Blanco vs. Kim 0.2
Dos Santos vs. Yvel 0.2
Jones vs. Vera 0.2
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