Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
In the first bout of the UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes main card, Edson Barboza capped off a good performance with a spectacular wheel kick KO finish of Terry Etim in the third round. The bout had primarily been contested on the feet for the first two rounds. Etim got a takedown in the first round, but couldn't do anything with it and Barboza popped up quickly. Barboza had a little trouble getting his rhythm on the feet, but started to land more near the end of the round.
Barboza took over in the second though, landing a ton of damaging kicks. Etim again got a takedown, but Barboza again took little time to get back to his feet. Overall though, it was clearly Barboza's stanza. The striking was actually even in the third until Barboza unleashed a beautiful spinning wheel kick that saw his heel land flush on Etim's face, causing him to fall over like a tree, unconscious. You won't see many better KO's than that.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Obviously the KO. One of the highlights of the year, if not the decade.
Where do these guys go from here?
Barboza is now 4-0 in the UFC and still undefeated in his career. He showed that he can fight off takedowns and get up off his back quickly, which is hugely important in the wrestler-heavy 155 pound division. Etim's not exactly an awesome wrestler, but Barboza did look impressive. The organization tends to get behind exciting fighters, and it'll be interesting to see if they push him to the moon quickly, or slowly build him up. A bout with Matt Wiman would be an excellent test for his next trip to the octagon.
Etim certainly didn't look terrible before the knockout, and while it's unlikely he'll ever be a contender, he's still a tough challenge for just about anyone. He's also a valuable tool if the UFC continues to promote cards in the UK, so I would expect him to get a mid-level fighter for his next fight. A bout against the loser of the John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani bout at UFC 145 would be cool.
Watch it now, later or never?
Now. This was the fight of the night and ends in one of the sickest knockouts in MMA history.