Edson Barboza KO’d Terry Etim in the most spectacular of fashions this evening at UFC 142 in Rio, flooring him with a spinning wheel kick to the delight of the Brazilian fans.
The first round was competitive, with Etim starting off the brighter, getting his punches and kicks off first and also mixing things up with a couple of brief takedowns, though Barboza was quickly back to his feet.
At first Etim was checking Barboza’s trademark leg kicks, but as the round progressed the Brazilian started to find a home for them, and that appeared to give Etim pause for thought.
Barboza gained confidence from this and by the end of the round it was he who was taking command of the striking battle, firing off punches and kicks while Etim failed to land anything significant enough to tip the balance back in his favour.
Boosted by his first round display, Barboza came out strongly in the opening stages of round two, with his leg kicks now being fired off with mean intentions at high speed and they must surely be taking their toll, though Etim moves gamely forward regardless.
In fact Etim did have some moments of his own mid-way through the round, landing a head kick and connecting cleanly with a straight right, but a subsequent takedown attempt was slickly dealt with by Barboza.
Towards the end of the round the Brazilian was again beginning to take command again the striking engagements.
Onto the third round and the two continued to stand and trade with each other.
It was fairly even for a while, but two minutes into the round Barboza unleashed a spinning wheel kick with lightning speed that caught Etim completely off-guard and completely pole-axed him, knocking him out instantly.
It was a jaw-dropping moment, undoubtedly one of the most impressive finishes in UFC history and finally gives Barboza the highlight-reel finish that will help propel him to the next level in the ultra-competitive lightweight division.