Last weekend, the world of kickboxing witnessed an extraordinary moment as Hasselt kickboxer Keyhan Khedri claimed victory at the Max Pain event in Genk.
What set this win apart was an astonishingly swift double kick that left his opponent momentarily in the dark. The video of this jaw-dropping moment has since gone viral, amassing over two million shares, and it’s causing a sensation on Team Karatas’ Instagram page, based in Hasselt.
Keyhan Khedri’s remarkable victory featured an incredible spinning heel kick.
Notably, a similar move earned Joaquin Buckley the title of ‘Knockout of the Year’ in 2020. Joaquin Buckley (12-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) delivered an unforgettable knockout against Impa Kasanganay (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in their middleweight bout.
Caught in the act, Buckley responded with a lightning-quick spin, striking Kasanganay directly on the chin. The result was immediate, with Kasanganay collapsing to the canvas, sealing one of the most remarkable finishes in UFC history.
#9 This one is in my personal top 5
Joaquin Buckley defeats Impa Kasanganay via Jump Spinning Back Kick at UFC FN 179 pic.twitter.com/2dknkQtxqP
— The Octagon Obsessed (@octagonobsessed) March 12, 2023
There’s another memorable example of this technique in action, featuring Stephen Thompson and Jake Ellenberger in the TUF 21 Finale. Stephen Thompson, widely recognized for his expertise in traditional martial arts, particularly kempo karate, has showcased his striking prowess throughout his UFC career.
In 2015, he faced the seasoned contender Jake Ellenberger at the TUF 21 Finale. Although Thompson hadn’t solidified his status as a top-tier welterweight contender at the time, he entered the fight on a four-fight win streak.
Early in the contest, Thompson faced adversity when Ellenberger connected with a powerful left hook, knocking him down. However, Thompson displayed resilience, recovered swiftly, and culminated the fight with sheer explosiveness.
Stephen ''Wonderboy'' Thompson spinning heel kicks Jake Ellenberger twice and shows that Karate is not Funny for the win. pic.twitter.com/oKPL2WPSDz
— The Honest Jones Fan🦆 (@SmackdownLayer) October 12, 2021
Out of nowhere, a spinning hook kick sent ‘The Juggernaut’ to the mat. As Ellenberger regained his footing, Thompson delivered another spinning kick, this time striking Ellenberger on the temple and extinguishing his lights.
While these spinning kick knockouts are truly extraordinary, one of the most iconic moments in UFC history involved Edson Barboza’s spinning wheel kick against Terry Etim at UFC 142 in 2012. Barboza stunned Etim in the third round with a jumping spinning wheel kick that landed perfectly on Etim’s jaw. Etim froze in time, his body stiffening like a statue, before collapsing to the canvas.
— danawhite (@danawhite) October 5, 2015
This kick is often likened to Jean-Claude van Damme’s legendary ‘helicopter kick’ and remains one of the most unforgettable moments in UFC history, etching itself into the annals of combat sports.