For years, the thought of witnessing a UFC fighter end a fight with a flash knockout stemming from a vicious Chuck Norries-esque roundhouse kick seemed better suited for a video game than actually inside the Octagon. But one fateful night in 2012, Edson Barboza changed all of that with a vicious roundhouse knockout over Terry Etim.

Ever since then, fans have seen a rapid increase in violent and spectacular head kick knockouts. From spinning back wheel kicks to front kicks to liver kicks, it seems fight fans have witnessed pretty much every style of kick in the business. That is except for the bone shattering Axe Kick.

Originally made famous by Andy Hung, this method of attack need incredibly flexibility from its wielder.  To use this technique, a fighter must be able to bring their their leg above their head, full extension and whip it down full power in front of them. If properly utilized the heel of ones foot will come directly down atop their opponents skull like a hammer.

It is about as devastating a move as one can perform, yet not many individuals can perform it as it requires years of training ones leg strength but also their balance, core strength and flexibility.

“So many people think the power of the kick comes from the leg; that is not so with the Axe kick,” said Tae Kwon Do Grand Master Young Bo Kong during an interview with “It is the downward “snapping” action of the stomach that gives power and speed to this kick. If you use just your leg strength the kick will be weak and most likely will fall short of its mark. You must extend your upper body giving length and power to the kick. By contrast, if you’re only using your leg to control the kick and you and miss, the kick will fall downward into the floor forcing you off balance. But if you are using the stomach or upper body as the kick’s power source, the technique can be controlled. That way, should you miss, your balance will be centered allowing you to change up to a different kick (like a hooking kick) without ever setting your foot down.”

Fighter such as Benson Henderson have also been known to use the Axe kick when standing above a downed opponent, but instead connecting with their midsection instead of their head.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on, and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.